Friday Find: NC Weekend visits Durham’s The Pit

From UNC-TV’s NC Now, Deborah Holt Noel takes the viewer on a behind the scenes look at the Durham location of The Pit for a recent After Dark segment for the show.

The Pit in Raleigh is already an established institution, but their Durham location is quickly creating its own stellar reputation. Their whole-hog, pit-cooked barbecue and lively Downtown Durham location have attracted the attention of The Washington Post and The New Yorker!

Linkdown: 5/25/16

– Another writeup on Rien Fertel’s latest book, The One True Barbecue, with the tagline “Get to Ayden before it’s too late”…now too late for what, I’m not quite sure

– Speaking of Ayden, this past weekend it became home to the Kings of Q BBQ Cook-off and Festival

– Three questions with The Improper Pig, who started a food truck just in time for the summer

– A very interesting read on how Daniel Vaughn helped Tuffy Stone’s Cool Smoke competition team lose at this month’s Memphis in May

– Vaughn also weighs in with an appreciation of The Salt Lick, which sometimes gets unfairly maligned as “overrated”

– The Wall Street Journal profiles Melissa Cookston, “the most decorated woman in competitive barbecue” (h/t)

– Grant’s latest Georgia barbecue stops: The Butt Hutt in Athens, Tucker’s Bar-B-Q in Macon, Hudson’s BBQ in Roberta, and Piggie Park in Thomaston

– Catching up with Robert Moss’ latest entries for The Daily South: a writeup on The One True Barbecue and the end of a Savannah BBQ legend; here’s an excerpt from the first linked article on whole hog:

Whether the whole hog tradition is dying out or evolving into a new form is left unsettled. By the end of the story, Chris Siler at Siler’s Old Time has switched to pork shoulders after it got too hard to procure whole hogs, and Ricky Parker is gone, dead from liver disease at only 51. At the same time, a new generation of cooks from other walks of life, like Tyson Ho at Arrogant Swine in Brooklyn, NY, and Elliot Moss at Buxton Hall in Asheville, NC, have made the “journey into the madness of whole-hog fanaticism.”

– Always worth revisiting the basics

Best of Charlotte: Other

We initially started this blog in order to find the best barbecue restaurant in Charlotte. While we feel pretty comfortable with our current rankings on the big board having visited 40+ restaurants, what more logical next step than to explore the best meats and dishes in the greater Charlotte area? Click here to find the other posts.

We’ve previously posted our lists for pork, brisket, ribs, and sausage but now it’s time for the rest. These are dishes that are not necessarily widely available in restaurants in the Charlotte area, so we wouldn’t have a lot of competition for each.

The Brunswick Stew from Boone’s is not only the dish that led to his food truck, but it also earned the number 1 best brunswick stew in Johnny Fugitt’s book The  100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America. I believe that Midwood Smokehouse is one of only maybe two or three restaurants in Charlotte that serves burnt ends, but we feel it’s a pretty darn good representation. And finally, if you aren’t familiar with a “que jar” or “barbecue sundae” its a mason jar or sundae cup filled with pulled pork at the bottom and some combination of baked beans, mac and cheese, and cole slaw layered on top. And it is glorious.

  1. Brunswick Stew from Boone’s Bar-B-Que Kitchen
  2. Burnt Ends from Midwood Smokehouse (Original location; Ballantyne location)
  3. Que Jar from Ten Park Lanes

What do you think? Have we missed the mark? Leave your comments below.

Friday Find: 10Best.com’s Best BBQ Pork Sandwich in North Carolina

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In case you missed it – we were fortunate enough to be considered “experts” (shh…don’t tell them) alongside some real experts – Mackensy Lunsford of the Asheville Citizen-Times, John Shelton Reed of True Cue, Jennifer Daskevich of Sandwich America, and The World’s Extreme Chef Terry French – and submitted nominees for 10Best.com‘s Best BBQ Pork Sandwich in NC. Voting ends June 6 at 12pm ET.

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Linkdown: 5/18/16

– Per Raleigh Eats, Ed Mitchell’s Que is returning, this time to the Brier Creek neighborhood in Raleigh

– Southern Smoke BBQ in Garland is one of 6 Farm-to-Table Restaurants in Eastern NC to Try This Summer

Matthew and Jessica work with farms in their area and around the state to source the best and freshest seasonal ingredients for their businesses. Matthew works with a young farmer named Caleb Johnson, a graduate of North Carolina State University, and his farm: AJ Family Farms. He will check in with Caleb regularly to see what’s in season, and come up with dishes based on the weather. “I buy whatever he’s got,” Matthew says of Caleb’s farm. “Last week he had beautiful green tomatoes, so we did a corn and green tomato succotash over grits. That’s kind of my approach.”

– John Shelton Reed thinks NC needs a new holiday commemorating the Wilmington Barbecue of 1766

– Mac’s Speed Shop in Charlotte may be expanding its original South End location

– Brisket +Tacos = Crazy Delicious

An excerpt from Rien Fertel’s new book “The One True Barbecue” on Ricky Scott

– Speaking of Fertel’s new book, Rodney Scott is bringing his whole hog to Charleston’s Butcher & Bee for a book signing

– However, not all reactions to “The One True Barbecue” have been positive; Ed Mitchell and Wilber Shirley each took exception to how there were portrayed negatively in the book but not interviewed for it

– Buxton Hall Barbecue is throwing a 5 course dinner with whiskey, beer, and barbecue:

Green Street Smoked Meats – Chicago, IL

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Name: Green Street Smoked Meats
Date: 4/30/16
Address: 112 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607
Order: Half pound pulled pork, half pound sliced brisket, hot link, potato salad, broccoli salad, two beers (link)
Price: ~$60

Monk: Chicago is often mentioned in the second-tier of barbecue styles in the US (along with Santa Maria-style tri-tip). Chicago style (at least along the south side, from what I gather) is more rib and rib tips. While I can’t say that I experienced authentic Chicago barbecue at Green Street Smoked Meats in the West Loop neighborhood, I did get a pretty damn good meal. The West Loop has become a destination for food-loving people, and GSSM was in good company less than a block away from both Au Cheval (with Bon Apetit’s best burger in the US) and The Girl and The Goat from former Top Chef Winner Stephanie Izard.

Located in a warehouse along with partner coffee shop Sawada Coffee, Green Street Smoked Meats is a hip counter-style place with biergarten tables and stringed lights that primarily serves meat by the half pound (except when its by the “each” in the case of a pork sandwich or hotlink or the such). It has a great atmosphere though unfortunately we weren’t able to sit outside in the alley on that day due to cold and rain (ah, Chicago in April).

Naturally, I always have to get pulled/chopped pork if its on the menu, but to tell you the truth I wasn’t pumped about it, especially when I saw a previous order tossed in a bowl with a sauce before being served. The tangy sauce hid any smoke that may have been imparted to the meat from the wood, and the pork was just average as a result.

GSSM is really a Texas-style joint, so it makes sense that the brisket was the star of the show. We even got a few unsauced burnt ends thrown in for good measure (party, bonus). This was a fine representation of Central Texas brisket with a nice peppery bark and both lean and fat slices presented. The Texas-style hotlink was another highlight. It had good snap and flavor while being just moist enough.

Mrs. Monk and I got two sides and the portions were more than enough for us. The potato salad was fine but left me wondering if I should have ordered something else. Mrs. Monk couldn’t get enough of the broccoli salad. I liked it too – what little I was able to sneak away from her clutches. Her mini review:“It was dank; I ate all of it.”

It was unfortunate that it was only the Mrs and I eating that day since I would have liked to try the more unconventional meats on the menu such as the smoked salmon or pastrami (on the recommendation of TMBBQ). We had more than enough food (to the point of taking a box of leftovers with us) and more meats also would have put tab at close to $100. Which brings up a good point – Green Street Smoked Meats may be just a little bit on the pricey side. In any case, I would definitely recommend it.

Ratings:
Atmosphere – 4 hogs
Pork – 2 hogs
Brisket – 4 hogs
Sausage – 4 hogs
Sides – 3.5 hogs
Overall – 3.5 hogs
Green Street Smoked Meats Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Green Street Smoked Meats

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Friday Find: BBQ Capital Cook Off from The Destination Magazine

A flyover and some photos from last year’s BBQ Capital Cook Off in Lexington from  The Destination Magazine

In a city renowned for its heritage of slow cooking pork shoulders over hickory wood that is known worldwide as Lexington-style barbecue, it seems logical that a barbecue cook-off would take place on our streets! Experience the excitement of international teams competing in Lexington’s acclaimed BBQ Capital Cook-off. Come Friday night and stay over through Saturday to enjoy the final awards and all the entertainment.

Linkdown: 5/11/16

– We were fortunate enough to be considered “experts” (shh…don’t tell them) and submitted nominees for 10Best.com’s Best BBQ Pork Sandwich in NC contest. Voting ends June 6 at 12pm ET.

– Some coverage of the 10Best contest from Pitt County, Asheville, and Garland

– Creative Loafing profiles Seoul Food Meat Co.

– Over at Marie, Let’s Eat!, Grant visits the last remaining Old Hickory House, located in Tucker, GA, as well as Big Cove BB-Q in Owens Cross Roads, AL

– Whole-hog Carolina barbecue converts Louisiana-native Rien Fertel

Mr. Fertel locates the birthplace of whole-hog barbecue in eastern North Carolina. In aptly named Pitt County, he visits three whole-hog establishments. The agriculture-and-livestock-rich region, he says, is “a bastion, or pit, as it were, where the nation’s oldest vernacular barbecue tradition has been slowly smoking for nearly two centuries.”

– Matthew Odam recently went on a 16-stop barbecue tour throughout Texas

– Midwood Smokehouse’s crinkle cut fries makes this list of best fries in Charlotte from Charlotte Agenda

– Always worth a link:

Linkdown: 5/5/16

– Interesting from Anthony Bourdain, who had previously declared love for both Eastern NC and Kansas City barbecue

Where to find regional styles of barbecue in NYC, including North Carolina-style from Arrogant Swine

– Robert Moss on “early airport barbecue”

The period between 1930 and 1960 saw a great flourishing of barbecue enterprises throughout the South, as one resourceful cook after another threw up a canvas tent or wooden stand and started selling slow-smoked meat wherever they saw potential customers.

– Ed Mitchell is having a pig pickin’ for Raleigh Homeless next Thursday

– Here’s an example 3 day Lexington Barbecue itinerary

– Midwood Smokehouse once again lands on the Voters Choice for Best Barbecue in Charlotte

– Charlotte Magazine profiles the newly opened Seoul Food Meat Co.