“The east/west split dates back to when there were very few people in the mountains, so east really means east of Raleigh where the coastal plains start and west the Piedmont foothills,” said Tom Hanchett, a historian at the city’s Levine Museum of the New South and expert on Southern food, who joined me for lunch. “Charlotte is not really in either part, it’s a city of newcomers and we have other people’s barbecue. One of our most popular restaurants is Georgia-style and we have a lot of Latino and even Vietnamese barbecue, so having Bill Spoon’s here is very special. It’s eastern, whole hog with some hot pepper in the vinegar.”
– If you happened to be at 12 Bones in Asheville yesterday, you may have seen a Travel Channel crew filming at the restaurant to cover the “Hogzilla” sandwich, “a bacon, bratwurst and pulled pork sandwich which Garden and Gun magazine named one of the top in the country,” for an upcoming show “Sandwich Paradise”
– Q 4 Fun has a review of Sauceman’s BBQ
– This month’s Carolina ‘Cue in Our State Magazine is Little Pigs in Asheville
Hence, Little Pigs BBQ was actually just one of more than a hundred Little Pigs Barbecue of America franchises. “Those guys were good business guys but they didn’t know food,” Joe says. Back in the ’60s, the concept of fast food was just coming into its own. McDonald’s got its start in the ’40s as a barbecue restaurant, but switched over to burgers because the slow process of making barbecue was hard to replicate on a national scale. Little Pigs Barbecue of America only turned a profit for one year, 1963, and by 1967, the franchise was bankrupt. Barbecue was too hard to homogenize.
But Joe kept his restaurant open. He started doing things his own way. He’d already been offering barbecue sandwiches at a buy-one-get-one-free deal, and the line was out the door on the first day. If customers couldn’t make it to Little Pigs, Joe would bring his food to them.
– Want this so hard
— @LuellasBBQ (@LuellasBBQ)