Monk: While my hunch is that I had roughly as much barbecue as last year, I suspect the ratio of mediocre barbecue to great barbecue was higher than in past years. There’s always highlights to pick out, but let’s hope next year is a more favorable ratio.
In alphabetical order:
Beef rib, brisket, pork ribs, Cheerwine hot link from Jon G’s Barbecue – Peachland, NC
Jon G’s remains the gold standard for the Charlotte area. And it seems that the rest of the southeast is starting to catch on with Eater Carolinas naming them “Barbecue Restaurant of the Year” and Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn raving about them in an article from mid 2021. The future for Garren and Kelly remain bright.
Chopped pork sandwich from Noble Smoke – Charlotte, NC
Some of the meats at Noble Smoke can be a little hit or miss for me, but the Lexington-style chopped barbecue sandwich is ever reliable.
Ribs and wings from Peg Leg Porker – Nashville, TN (link to review)
Speedy has said he often thinks the ribs at Peg Leg Porker are the best in the state of Tennessee, and who am I to argue? The full wings are also a must-order.
Ribs from Randy’s BBQ – Savannah, GA (link to review)
Randy’s ribs are a sub-regional variety with a sauce that I understand is found primarily in the Savannah area. It expanded my framework as to what barbecue is in different parts of the US.
Jones Family Original BBQ Tray from Sam Jones BBQ – Raleigh, NC (link to review)
Life-changing whole hog. So far I’ve only made it to Sam Jones’ outpost in Raleigh but I can’t wait to try this same tray at Skylight Inn this spring.
Sausage, wings, hash and rice, ribs, brisket, and turkey from Sweet Lew’s BBQ – Charlotte, NC (link to post)
Between the house-made sausage, the barbecue hash, and Lewis Donald’s ever-constant tweaking of his main meats, Sweet Lew’s continues to evolve, and I’m here for the the journey.
Chopped pork tray takeout from Whispering Pines – Albemarle, NC (link to review)
It’s a shame that Whispering Pines was takeout only but I’ll make the hour drive to Albemarle again I’m sure. Great Lexington-style barbecue.