Name: Bobbee-O’s BBQ
Location: 8432 Old Statesville Road, Charlotte, NC
Order: Pulled Pork and Brisket platter with cole slaw and collards, half-rack of St. Louis ribs, 3 whole chicken wings (link to menu)
Speedy: How’d you hear of this place?
Monk: I literally searched on Yelp for Charlotte’s best BBQ places, and this was #1 on the list.
Speedy: Haven’t you learned not to trust Yelpers when it comes to BBQ?
Monk (hanging head in shame): I have now.
Speedy: Regardless, it was a new place to try. I was actually pretty pumped when we walked into this place. It’s a hole-in-the wall joint in an obscure shopping center. It’s very understated inside, with just a couple of crappy tables and a cashier to take your order. If I’ve learned anything in my years of eating barbecue, it’s that the dumpier the place, the better the ‘cue. At least usually…
Monk: Taking a look at the menu, they had the barbecue mainstays – pulled pork, brisket, both St. Louis and baby back ribs, mac and cheese, collards, etc – but no hush puppies! How can a restaurant call rightfully call itself a barbecue joint with no hush puppies? However, unphased by this glaring omission, I ordered the pulled pork and brisket combo with sides of collards and cole slaw while Speedy ordered a half-rack of ribs, three chicken wings, and a corn-bread muffin. However, they were out of corn-bread muffins; another ominous sign…
Speedy: The food came out pretty promptly, and everything looked pretty appetizing, save the cole slaw.
Monk: Oh no, not this again…
Speedy: Everyone knows that barbecue slaw should be vinegar based! Mayonnaise just doesn’t belong in the barbecue world!
Monk: Don’t forget to tell them about the “wings”.
Speedy (now irate): Oh yeah! The wings were fried! If you call yourself a barbecue restaurant, and you have wings on the menu, they need to be smoked!
Monk: Speaking of smoked, did you see the smoker out back?
Speedy: No, I didn’t.
Monk: That’s because it doesn’t exist!
Speedy: I thought the flavor was a little lacking.
Monk: The pulled pork was decent enough. It was eastern NC-style, vinegar-based with a slight kick due to the use of red pepper flakes. But you know, it just didn’t have that smokey, charcoal flavor that I like to taste in my ‘cue. In terms of pulled pork, I would consider it passable.
Speedy: I thought the brisket was actually pretty good. The sauce fit well with the beef, and it was plenty tender. The cut wasn’t too fatty. Brisket isn’t exactly a North Carolina specialty, so all things considered, I thought this was the highlight of the meal.
Monk: The ribs were probably second best. They were tender and falling off the bone, and the sweet sauce nicely complemented the meat. But again, there just wasn’t that underlying smoke flavor to really bring it home.
Speedy: The collards were collards. Not much more to say about that. And though I didn’t have any, the cole slaw was disgusting.
Monk (rolling eyes): Eh – it was fine.
Speedy: I guess that’s pretty much it. Next time, keep the Yelp suggestions to yourself.
Monk (once again hanging head in shame): …
Ratings (out of 5 whole hogs):
Atmosphere/ambiance – 2 hogs
Pork – 2 hogs
Brisket – 3.5 hogs
Ribs – 3 hogs
Wings – 0 hogs
Sides – 1 hog
Overall – 2.5 hogs