Monk’s 10 Favorite Barbecue Meals of 2017

Trying something new: a year-end list for my favorite barbecue meals of the year. I used to do this for music, film, and tv but in recent years that has fallen off. Perhaps this will stoke the coals of my list-making motivation in other areas, but at the very least its worth documenting the hobby which has taken up so much of my (and my poor wife’s) free time for the past 5.5 years. Come to think of it, the timeline of this blog lines up almost perfectly with my drop off in listmaking…

In any case, hope you enjoy. This will conclude our reviews and original content for 2017, but we will be back in 2018.

Monk

10. Swig & Swine – 4 hogs (review)

The Summerville location of Swig & Swine included a whole hog smoker (whereas their West Ashley location does not have enough space for one), following the popular trend of the past few years. The whole hog was quite good but their brisket and hash and rice wasn’t too bad either, 1990 Old Trolley Rd, Summerville, SC 29485 swigandswinebbq.com

9. Hill’s Lexington Barbecue – 4 hogs (review)

Hill’s claims to be the original “Lexington Barbecue” in name (but definitely not first to serve in that style). They may be a notch below the better places in Lexington, but they are certainly not doing the style any disservice. 4005 Patterson Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27105 

8. Barbee’s Barbecue – 4 hogs (review)

This was truly a surprise for me. I kinda-sorta knew of this place and had passed by it many times , but I had no idea it would be (as I referred to it in my review) “the platonic ideal of the NC roadside barbecue shack”. A must visit, if only to step back in time a bit. Glenn Falls St, Peachland, NC 28133

7. Bill Spoon’s Barbecue – 4 hogs (review)

In 2017, I am happy to say that I rediscovered Bill Spoon’s after a few years away. It’s about as close as we have to a barbecue institution in Charlotte (54 years and counting), and though they are an eastern NC joint and I’m a Lexington-style fanboy, I simply believe that I need to go more often. 5524 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28217 spoonsbarbecue.com

6. Rodney Scott’s BBQ – 4 hogs (review)

While my expectations of the brand new Rodney Scott’s BBQ were sky high, I must say that the whole hog didn’t quite match the perfection of Scott’s BBQ back in Hemingway. Nevertheless, taking it for what it’s worth, we should all be glad that Rodney Scott has made his pork accessible without having to drive in the middle of the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. 1011 King St, Charleston, SC 29403 rodneyscottsbbq.com

5. Bar-B-Q King – 4.5 hogs (review)

Bar-B-Q King is another NC barbecue institution, though I only discovered it in early 2017. They do seem to be a little underrated on the NC barbecue scene despite smoking over wood for the past 46 years. Hopefully this will change. 2613 E Main St, Lincolnton, NC 28092 barbqkingnc.com

4. B’s Cracklin’ Barbeque – 4.5 hogs (review)

B’s Cracklin’ Barbeque was just named best restaurant in Atlanta by Eater (note no “barbecue” modifier), and for good reason. Bryan Furman is another one of the torch bearers of whole hog barbecue, but don’t sleep on his brisket or hash and rice. 2061 Main St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318 bscracklinbbq.com

3. Jon G’s BBQ – 4.5 hogs (review)

It appears that Jon G’s has taken a well-deserved break due to the birth of Garren and his wife Kelly’s first child, but I can’t wait until they are back out there slinging some legit Texas-style brisket out of their recently-purchased food truck. Marshville, NC facebook.com/JonGsBBQ

2. Lewis Barbecue – 4.5 hogs (review)

Unlike Rudy and Speedy, I hadn’t really had a taste of true Central Texas barbecue since I sadly haven’t made it out there since the start of the blog. That recently changed earlier this year because John Lewis (formerly of La Barbecue) brought central Texas to Charleston and I tasted is sublime brisket. All hail the king, apparently. 464 N Nassau St, Charleston, SC 29403 lewisbarbecue.com

1. Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge – 5 hogs (review)

In a year where I did not have a meal at Lexington Barbecue (my ride or die) Red Bridges is going to easily take the #1 spot on this list. Sadly, it had been nearly 4 years since my last visit but rest assured, it won’t be that long before my next. After 70+ years, they’ve still got it. 2000 E Dixon Blvd, Shelby, NC 28152 bridgesbbq.com

Honorable Mentions: The Smoke Pit – Salisbury, NC (review), DAS BBQ – Atlanta, GA (review)

8 thoughts on “Monk’s 10 Favorite Barbecue Meals of 2017

  1. You should try BBQ King in Charlotte. It is a local legend, especially among police and firemen, and way better than the one in Lincolnton. They are completely unrelated!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with some of your picks but you have left out the best and most legendary BBQ places in the state

    Lexington BBQ (the original all others are imposters)

    Hillbilly BBQ in Lowell NC

    Skylight Inn in Aryden NC

    Hershey BBQ in Burlington NC

    R&R BBQ in Concord NC

    all of these should be considered

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment, Shane. You’ve got some good suggestions but the point of this particular list was a ranking of the places where I actually ate in 2017, and as much as I try I can’t make it everywhere.

      I will say, Lexington Barbecue is my all-time #1 but again, I unfortunately didn’t make it there in 2017 (as I mentioned in the Red Bridges commentary). Same with Skylight Inn in Ayden or Hershey BBQ.

      I have to disagree with your suggestions Hillbilly BBQ and R&R BBQ, as I had previously visited both of them and was not impressed. I likely won’t be making a return trip anytime soon:
      https://barbecuebros.co/2015/01/26/hillbillys-bbq-steaks-lowell-nc/
      https://barbecuebros.co/2014/02/10/r-r-bar-b-que-concord-nc/

      Liked by 1 person

      • Okay sir, I will not argue anything against anything in your statement. R&R or Hillybilly may not suite your taste. But you did acknowledge the original Lexington BBQ as the gold standard by which all Pit cooked bbq is judged against. Now I love Jon G’s brisket. It is hands down the best I have ever eaten. I know Garren and Kelly personally. I also enjoy Barbee’s as I live not far from there. I have no connection to Lexington BBQ and live 2 hours from it. It’s just my personal favorite. Excellent ratings sir. But there was one you left off the list I am very happy with. Troutman’S BBQ in Granite Quarry NC. Trust me son, it’s bad. Not worth a trip.

        Liked by 1 person

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