Friday Find: “How Filipino Pitmaster Johneric Concordia Makes Some of the Best Barbecue in LA”

Monk: Johneric uses Filipino flavoring in a Cookshack smoker at The Park’s Finest BBQ in Los Angeles to produce some delicious barbecue to feed the locals in Angelino Heights in LA.

Description: At The Park’s Finest in LA, the cuts of meat used in traditional American barbecue meet Filipino seasonings and sauces to make dishes like coconut beef, timuay beef tri-tip, and a smoked and seasoned meaty beef short rib.

Linkdown: 9/15/21

As of Monday, Robert Moss has officially launched his new digital publication Southeastern Dispatch, a “fresh look at food & drink in the Carolinas.” He has enlisted food journalists from both North and South Carolina, and so far posts have covered the Triangle and Charleston, with surely more cities and regions to be covered soon. I briefly spoke with him about this at Jon G’s Barbecue last month and have been intrigued ever since. I am curious what this mean’s for his weekly Cue Sheet barbecue newsletter, which took a brief hiatus but returned this week post launch.

Read more at SoutheasternDispatch.com.

Native News

Jon G’s Barbecue, Lawrence Barbecue, and Prime Barbecue all make this list from Southern Living

For his new Southeastern Dispatch, Moss also examines what happened to Raleigh’s barbecue boom?

Indian Trail’s 100 Main Beef and Barbecue is now both a barbecue restaurant and a country store

Barvecue, the wood-smoked plan-based barbecue company out of Cornelius, is rolling out to 12 colleges and universities and just signed a deal with Sprouts Farmers Market

A&G’s Barbecue & Chicken in Carolina Beach to close this week after 33 years in business as owner Angela Stainaker retires; the restaurant will be taken over by Tammy and John Sharpe, who will reopen the location as Butts ‘n’ Such

Non-Native News

The Washington Post is also featuring vegan barbecue

The Smoke Sheet interviewed Daniel Vaughn in last week’s issue

Now that’s a #woodpilewednesday

Checking In: Sweet Lew’s Barbeque

Monk: While our official (and thus far only) review of Sweet Lew’s Barbeque is from 2018, between pop-ups with Bryan Furman, Patio Parties, and new specials, there is usually a good reason to check out Sweet Lew’s every couple of weeks or months.

Lewis Donald and team are constantly making improvements to the experience and lately have been focusing on the exterior of the building. From the addition of flags from the US, North Carolina, and Texas (reminiscent of Noble Smoke) to the new covered patio providing much needed shade to the murals outside and in, the Sweet Lew’s of today is much different from how it started off in December 2018.

The murals (pictured in header image above) in particular are worth highlighting. The artist, SHE Originals, received a grant from the NoDa Neighborhood association to paint the three exterior walls as well as the inside, highlighting the history of the Belmont neighborhood. Take a look in detail next time you’re there.

Then of course there’s the menu and food itself. Lewis brought many of the popular daily specials in to the everyday menu. Of note is his take on barbecue hash. Much different than a midlands South Carolina hash with its use of beef in addition to pork (with no liver or pig offal in sight), its the only place in Charlotte that is serving any version of it. For me, this is a must order every time I visit.

On my most recent visit, the ribs were also a highlight. Each rib provided the perfect bite and were well balanced in terms of flavor.

A few years back, Sweet Lew’s moved to making their sausage in-house (with some tips provided by Garren of Jon G’s), and the recent results were really great. As was both the turkey (which I hadn’t previously tasted), the brisket (much improved from my last time), and chicken wings (perfectly done).

In all aspects, Sweet Lew’s continues to improve. The experience and ambiance is better all around and the food that Lewis Donald is putting out continues to evolve for the better. If it’s been awhile since you checked out Sweet Lew’s Barbeque, do yourself and see what they are doing on Belmont Ave. I don’t think you will be disappointed.