Name: Lancaster’s Bar-B-Que
Address: 9230 Beatties Ford Rd, Huntersville, NC 28078
Order: Eastern style BBQ pork and sliced brisket with slaw, Brunswick stew and hush puppies (link to menu)
Monk: My Charlotte revisit continues this week with Lancaster’s Bar-B-Que in Huntersville. Lancaster’s first location is 20 miles away in Mooresville (aka “Race City USA”) where the original was opened in 1986 but before being moved to the current location in 1992. This Huntersville location opened in 2006 in the historic Puckett’s Gas Station & General Store. With the original location having opened in 1986, I believe that makes it one of the oldest barbecue restaurants in the Charlotte area along with Bubba’s Barbecue which also opened in 1986 in the old Bill Spoon’s Barbecue location before moving to its current location on Sunset Road.
I made my first visit back since 2014, and it appears they toned down the NASCAR decor as part of a 2014 facelift some time after my visit.
As for the barbecue, it was lean, not smoky, and coarsely chopped. It had some pepper flakes but no vinegar unless you add in the vinegar pepper table sauce. Does that make it eastern style as they advertise? They certainly don’t smoke a whole hog and they cook on a gasser with added wood according to my trusty NC BBQ Map (RIP EDIA Maps, the maker of it) .
I did order a second meat on this day and since fried chicken would have taken 30 minutes to fry (per the waitress), I bravely tried their brisket. It came out thinly sliced, finished on the grill, and doused in a sweet sauce. No bueno.
The hush puppies came in a manageable number in small cardboard tray and was easily the best part of the meal. The Brunswick stew was tasty although I have a hankering that veggies were frozen. The mustard slaw was reminiscent of Bill Spoon’s Barbecue.
I should also mention that Lancaster’s had some controversy in 2018 when they were sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) because of alleged racial discrimination against a former employee. That employee worked at the Mooresville location but I haven’t found any resolution to that case in my research.
So where does that leave Lancaster’s Bar-B-Que? The rest of the menu is very much a Southern food restaurant with wings, burgers, fish camp fare like fried fish and shrimp, and on that criteria perhaps its more successful. In terms of barbecue, between its lackluster cue and potentially problematic workplace issues you can continue to look elsewhere.
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3 hogs
Pork – 2.5 hogs
Brisket – 1.5 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 2 Hogs