Bar-B-Que House – Oak Island, NC

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Name: Bar-B-Que House
Date: 8/19/16
Address: 5002 East Oak Island Dr., Oak Island, NC 28465
Order: Medium chopped pork tray, red slaw, brunswick stew, hush puppies, and drink (link to menu)
Price: ~$14

Monk: On our recent family vacation, I promised Mrs Monk that we only had to eat at one barbecue restaurant (not that there is a ton of options right at the coast anyways). In Oak Island, there is really only one option and that is Bar-B-Que House, the self-proclaimed “best barbecue on the beach” with additional locations in North Myrtle and Surfside Beach. There was a bit of a wait on the Friday night that we came in, so it’s clearly a pretty popular place with the locals and tourists.

As for my order, the chopped pork had some bark but overall was pretty bland despite the chunks of bark mixed in. Perhaps more rub was needed. As a result, the pork was more or less naked and required the addition of one of the sauces – mustard, Lexington, eastern, “house”, and “spicy house”. I tried both the Lexington and eastern and found the pork passable once they were mixed in.

In keeping with having it both ways, red slaw and white slaw are both an option, and I found the red slaw to be a decent version. Being that it was late August and 90+ degrees out, Brunswick stew probably didn’t make the most sense but I have decided that I need to expand my limited knowledge when it comes to Brunswick stew. This was an inauspicious start – while the stew had good flavor, the veggies used had clearly been frozen. Each plate comes with 4 hush puppies, and I stole more from the Monkette’s plate that she wasn’t going to eat anyways.

So Bar-B-Que House isn’t a bad option per se if you are in the Oak Island/Holden Beach area. However, if you are up the road in Southport I’ve found Southport Smokehouse to be a better barbecue option at the beach.

Ratings:
Atmosphere – 2.5 hogs
Pork – 2.5 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs
Bar-B-Que House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday Find: Why The Best Southern Barbecue Takes Weeks to Make

Another Eater and Southern Foodways Alliance video

Rodney Scott cooked his first whole pig at 11 years old, sealing his fate to become a barbecue pit master. Today, he runs the pit his parents — Roosevelt and Ella — opened in a converted garage in 1972: Scott’s BBQ, in Hemingway, South Carolina. Watch the video above from the Southern Foodways Alliance to learn more.

Linkdown: 8/24/16

– Buxton Hall is going to NYC in September as part of the Bon Appetit Hot 10 (believe thats their fried chicken sandwich in the photo)

– More coverage of the NC BBQ Revival from tv station WRAL and Eater

– The North Carolina 100 (which posts 100 word “stories”, but thats for another day) list of their favorite barbecue joints

– Barbecue man Evan LeRoy is leaving Freedmen’s Bar to start his own place

– Where to eat barbecue in Austin when you don’t want to endure the line at Franklin

– Also from Eater (I may have missed this from June, can’t remember), an Austin barbecue primer that includes a brief and incomplete history of barbecue in Austin

A seismic shift in Central Texas barbecue lore began in the early aughts with John Mueller’s spot on Manor Road 2001 (yes, related to the Taylor Muellers). He opened the restaurant with little fanfare, but drew loyal crowds and acclaim for five years despite battles with personal issues and middling profits. Mueller also famously employed Aaron Franklin at the register (not on the pit) and the prep station, leading to Franklin’s $1,000 purchase of Mueller’s old pit for what would become the Franklin Barbecue trailer.

– The new Midwood SmokeShack opened out of the blue last Thursday

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

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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