Linkdown: 4/28/21

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Mr. Barbecue re-opened last month after two years of closure due to a fire, but thankfully owner Jimmy Carros never considered either a) closing or b) not rebuilding the wood-burning smoke pits. To quote him from the Eater story below:

“The thought never really entered my mind,” Carros said.

“The flavor that you get from the wood-burning pits is not easily matched,” he explained. “I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I’m not sure I can do it.”


As a classic NC barbecue fan and one who enjoyed his visit to Mr. Barbecue a few months before the fire, I heap the highest of praise to Carros for that thinking. And others appreciate it too, as Mr. Barbecue was recently recognized in the Eater’s Carolinas list of best restaurants in Winston-Salem.

Mr. Barbecue is currently open for drive-thru orders only.

Native News

Thank goodness Grady’s made it out of the pandemic; now I just need to get there

In what was (somewhat embarrassingly) one of the oldest barbecue restaurant’s in Charlotte, the Tyvola Rd. outpost of the Sonny’s BBQ chain closes this Friday

K&N BBQ makes Axios Charlotte’s list of best food trucks; and they recommend you try the pork and brisket

Picnic and Bullock’s Bar-B-Cue make Eater’s list for Durham

Adam Richman (of Man vs Food fame) visited Midwood Smokehouse last week

Non-Native News

Black Smoke is now out, and this in except from the book; the story of Marie Jean of Pine Bluff, AR and her role in barbecue history is uncovered

John Tanner’s Barbecue Page has a fascinating story about barbecue and the law in the landmark case of Katzenbach v. McClung and Ollie’s in Birmingham

Robert Sietsema releases his latest barbecue list for NYC for Eater

Sietsema’s also got the deets on where to get a Frito Pie in NYC, including Mable’s Smokehouse in Williamsburg

I’m seeing the house made sausage trend in NC more too

Congrats to Eliana Gutierrez for one year as a pitmaster at Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

2 thoughts on “Linkdown: 4/28/21

  1. Sonny’s Bar-B-Q and I grew up together in Gainesville, Florida, where the chain started in 1969. For the first 20 years Sonny’s was a blue-collar place that had open pits at each location, only two sauces (regular and hot), and a very limited menu with no alcohol. As they tried to move away from their redneck roots the quality of the barbecue suffered – – first from a move to smokers, later to a vastly expanded menu catering to yuppies and finally to alcohol sales. The last few times I ate at Sonny’s in Charlotte locations the meat tasted like warmed-over cold cuts brought in by food trucks, and a “sweet” sauce had replaced the original sauce Sonny Tillman had concocted back at the beginning.

    For most of its history it was good barbecue. These days, no. It’s crap now and I won’t eat there, remembering how good it was.

    As far as I’m concerned, if a barbecue restaurant turns its nose up at a customer wearing bib overalls and a gimme cap, they’re not worth my business.

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