Bob Garner finds a hidden gem at Randy’s BBQ in the town of Troutman, which is between Mooresville and Statesville. Randy’s opened in 1985 and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.
– J.C. Reid of the Houston Chronicle: “The death of North Carolina barbecue has been greatly exaggerated”
– The Matthews location of Mac’s Speed Shop is set to open just after New Year’s
– Charlotte’s Got A Lot has 19 side dishes to order at Charlotte-area barbecue restaurants in this Charlotte Agenda post
– Buxton Hall Barbecue is of course on Atlanta Magazine’s list of places to go in Asheville
– Asheville also nabs Lonely Planet’s best places to visit in the US in 2017 list, and Buxton Hall gets a mention there as well
The South Slope area is quickly emerging as a gastronomic hotspot. Housed in a former skating rink, Buxton Hall (buxtonhall.com) offers a modern take on traditional barbecue in this throwback space. Enjoy plates of impossibly tender pork with vegetables cooked in the meat drippings, surrounded by the faded images of decades-old skating figures still visible on the walls. It also benefits from an in-house pastry chef who turns out superb sweet treats such as banana pudding pie to finish off a hearty, hog-based meal.
– The Daily Meal has the best sandwich in every state and for NC it is a chopped bbq sandwich from Lexington Barbecue
– Does Georgia have the most bbq joints per capita? BBQ Hub explores that claim but finds that based on some quick and dirty spreadsheets Lexington, NC probably has the strongest claim to that title
– NC joints get a shout out from Daniel Vaughn in this piece
Despite the difference in preferred protein, I think the closest style to Texas barbecue is in North Carolina. They cook primarily pork, but they still value cooking with wood just as much as we do in Texas.
— CNN Travel (@CNNTravel) December 3, 2016
– Robert Moss has an introduction to Georgia BBQ to kickoff Georgia BBQ Week, which Grant will surely love
– Coming to West Nashville soon from Pitmaster Pat Martin
Martin’s Bar-B-Que pitmaster Pat Martin is bringing a new fast food concept to West Nashville next spring https://t.co/r4CyfgpUO9
— Eater Nashville (@EaterNashville) November 24, 2016
– Daniel Vaughn of TMBBQ muses on a couple of easy rules for barbecue line etiquette
– From last month, Destination BBQ has an interview with Daniel Doyle of Poogan’s Smokehouse in Charleston
– The highly-anticipated Scott’s BBQ has broken ground at its Charleston location
– John Shelton Reed has a pretty out there barbecue theory on why Donald Trump carried the state of NC and I’ll just let him have at it
The latest, he told me the other day, was Hillary Clinton’s choice of a barbecue stop in Charlotte at the end of the presidential campaign. She and President Obama ate at the Midwood Smokehouse. It has a varied and upscale menu, but it is not a traditional barbecue eatery. Meanwhile, Donald Trump was buying one of those $3.50 barbecue sandwiches at Stamey’s in Greensboro.
“Maybe Clinton’s choice sold in Charlotte,” Reed said, “but the rest of the state was thinking Drumpf was eating at a real North Carolina barbecue stop, a big reason he won and she lost.
Name: Hillsborough BBQ Company
Address: 236 South Nash Street, Hillsborough, NC 27278
Order: ¼ lb BBQ plate with mustard slaw and collards; ¼ lb brisket plate with red slaw and mac and cheese (link to menu)
Price: ~$25 (for two)
Monk: As long as we’ve been writing on this blog (4.5 years and counting!), Hillsborough BBQ Company has been at or near the top of my list of NC joints to check out. After finally getting the chance last weekend, I must report back that I left pretty darn disappointed.
It’s a cozier space than I imagined, nestled in the middle of a row of businesses off Nash Street in Hillsborough but despite a table of 10 being seated right before us, the Monk clan was able to snag 3 spots at the bar. There, we decided that the Mrs and I would each split a plate of different meats.
Mrs. Monk ordered the pork and I found I to be flavorful but on the dry side. Once the eastern sauce was added, it was much better. But still, nothing spectacular.
Brisket is available Wednesday to Sunday but mine did not appear freshly smoked; perhaps it was from a day or two back. It came out barely warm to start and the bark was decently peppery but once the meat cooled the fat congealed into a not-so-appetizing sight. Disappointing.
Between our two slaws, the mustard was the better of the two. The mac and cheese was not baked and seemed very basic – almost easy mac-ish. Mrs Monk didn’t think much of the bland collards either.
Across the board, the theme seemed to be that the ideas were ok but the execution was lacking. Service even fell off as a travelling soccer team and their parents filled the restaurant and our bartender completely disappeared, leaving the manager to have to step in just to take our check. Nonetheless, the food is what I’m judging Hillsborough BBQ Company on and in that respect, I must reiterate that after years of wanting to check it out, I was very very disappointed.
FS Food Group has put up a video featuring Midwood Smokehouse pitmaster Matt Berry taking on the challenge of smoking whole hog in their Texas-built rotisserie smoker. This looks to be episode 1 of a new web video series.
– North Carolina apparently smells like blackberry and barbecue according to Homesick Candles
– The Atlanta Journal Constitution blog has a first look at B’s Cracklin’ Barbecue
– Hickory Tree BBQ in Greensboro sells turkey barbecue, and not just for Thanksgiving
– Marie takes a turn writing a chapter on Stamey’s for Marie, Let’s Eat!
— Grant Goggans (@MarieLetsEat) November 21, 2016
– Kings BBQ in Kinston has reopened for the first time since Hurricane Matthew
– A trip to Raleigh should include a visit to The Pit, says this writer for the Columbus Dispatch
– Dallas News documents a roadtrip to Lexington for The Barbecue Festival and then to Asheville for Buxton Hall Barbecue
– Daniel Vaughn with a little shade for David Chang’s ssäm
Look, we copied the current aesthetic of craft barbecue! https://t.co/VJRgayuwwX
— Daniel Vaughn (@BBQsnob) November 12, 2016
– Grant visits Nooga-Q Smokehouse in Chattanooga and likes the chicken a lot more than everything else he tried
– Poogan’s Smokehouse has been open for one year in Charleston’s East Bay
– How John Lewis made his way from Texas to Charleston
— Lucky Peach (@LuckyPeach) November 7, 2016
Name: The Mallard Creek Annual BBQ
Date: 10/27/16 (4th Thursday of every October)
Address: 11400 Mallard Creek Road, Charlotte, NC 28262
Order: BBQ plate with brunswick stew, slaw, and applesauce (link to menu)
Monk: After going to the Mallard Creek Annual BBQ for each of the past three years, I figured it was time for an official review. Now in its 87th year, the Mallard Creek BBQ is by far the oldest barbecue institution in Charlotte (admittedly a city of very few old barbecue institutions). Its a one-day annual event on the fourth Thursday of every October where barbecue and local politics mix, though the politics won’t get in the way if you just want barbecue. My pro tip for any first-timers is to take a late lunch and go after 2pm when there is no line, otherwise you might be in the car for awhile.
Every year, literally tons of barbecue is smoked by an army of volunteers and this year was no different with 14,000 pounds of pork smoked. I’ve been both in mid and late afternoon and the coarsely chopped pork is always moist, a tribute to the whole operation. Add the table-side hot sauce, a spicy vinegar-based sauce (skip the other, ketchup-based one) and pile with slaw on a slice of the Merita bread loaf on every table and you’ve got a nice open-faced sandwich. On this recent visit, I did this twice and had ample amounts of pork left over.
Really, the Mallard Creek Annual BBQ is probably more well known for its brunswick stew though its not the typical brunswick stew. Per Kathleen Purvis, instead of potatoes it has rice. Instead of shredded chicken and beef, it has ground-up chicken, beef and pork. Instead of lima beans, it has only corn and tomatoes. I’m still no expert on the dish but I would go so far as to say its one of the best versions of the dish I’ve had. On the October days when the weather is a little more brisk, its a very welcome dish. Though it was a little on the warmer side this year.
It is my opinion that any true barbecue fan in the Charlotte area should make it a point to go to the Mallard Creek Annual BBQ at least once. Other publications have covered its history much more extensively, but in short its a great event put on by the folks of Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church. You should go.
Pork – 3.5 hogs
Brunswick Stew – 4 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 3.5 hogs
The second in the series from Made Man and Dhani Jones. He visits Sweatman’s BBQ and Duke’s Bar-B-Que and also meets with Lake High of the SC Barbecue Association.
Think you know the story of smoked meat? In part 2 of BBQ in America, host Dhani Jones heads to legendary Orangeburg, South Carolina, to get educated about mysterious Carolina Gold sauce, meet a BBQ historian, dig into some delicious whole hog and more! Brought to you by Kingsford.
– Ed Mitchell is no longer opening a stall at the upcoming Morgan Street Food Hall & Market in Raleigh but the News Observer has more information on his food truck which can be booked for holiday events
– Grant visits Smokin’ J’s BBQ, another no-frills joint in Knoxville
– The When Pigs Fly BBQ Festival is this weekend in Fayetteville and features a whole hog competition
– Summerville, SC is getting a new whole hog barbecue joint in the second location of Swig & Swine
– Elliott Moss is going on a book tour for Buxton Hall Barbecue’s Book of Smoke: Wood-Smoked Meat, Sides and More, and is making a stop in Charleston
– Buxton Hall gets a nice write up in this month’s Our State Magazine
— Our State Magazine (@ourstatemag) November 7, 2016