Linkdown: 9/21/20

Featured

Sweet Lew’s Barbeque has started doing whole hog on Sundays as of this past Sunday, making it the only whole hog available in Charlotte smoked the old way.

The recently shuttered Bill Spoon’s cooked the whole hog but switched to gas smokers some years back. Here’s hoping whole hog Sundays catches on with Charlotte customers and Lewis Donald can continue to smoke whole hogs weekly (and maybe more frequently if its popular enough).

The price is $16/lb or $13 for a plate with two sides. This puts it just above Midwood Smokehouse ($13) and Jon G’s ($14) but below Noble Smoke ($18). Not bad, considering those are smoked pork shoulders compared with whole hog.

It certainly looks like Sweet Lew’s has been running through some wood, so hopefully I can pick up some whole hog next week for football.

Native News

The property that Bill Spoon’s sits on was sold for just over $1M last Friday, two days after it closed for good after 57 years (scroll down)

The Charlotte Observer’s Theoden James has the full story, and notes that the closing wasn’t because of the pandemic. Steve Spoon, Jr.: “There is no other source of income for mom-and-pop places. There’s no financial backing, there’s no partners, there’s no corporate money to be funded in when you are short. The customers are their only source of revenue, so if they don’t come, (they) have no safety net. You have to support ’em.”

Bargarita is not looking too promising

Non-Native News

Barbecue historian Jim Auchmutey was a consultant on Netflix’s “American Barbecue Showdown,” which filmed outside of Atlanta last year but was just released on Netflix

Rasheed Philips of Philips Barbeque Co appeared on “American Barbecue Showdown” and now has his own podcast

Robert Moss has updated his website ahead of the re-release of “Barbecue: The History of An American Institution, Revised and Expanded”

Braised in the South won Food Network’s “Food Truck Challenge” and is opening a restaurant in the Charleston area

Pappy’s Smokehouse is planning to open its second location in October

In LA and looking for barbecue? Kevin’s BBQ Joints has you covered

Snake River Farms is having a sale

Linkdown: 9/16/20

Featured

Monk: When I moved to Charlotte in 2005, I was surprised at the lack of barbecue options in town. Though had I been paying attention then as I do now, it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise. Mac’s Speed Shop was a fun option for awhile but eventually fell off a cliff after it jettisoned its original barbecue partner and began to expand too quickly. It wasn’t a few years living in Charlotte until I finally checked out Bill Spoon’s Barbecue on South Boulevard, and while the style of barbecue seemed out of place (eastern NC whole hog in the Piedmont?) it was clear to me that it was Charlotte’s classic barbecue joint.

Unfortunately, as of close of business today after 57 years in business, that will no longer be the case. It was announced on Facebook Monday by current owner Steve Spoon, who in 2006 bought it from his grandfather Bill and began operating the barbecue joint in much the same way he had since he opened it in 1963 (albeit in a different location than their current one on South Boulevard). Screw you 2020, and screw you COVID-19.

Kathleen Purvis summed it up perfectly with this poignant quote that doubles as a warning for us lovers of other classic joints: “If all the hard lessons of 2020’s season of terrible teaches us anything, it’s that: Those places don’t last, can’t last, if we don’t make sure of it.

Charlotte Magazine’s Greg Lacour also pitched in, noting that the restaurant was struggling before COVID and had been operating in takeout only mode for the past few months

Sadly, its taken the restaurant closing for Charlotte to show up again

Native News

Seoul Food Meat Co will open a second location in the Optimist Park neighborhood (not NoDa as noted in their post) as part of an adaptive-reuse project called Lintmen’s

Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ is a small Connecticut chain that will open a Kansas City-style barbecue restaurant in Asheville’s South Slope

Non-Native News

Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston has been getting a big bump from “Chef’s Table: BBQ”

Home Team BBQ’s smoked wings makes the list

The best barbecue options in Virginia, according to Virginia Living

Solinsky’s in the Catskills of New York is serving some “epic brisket”, says Eater NY critic Robert Sietsema

I like this guy’s style

Linkdown: 9/9/20

Featured

Food & Wine Magazine released a huge barbecue blitz last week just in time for Labor Day

From writer Caroline Schnapp reflecting on her childhood in Durham at local institution Bullock’s Bar-B-Q to an unassuming barbecue joint in Alabama between a race track and a Bass Pro Shop

…to tips and recipes for the home smoker from the different types of sauces

…what spices to use to make a rub

…to which cuts of meat to smoke. Plus a whole lot more in the original link.

Native News

Raleigh Magazine has the latest on the still-about-to-be-booming Raleigh barbecue scene; the article notes that Ed Mitchell’s new venture The Preserve hopes to finish its kitchen soon for takeout and that Friendship Barbecue is not moving forward

Sam Jones BBQ’s Raleigh location is on track for a November opening

The Gaston Gazette profiles the Webb family of Red Brides Barbecue Lodge in addition to two other non-barbecue families in the area

Behind The Redneck BBQ Lab in Johnston County is a brother/sister duo with some serious competition barbecue pedigree

The last chance to claim your #SummerofCue t-shirt is today by 3pm

Non-Native News

Fresh off the release of Chef’s Table: BBQ, Rodney Scott’s got a book coming out next year titled “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day” that is co-written with Lolis Eric Elie; you can pre-order it now (h/t Robert Moss’s The Cue Sheet)

Scott also shares his favorite places to eat in Charleston

The Charleston Post and Courier writes up the SC Midlands barbecue restaurants like Big T Bar-B-Q, True BBQ, and Hite’s BBQ, who were all featured in the Food & Wine 50 states article

RIP Mike Wilson of Saw’s BBQ, who recently passed away unexpectedly; he spent his adult life in the Birmingham area but grew up in Charlotte

Chicago restaurants are also pivoting to barbecue during the pandemic

Birria, a meat stew traditionally made from goat meat, but occasionally made from beef or mutton, is having a moment in San Antonio

I look forward to continuing to follow this story about John T. Edge and how the Southern Foodways Alliance will move forward

Linkdown: 9/2/20

Native News

The 91st Annual Mallard Creek Barbecue, “the Grand Daddy of All NC Barbecues” that is typically held the fourth Thursday of October in Charlotte, is officially cancelled this year; organizers and politicians are naturally disappointed

Longleaf Swine has announced their new location; instead of their previously announced stall at Transfer Co Food Hall they will be in a free-standing building that formerly housed Oakwood Cafe

View this post on Instagram

BREAKING NEWS: Longleaf Swine BBQ is moving into the old Oakwood Cafe building…we got the exclusive inside scoop! ⁣ ⁣ A project 4 years in the making, the guys behind @longleafswinebbq had originally planned on moving into a spot at @transfercofoodhall, but have always hoped to ultimately owning their own brick and mortar. Stars aligned, they’ve finally done it (congrats, Adam + Marc!) and we CAN’T WAIT.⁣ ⁣ Longleaf Swine made a name for themselves as a catering co., traipsing around the Triangle to serve whole-hog BBQ, locally-sourced and slow-smoked meats + seasonal sides.⁣ ⁣ You can expect those same FAME-MAKING DISHES (whole hogs + other local meats smoked on-site), along with a new LATE-NIGHT MENU that’ll have an old school diner spin. ⁣ ⁣ They’ll also have a FULL BAR and a WEEKEND BRUNCH MENU, so if anyone is wondering where to find us on a Sunday this fall, you know where we’ll be. ⁣ ⁣ Over the next couple of months, their team will be hard at work, renovating the space, but don’t worry—you won’t have to wait too long to get your fix. Their parking lot will soon be converted into a new OUTDOOR DINING space and they’ll continue offering takeout for the foreseeable future. ⁣ ⁣ And Offline members will get to experience it all before ANYONE else. Keep an eye out, fam. We’ll be sending you an invite soon. ⁣ ⁣ Want a shot on getting in on this EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK? Join the Offline waitlist or ask a friend for a referral code to skip the line and get your first month free.⁣ ⁣ #letsgetoffline #offlineraleigh

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Congrats to Big Tiny’s BBQ in Mooresville, who celebrated their 4th anniversary earlier this week

Foodie Score visits the Gastonia location of The Smoke Pit (the local chain’s 4th store), and reports back full bellies

Rx Restaurant and Bar, a fine dining restaurant in Wilmington, has pivoted to whole hog barbecue during the pandemic

Circle B BBQ in Spindale is raising money for Operation BBQ Relief to cook meals for communities and first responders hit by storms and other natural disasters.

The #SummerofCue ends this Monday

Non-Native News

Pappy’s Smokehouse in St. Louis will open a second location this October

Thankfully, it appears the fire last weekend at Pecan Lodge didn’t cause major damage and they were actually able to open later that day

Pellet smokers are on the rise, according to J.C. Reid

“California wildfires are making wine grapes taste like barbecue,” reports The Takeout

Heim BBQ is offering socially distanced barbecue class this weekend

Eliana Gutierrez is Austin’s (and perhaps the nation’s) youngest female pitmaster, working at Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

“Chef’s Table: BBQ” explores the origins of barbecue and is now available on Netflix

Here’s a review from the Washington Post