Name: Richard’s Bar-B-Que
Address: 522 N Main St, Salisbury NC 28144
Order: Chopped barbecue plate with hush puppies, slaw, macaroni and cheese, and Cheerwine (link to menu)
While not exactly known for being a barbecue town, Salisbury is home to not one but two barbecue joints on the NC Historical Barbecue Trail (as well as M&K Barbecue in nearby Granite Quarry). It is also the original home to the finest (non-alcoholic) beverage to enjoy with barbecue, Cheerwine (sorry, sweet tea).
Richard’s is in an unassuming building tucked on Main Street in downtown Salisbury. Inside, Richard’s smallish interior nearly smacks you in the face with its southern country decor while old school country music plays in the background (well, before the switch to the 70’s station for the lunch hour, anyways).
The pork was a nice mix of bark and shoulder that was slightly coarsely chopped (apparently due to being hand chopped). My serving had good tenderness and moistness with a fair amount of smoke. The table sauce was more of a spicy thin sauce than you would expect to find in the Piedmont but complemented the barbecue just about perfectly.
The hush puppies were some of the largest ones I’ve seen at a NC joint but also some of the best. Several of them had visible onions when you bit into them which might have normally turned me off a little bit except for the fact that they were an almost perfect mix of savory and sweet. The slaw had visible diced tomatoes, a first that I’ve noticed, but otherwise was a classic red slaw. The less said about the mac and cheese the better.
I previously stated that despite doing things the right way, fellow Salisbury joint Wink’s was not quite worth pulling off 85 and you should continue onto Lexington if you have a hankering for real barbecue. While Richard’s Bar-B-Que certainly doesn’t match Lexington, I would be more inclined to stop over there than I would Wink’s. They both cook barbecue over wood, but Richard’s has the red slaw and the slightly spicy thin sauce, giving it the edge in my mind if you want barbecue in Salisbury.
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 4 hogs
Pork – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 4 hogs
Overall – 3.5 Hogs