Monk: Albemarle, NC is a small town of less than 16,000 about an hour east of Charlotte on the Pee Dee River and bordering the Uwharrie National Forest. It’s also home to two well-regarded classic NC barbecue joints, each one stemming from the same family.
Lonnie Doby opened Whispering Pines in 1945 and later married Lavada Galloway. Lavada’s sister Edith and brother Darrell worked at Whispering Pines for some time before Edith and Darrell left to open Darrell’s BBQ in nearby Rockwell. Eventually, Edith purchased the building for Wink’s Barbecue in 1991 with one of her sons and renamed it to Log Cabin Bar-B-Que. We’ll get to Whispering Pines soon, but we’ll start with Log Cabin BBQ this week.
Log Cabin is not just a clever name, and dark wood lines the interior of the restaurant which is more or less your classic NC barbecue restaurant setup with waitress-serviced tables where you pay up front.
What wasn’t clear was whether or not Log Cabin was a classic NC joint that still smoked with wood. True ‘Cue lists Log Cabin as an all wood-smoked joint but The Great NC BBQ Map says its a wood-assisted gasser. Out back is a big enclosed smokehouse, however I wasn’t able to place eyes on their setup to confirm which source had their information right. After some digging, it appears that The Great NC BBQ Map had it right (I believe they called each restaurant to confirm cooking method, so makes sense) and Log Cabin uses what looks to be a Southern Pride rotisserie based on the smoker photos I could find.
Nevertheless, the chopped pork that came out had decent smoke and with some dashes of the table vinegar sauce it really sang.
Log Cabin offers both a red and a white slaw though their red slaw curiously came with bits of diced green peppers, something I hadn’t seen before. The freshly-fried hush puppies came in larger orbs and only 3 per tray but were quite good.
While Log Cabin BBQ may not be carrying on the tradition of wood-smoked North Carolina barbecue, they do serve some great pork. Plus, it’s part of a great story of a family’s barbecue legacy that isn’t too widely known from what I can see.
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 3.5 hogs
Overall – 3.5 hogs