Friday Find: Could This Be The Most Expensive Barbecue In The World?

Eater’s The Meat Show visits Hill Country Barbecue to try a disctinctly NY style of barbecue thats a hybrid between a steakhouse and a barbecue joint.

This week on The Meat Show, host and professional carnivore Nick Solares visits New York City barbecue favorite Hill Country, to sample a meaty hybrid that’s right up his taste buds’ alley. Chef Charles Grund Jr. combines fancy steakhouse-quality beef, dry aging preparations, and barbecue techniques to create what might be the most expensive barbecue in America at $47 a pound. Is it worth it? Watch the video above to find out.

Monk

Linkdown: 8/17/16

– WOW: Picnic is hosting a three-day “bbq revival” and bringing in Elliot Moss of Buxton Hall, Sam Jones of Skylight Inn and Sam Jones BBQ, Bryan Furman of B’s Cracklin BBQ, Tyson Ho of Arrogant Swine, John Lewis of Lewis BBQ plus a lot more

– Speaking of Buxton Hall Barbecue, they have been named the #9 best new restaurant in America 2016

– Grant visits Zombie Pig BBQ in Columbus, his last new Georgia barbecue restaurant for awhile

– First We Feast gets another esteemed panel of experts to discuss “The Most Influential BBQ in America”; Barbecue Bros faves Stamey’s and Scott’s makes the list from the Carolinas

– Daniel Vaughn revisits Fox Bros Bar-B-Q after a few years and comes away impressed

– Question #1: Why are there two styles of NC Barbecue?

– Question #2: How would you describe SC barbecue?

Adding one more layer of complexity, he said that a third (or fifth, depending on who’s counting) sauce should be included: “rust gravy,” a ketchup-and-mustard blend found statewide, especially at the Dukes Bar-B-Que restaurants.

– Charlotte Agenda reports that Mac’s Speed Shop is opening a downtown Matthews location, just around the corner from Moe’s Barbeque

– Tim Kaine spent his Monday night eating barbecue at Buxton Hall and jamming with a bluegrass band nextdoor at Catawba Brewery

– So you can eat barbecue and lose weight; The Smoking Ho offers proof

Ace Biscuit & Barbecue – Charlottesville, VA

IMG_5464
Name
: Ace Biscuit & Barbecue
Date: 7/20/16
Address: 711 Henry Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Order: Brisket biscuit, hash browns, and coffee (link to menu)
Price: ~$13

Monk: In my barbecue travels, I find Ace Biscuit & Barbecue to occupy a fairly unique niche. Sure you might have those barbecue joints that also serve as southern cafes and while they serve breakfast, its more of your standard fare. This was a legit biscuit place that truly integrates barbecue into their breakfast sandwiches.

Located in the Rose Hill neighborhood just outside of downtown Charlottesville, Ace Biscuit & Barbecue has been there since 2012 and serves breakfast and lunch all day except for Mondays and Tuesdays. It occupies a small brick building where you order at a counter and then sit either at a community table inside or a small outdoor patio off to the side of the building. I arrived late morning with just one other party there, but would be curious as to what kind of regular breakfast crowd they usually have .

I went with the brisket biscuit with my egg over easy in hopes it might quell the headache I received from the previous night’s activities. Before launching in, I took note of the brisket, which appeared to be well-smoked. Later on, I poked my head around the side to see a legitimate burn barrel and the pit where the barbecue was smoked. On their menu, they claim to smoke the brisket over oak and hickory and I could see no reason to not believe it. This being a Wednesday, I don’t know how recently the brisket was smoked (ie was it the night before?) but nonetheless it did not have a rubbery or chewy consistency. Once I bit in, the egg yolk, sauteed onions, and cheese all mixed together and complimented the brisket nicely. Overall this was a successful breakfast sandwich.

 The hash browns were well fried but nothing spectacular and disappointingly , my coffee was lukewarm. Could really have used fresh coffee on that morning.

I left Ace Biscuit & Barbecue in slightly better shape than when I arrived, and on another day would have liked to check out some of their other biscuits with rib meat, house pastrami, and fried chicken. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Ratings:
Atmosphere – 3 hogs
Brisket – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 3.5 hogs
Ace Biscuit and Barbecue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Linkdown: 8/10/16

– Speedy Lohr’s in Lexington has finally reopened, nearly a year after a fire forced it to close

– Daniel Vaughn of TMBBQ writes a eulogy for the barbecue joint, including Grady’s

We all know that barbecue is growing, but a reminder is in order. As we pointed out last year, the independently run, counter-service barbecue restaurant numbers are shrinking. Those are the barbecue joints. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

– Missed this last week, but Jim Shahin had a SC barbecue primer in addition to the “future of barbecue” article I linked to

– Saveur Magazine has an article on the history of Chicago barbecue

– Robert Moss likes the whole hog at Buxton Hall a lot, but says not to skip the fried catfish

– Grant’s latest stops: Roger’s Bar-B-Que in La Grange, GA and Byron’s Smokehouse in Auburn, AL

– The Davidson Farmer’s Market Pig Pickin’ is this Saturday and features Chef Michael Spencer of Fork! preparing a 150-pound pig for pulled pork sandwiches, tacos, and banh mi sandwiches

– Wyatt Dickson of Picnic will be bringing whole hog barbecue to Lewis BBQ on 8/21

Clark’s Barbecue – Kernersville, NC

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Name
: Clark’s Barbecue
Date: 7/16/16
Address: 331 N Carolina 66, Kernersville, NC 27284
Order: Chopped barbecue tray, coarse chopped sandwich, barbecue slaw, hush puppies, and Cheerwine (link to menu)
Price: ~$13

Monk: Growing up in High Point, little did I know that there was a wood-smoked barbecue joint not 15 minutes away in the next town over of Kernersville. Clark’s Barbecue is off NC 66 situated between US-40 and Business 40 and is apparently a mile from the much more popular Prissy Polly’s (which curiously serves both eastern and Lexington barbecue – something to explore next time around). It’s located in an unassuming rectangular brick building and I would say Clark’s was definitely going for the “no-frills” experience when it comes to ambiance.

The chopped barbecue in the tray came with a nice consistency and good moistness. The Lexington-style ‘cue was surprisingly good and some of the best I’ve had outside of the town of Lexington – nice consistency of the chop, good smoke, and the right amount of tang in the sauce. In terms of presentation, the tray was placed on a coffee filter – something I’ve also seen at Richard’s in Salisbury.

For a change of pace, I also ordered a coarse chopped sandwich, which the menu claimed was “real barbecue” for “true barbecue aficionados”. I was a bit confused by the claim when it also has both the chopped classic Lexington style and the leaner sliced options. In any case, I found it a bit unwieldy to eat, with the larger chunks too large for the now soggy bun, and thus falling out easily with each bite. For me for you dawg, give me the chopped version any day. Still need to try that sliced someday though.

This was my first time encountering circular hush puppies in my barbecue travels – though my father in law didn’t seem phased by them – but I dug them even though I thought “onion ring” every time I picked one up. Clark’s does bring out as many baskets of hush puppies as you like, a touch I always like to see especially when they are this good.

I’ll be curious to try out Prissy Polly’s on the same stretch of road to compare the two joints in Kernersville, but considering its identity crisis in serving both eastern and Lexington I think it’d be hard to beat the solid barbecue from Clark’s Barbecue.

Ratings:
Atmosphere – 3 hogs
Pork – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 3.5 hogs
Overall – 3.5 hogs
Clark's Barbecue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday Find: The Case for North Carolina As The Barbecue Capital Of The World

Eater and The Southern Foodways Alliance visit Ayden, NC:

This week’s pick from Southern Foodways Alliance’s documentary program profiles Skylight Inn BBQ, once named the “capital of barbecue” in America by National Geographic. The all-wood, whole-pig production at Skylight Inn has been family-run for three generations, and it’s renown (for quality, flavor, and values) extends far beyond the city limits of Ayden, North Carolina.

Monk

Linkdown: 8/3/16

– Congratulations to Buxton Hall on being named one of Bon Appétit’s 50 Best New Restaurants (full list here)

– Washington Post critic Jim Shahin visits the barbecue scene in Charleston and calls it “the future of barbecue”

– Extra Crispy has a new bacon critic and he leans on two folks for advice heading into the job: Texas Monthly’s barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn and the Denver Post’s cannabis critic Jake Browne

– The Raleigh News & Observer is doing a “Best-Kept Secrets” series of articles and has one on barbecue

– The story of a “cowboy barbecue” at the Fortuna Cowboy Rodeo in California

– While Grant and his family moved to Chattanooga a few weeks back, his impressive backlog of stories about Atlanta-area restaurants is just now winding down; as he now shifts his focus to his new home, he looks back on his favorite Atlanta restaurants, including two barbecue joints: Old Brick Pit and Heirloom Market

– The Smoking Ho joined the Chicago-based Man Meat BBQ podcast for a conversation recently

– City Barbeque is opening their first Charlotte-area restaurant later this month; check out Speedy’s review of the Cary location here

– Beer and barbecue, pt 1

– Beer and barbecue, pt 2

– A Toronto Star travel writer visits Picnic in Durham and calls it a “bellwether for social change”

House Bill 2 (a.k.a. HB2, a.k.a. “the bathroom law”) exploded out of nowhere in March. Dickson promptly ordered new bathroom signage showing Picnic’s disdain for the state government edict that people must go to washrooms that match the gender on their birth certificate.

Thing is, the law only applies to public buildings and schools, not private businesses. North Carolina, he says, has a “proud tradition of being a progressive Southern state,” and HB2 is not a true reflection of it.

Carolina Bar-B-Q – Statesville, NC

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Name
: Carolina Bar-B-Q
Date: 7/19/16
Address: 213 Salisbury Rd, Statesville, NC 28677
Order: Regular chopped barbecue pork dinner with baked beans, barbecue slaw, hush puppies, and Cheerwine (link to menu)
Price: $11

Monk: About 3 years BBB (before barbecue blog) – that’s 7 years ago in layman’s speak – I tried Carolina Bar-B-Q on a lark while heading back to Charlotte from a day tubing on the New River. I don’t recall a ton about the meal other than generally liking it but the presence of it on the NC Historic Barbecue Trail has made it a target for a revisit on our neverending quest to try all of the joints on the trail.

Only about a mile off I-77 in Statesville (about an hour north of Charlotte), its hard to miss the joint. The building was opened by owners Gene and Linda Medlin in 1985 and has a  huge green roof and “CAROLINA BAR-B-Q” prominently displayed in white block letters.

Carolina Bar-B-Q is a Lexington-style joint (Statesville is about 40 due west of Lexington), and thus smokes pork shoulders before mixing a dip prior to serving. It’s offered either chopped or sliced and while I liked the chopped it is a little lean and lacks much fat or gristle mixed in. The lack of fat or gristle is a complaint apparently shared by Charles Kuralt calling it “too refined,” but a small note at the register says it’s available on request. I do wish it was noted on the menu itself, so that I would know to ask for it when placing my order. There wasn’t a lot of bark mixed in either but at this point I should know to ask for outside brown at a Lexington-style joint. Rookie mistake.

Speedy: Monk, Monk – you never learn! But a little bark mixed in, whether requested or not, is a sign of a truly superior ‘cue joint. Not including it in a standard order shouldn’t be excused.

Monk: You do get a choice of coleslaw or barbecue slaw, and the barbecue slaw was a pretty standard version. The beans were passable, though they did remind me of Bush’s from a can. The hush puppies were perfectly fried and the best of the sides.

Speedy: True Lexington style joints don’t even offer coleslaw. Just sayin’…

Monk: Fair point. Carolina Bar-B-Q is a barbecue joint reminiscent of a few we’ve tried on the NC Historic Barbecue Trail – solid but unspectacular. All in all, I’d say its still worth a stop for sure.

Ratings:
Atmosphere – 3 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 3 hogs
Carolina Bar-B-Q Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Carolina Bar-B-Q