Monk: It’s no surprise that Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge in Shelby has long been a favorite of the Barbecue Bros, and for good reason. They have been in business for 78 years and still cook over wood the old fashioned way. Not to mention they have consistently delivered for me personally every visit over the past 15 years I’ve regularly been eating there. The below photo is the wood stack closest to the building but is by no means the entirety of their wood, 95% of which is stacked out back behind the parking lot.
I recently stopped in with the family and Monks-in-Law, and that usual consistency was on display. The chopped pork tray had the right chop and tang from the dip, the red slaw had a great balance between tang and crunch, and the hush puppies were crispy and fresh.
But my next time in Shelby, I won’t be visiting Red Bridges. I’ve received feedback that I should consider revisiting Alston Bridges Barbecue, which I visited for the first and only time over 10 years ago in 2013. From my experience, Shelby locals tend to favor Alston Bridges (at least the ones I know), and a recent video from The Carolina Foodie compared Alston’s to Red Bridges as well as Lexington Barbecue. He found the barbecue to be similar at both Alston’s and Red’s, which is slightly surprising to me since my understanding is that Alston’s cooks over gas. He also couldn’t pick between the slaw and hush puppies either. So I’ve got quite a good meal waiting for me at Alston’s. I can’t wait to try.