Friday Find:’s Best BBQ Pork Sandwich in North Carolina


In case you missed it – we were fortunate enough to be considered “experts” (shh…don’t tell them) alongside some real experts – Mackensy Lunsford of the Asheville Citizen-Times, John Shelton Reed of True Cue, Jennifer Daskevich of Sandwich America, and The World’s Extreme Chef Terry French – and submitted nominees for‘s Best BBQ Pork Sandwich in NC. Voting ends June 6 at 12pm ET.



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Linkdown: 5/18/16

– Per Raleigh Eats, Ed Mitchell’s Que is returning, this time to the Brier Creek neighborhood in Raleigh

– Southern Smoke BBQ in Garland is one of 6 Farm-to-Table Restaurants in Eastern NC to Try This Summer

Matthew and Jessica work with farms in their area and around the state to source the best and freshest seasonal ingredients for their businesses. Matthew works with a young farmer named Caleb Johnson, a graduate of North Carolina State University, and his farm: AJ Family Farms. He will check in with Caleb regularly to see what’s in season, and come up with dishes based on the weather. “I buy whatever he’s got,” Matthew says of Caleb’s farm. “Last week he had beautiful green tomatoes, so we did a corn and green tomato succotash over grits. That’s kind of my approach.”

– John Shelton Reed thinks NC needs a new holiday commemorating the Wilmington Barbecue of 1766

– Mac’s Speed Shop in Charlotte may be expanding its original South End location

– Brisket +Tacos = Crazy Delicious

An excerpt from Rien Fertel’s new book “The One True Barbecue” on Ricky Scott

– Speaking of Fertel’s new book, Rodney Scott is bringing his whole hog to Charleston’s Butcher & Bee for a book signing

– However, not all reactions to “The One True Barbecue” have been positive; Ed Mitchell and Wilber Shirley each took exception to how there were portrayed negatively in the book but not interviewed for it

– Buxton Hall Barbecue is throwing a 5 course dinner with whiskey, beer, and barbecue:

Linkdown: 1/13/16

– Now open as of this past Monday:

Some jerk stole Ashley Christensen’s smoker (a  gift from  Nick Pihakis) and here’s how to spot it if you happen to come across one similar

This one has bright red, heavy steel latches on the front that my uncle Marty fabricated and installed after the cooker arrived and we discovered that the existing latches were a little light duty for the hard-core nature of the cooker.

It has a large handle on one side that allows a single person to flip a 200-pound pig (which comes in handy in the middle of the night when all of your whiskey-drinking “assisting” pals have passed out in lawn chairs by the fire barrel). It also has a wood compartment on the trailer, sick-shiny chrome rims, and three chimneys.

– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits Peak Brothers Bar-B-Q in Waverly, KY and has his favorite meal of his Kentucky trip

In praise of barbecue chicken, the so-called “second fiddle of the barbecue world”, by Robert Moss

– The Panthers are selling a 15-1 burger topped with 15 oz of pulled pork for $15.01 at this weekend’s game (h/t)

– You can earn $1000 and help Home Team BBQ of Charleston by finding and turning in a missing notebook with key information on their upcoming location

Friday Find: Pork Chart Print

UPDATE: Use code CTRLZ to get another 10% off until the morning of 11/8

Just in time to start the holiday shopping season, the curated site Huckberry is running a clearance sale of up to 70% and it includes the above 9″ x 12″ pork chart print (sans frame) on sale for $20.98 (down from $35). Would make a good companion piece to the Great NC Barbecue Map poster.

There was a time when if you needed to buy meat you would just head down to your local butcher and see what he had freshly cut up   The man in the white apron could tell you about the local farm where the pig was raised and make a recommendation for what you wanted to prepare. Inspired by an old-fashioned butcher’s chart, this letterpress print reminds us that knowing the different cuts of pork can help determine the best selection for a dish, cooking method or flavor profile.


  • Individually rolled letterpress print
  • Made with custom plates for a deep, crisp imprint
  • Duplexed with a second sheet to create a 220lb finish
  • Original Bearings hand-drawn image
  • Frame not included

Link (Not a member of Huckberry? Feel free to join via my link to get access.)



Friday Find: The Great NC Beer Map

The folks behind The Great NC BBQ Map have a new project and this time they turn their focus to NC beer. And it appears to be a slightly less daunting task than last time around, with only around 160 breweries across the state compared to the 434 barbecue joints they found.

EDIA Maps have returned to Kickstarter to fund this project, and as of this writing they are almost halfway to their $7,500 goal with 28 days to go. As always, there are tiers to the funding, but just $10 will get you a folded map and sticker and it goes up from there. The NC BBQ Map is a go-to resource for me and I can’t wait to see what they do with beer.


Friday Find: A City Built on Barbecue (Gravy Podcast ep 15)

Many cities claim to be barbecue capitals (Ayden, Lockhart, Austin, Murphysboro, Owensboro, etc) but how many can claim to have barbecue pits attached to its City Hall. For Lexington that’s exactly the case, as barbecue pits were uncovered earlier this year during renovations to City Hall. Sarah Delia of WFAE in Charlotte weaves barbecue, government, and history all into a fantastic report for the Gravy podcast.

The pits belonged to Beck’s Barbecue, an important branch in the Lexington barbecue tree. Alton Beck originally bought the pits from Sid Weaver, a founding father of Lexington-style barbecue and believed to be the first man to make a living off barbecue in the city. Beck was also friends and neighbors with Warner Stamey, who introduced hush puppies to barbecue. Warner’s son Charles (whose son Chip now runs Stamey’s in Greensboro) recalls going to Beck’s as a kid in an interview in the podcast.

The city of Lexington is moving forward with preserving the pits and incorporating them into the design of their new office space with the help of an architecture firm from Charlotte, Shook Kelley. Which I am happy to see, because NC has a trend of moving away from its history (see: the number of gas burning barbecue restaurants, even in Lexington). As John Shelton Reed (co-author of Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue and co-founder of True Cue) notes in the podcast, “I’m not actually sure we [North Carolinians] are all that interested in the history of it…we are [mostly] interested in the food.” Thankfully, in this case North Carolina is taking an important step in not only preserving but also showcasing its barbecue heritage. Hopefully its the start of a trend in the right direction.


Congrats to Johnny Fugitt on his new book, The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America!

front cover

Congrats to our friend Johnny Fugitt (aka Barbecue Rankings) on today’s release of his book, The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America. Speedy and I were fortunate enough to meet up with Johnny last year on his way through Charlotte and we couldn’t have met a nicer person (or one more passionate about barbecue). I can’t wait to get my hands on the book to see all  of his rankings and where some of my favorites (both NC and beyond) landed on the list (or not, as the case may be).

Order from Amazon today

In one year, barbecue critic Johnny Fugitt visited 365 barbecue restaurants across 48 states. The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America chronicles the journey, shares secrets of barbecue legends and points you to America’s best plates of barbecue. Educational, humorous and hunger-inducing, this book raises the bar for investigative food journalism. Caution: Side effects of this book may include late night cravings, spontaneous road trips and the meat sweats. Not all material may be appropriate for vegetarians. Carnivore discretion is advised.



Old school North Carolina barbecue is divided into two distinct regions and styles.  Eastern Carolina style, centered around the small towns of Greenville, Ayden, Goldsboro and Wilson, feature the whole hog with lip smackin’ vinegar sauce.  Western Carolina style (or Lexington Style) barbecue adds a bit of ketchup to the sauce and primarily uses pork shoulders.  There’s not a lot of variety as pretty much every old school barbecue joint’s go-to is the pork sandwich with slaw and hush puppies.  Sometimes the only seeming difference between these places is the color of the checkered tablecloths.

After visiting Midwood and Mac’s in Charlotte, I headed over to Charlotte’s most famous old school Western Carolina style spot: Bill Spoon’s.

I then headed north towards Salisbury, Lexington, Winston-Salem and Greensboro to visit the storied houses of Western North Carolina barbecue.  There were slight variations between Lexington Barbecue, Richard’s Bar-B-Q, Little Richard’s and Stamey’s in the slaw, texture of the pork and feel of the restaurants, but none of these classic places have strayed too far from what made them famous.

I don’t want to tip my cards on these famous spots so you are going to have to wait until The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America book comes out to see how they all stack up against each other and hundreds of other barbecue restaurants across the country.

Good write up and photos, but Bill Spoon’s is actually an eastern NC joint despite it’s Charlotte location. They cook the entire hog and their vinegar-based sauce doesn’t contain any tomatoes or ketchup. Their slaw, however, is another story as it is mustard-based and thus really neither eastern or western.


Smoky, smoky mountains: The changing face of North Carolina barbecue

A fairly lengthy article (too long and well researched for just a simple inclusion in a linkdown) on the history of mountain barbecue in western North Carolina and where it may be heading. Definitely worth a read.


Smoky, smoky mountains: The changing face of North Carolina barbecue

The Best Barbecue in North Carolina and Beyond with the Barbecue Bros!


Straight out of North Carolina, the Barbecue Bros are experts in this delicious pork concoction, bringing you some amazing reviews and recommendations on where to find the best BBQ. Monk, Rudy, and Speedy are the masterminds behind this one-of-a-kind blog, all three having extensive experience and knowledge in all things barbecue. Hailing from High Point, NC, and having attended high school together, the bros are actually now living in different places themselves (Monk and Speedy in Charlotte, Rudy in Austin, TX). However, their love for all things barbecue kept the trio together, and now they actually use this geographically diverse setting as a way to spread even more barbecue goodness on the site. As much as they love the delicious pork dish, the bros were getting frustrated with all of the unsatisfactory reviews they found of BBQ joints around their area, and decided to finally take matters into their own hands, thus creating the Barbecue Bros blog. Here, you can find fantastic reviews, recommendations, tips, and more on all things barbecue, both in North Carolina and beyond. You can start by clicking on the Charlotte Rankings tab, which gives you a hefty list of the top spots for BBQ in and around Charlotte; each review complete with great, insightful information as well as some mouth-watering photographs.  Otherwise, you can click on the Map of Joints to take a look at all the places that these boys have covered across the country. Another cool category is The North Carolina Historic Barbecue Trail, which gives you a list of all the historic BBQ places in the state, all of which the bros are attempting to have eaten at by the end of 2014. Be sure you check out this wonderful site, especially if you love barbeque too!

Barbecue Bros the blog!

Barbecue Bros the Facebook page!

Barbecue Bros Twitter!

Barbecue Bros’ list of favorite restaurants at!

Be sure to also check out Facebook page and follow us onTwitter!

Thanks to TheBesty for a nice profile on our site! And be on the lookout for possibly more from them on us…


The Best Barbecue in North Carolina and Beyond with the Barbecue Bros!