Linkdown: 10/5/22 – The Expansion and Collaboration Edition

Monk: Expansion and collaboration is the name of the game in several of this week’s links. From smaller stalls from Midwood Smokehouse and Johnny Rogers BBQ & Burgers to various upcoming collaborations involving Brandon Belfer of Fumar, Lewis Donald of Sweet Lew’s BBQ, Garren Kirkman of Jon G’s Barbecue, and Jake Wood of Lawrence Barbecue, hopefully news of this nature will start to become more and more common.

Native News

Fumar (formerly Smokeshow Barbecue) is teasing a Tex-Mex pizza collaboration with Salud

Fumar’s permanent location is in front of Petty Thieves Brewing in North Charlotte

Chef Johnnie Gale is collaborating with Lewis Donald of Sweet Lew’s BBQ on November 3 as part of the Louisiana x Charlotte chef series

Midwood Smokehouse is coming soon to the Charlotte airport

Johnny Rogers BBQ & Burgers is one of the six local vendors opening today at Gibson Mill Market

The revised version of D.G. Martin’s “North Carolina’s Roadside Eateries” is almost ready to go after a 2- year delay, and several barbecue restaurants were lost along the way

The Wood, Fire, Smoke Festival is coming to downtown Lenoir this Saturday: The reimagined festival is a celebration of Lenoir’s furniture heritage and commitment to art, design, and innovation. Skilled craftsmen, artisans, and chefs will converge in downtown to carve with chainsaws, pour molten metal, and cook delicious barbecue.

A short profile on Holy Smoke author John Shelton Reed from Axios Raleigh

Lawrence Barbecue is teasing a “PRETTY RADICAL ANNOUNCEMNT” with Jon G’s

Speaking of which, “Meat Jon G”

Non-Native News

“World of Flavor with Big Moe Cason” season 1 is now on Disney+; read our first impressions here

Adrian Miller accepted the Barbecue Hall of Fame’s “Impact Award” on behalf of the innumerable “Unsung Black Barbecuce Cooks” who never got their due recognition

Linkdown: 9/28/22 – The Old School Icons and Impressive Newcomers Edition

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Monk: For the first time in 3 years, Contributing barbecue editor Robert F. Moss presents his list of the South’s Top 50 Barbecue Joints. And of course, a lot has changed. There’s the little matter of the global pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the restaurant business for the past 2.5 years and has probably accelerated some restaurant closings that might have been able to hang on a little longer. But notably, the only closure from the 2019 version of the list is Bryan Furman’s B’s Cracklin’ Barbeque in Atlanta and Savannah. Fear not, as Bryan Furman BBQ is in the works.

As expected, there’s also a decidedly Texas bent to the list which reflects the national trend. Even in proud barbecue states like North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia is represented by Texas-style joints.

Note that this differs from the annual “South’s Best” Reader’s list published in the spring.

By the Numbers:

  • Texas: 15
  • South Carolina: 9
  • North Carolina: 8
  • Tennessee: 6
  • Alabama: 3
  • Georgia: 3
  • Missouri: 2
  • Arkansas: 1
  • Florida: 1
  • Kentucky: 1
  • Maryland: 1

Not surprisingly, Texas tops the list with 15 entries. Texas barbecue is rapidly becoming the national barbecue style and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. This lost provides a good roadmap of places I still need to try, such as Valentina’s, Burnt Bean, Blood Bros, Tejas among many others.

South Carolina takes second with 9 joints and while Moss is a SC-based writer, I’m a little surprised its so well represented on the list. However, I am especially happy to see Palmira BBQ in Charleston make the list.

North Carolina takes home the bronze with 8 joints including newer-school joints like Prime Barbecue and Sam Jones Barbecue alongside classics like Skylight Inn, Stamey’s, Lexington #1, and Grady’s.

Locally, no Charlotte-area joints make the list and in particular I’m surprised that Jon G’s Barbecue is not on the list. Not only because I’m such a fan but also because Moss wrote so glowingly about it after his visit. The same could be said for Lawrence Barbecue, for that matter. If I had to guess, it probably came down to Jon G’s, Lawrence, Palmira, and Prime Barbecue in Knightdale, NC for two spots on the list.

Barbecue lists are inherently controversial but with Robert Moss you know he’s at least doing the leg work and traveling to each of these joints in his list. Some slight SC-bias aside, it’s a very solid list.

What are your thoughts? What joints did Moss not included? How many of the list have you been to? I’ve been to a respectable-but-still-lacking 18 of the 50.

Linkdown: 9/14/22

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Monk: Greenville, SC has added a heavy hitter in barbecue today as Lewis Barbecue has opened the doors of its second location. John Lewis has taken over the former 30-year location of Tommy’s Ham House, and even earned the blessing of owner Tommy Stevenson. The original Charleston location earned a 4.5 hogs from both Speedy and Monk in separate visits in 2017 and 2018.

Eater Carolinas has all the behind the scenes information:

Lewis Barbecue is open Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Native News

Midwood Smokehouse has made it to the finals of the News & Observer Barbecue Bracket against Wilber’s Barbecue; voting ends Thursday, 9/15 at noon

Chopped vs pulled: who you got?!?!?

Three pitmasters – Dr. Dana Hanson of NC State, Michael Markham of Big Mike’s BBQ in Raleigh, and Matthew Register of Southern Smoke – give their tips for backyard smokers and beginners

Non-Native News

Adrian Miller joins the Southern Foodways Alliance Fall Symposium

I haven’t listened yet but I’m already pre-jealous of the Tales from the Pits epic bourbon and barbecue roadtrip

Kerlin BBQ in Austin had its last day of service after 9 years this past week

Linkdown: 8/31/22

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Monk: Our prolific friend of the blog John Tanner has been at it again making the rounds in eastern NC recently, so let’s follow along in envy to some of the better places from his recent trip.

Wilber’s BBQ in Goldsboro has been back for a couple of years now but in his first dining room meal in some years, John and co. are wowed

Martelle’s Feed House is a restaurant with a buffet that includes great ribs and fantastic barbecue, located in the tiny town of Englehard (pop. 155), a (according to Wikipedia) “fishing community in Lake Landing Township on the mainland of Hyde County, North Carolina” near the Pimlico Sound

John also tried out Old Colony Smokehouse in Edenton, “a fine addition to eastern North Carolina” where they hold onto old traditions but also incorporate new trends

John passes on the buffet at Captain Bob’s Restaurant and Catering in Hertford for a pork plate but immediately regrets that decision

One of the highlights of his trip was a visit to Sid’s Catering in Beaulaville, a small town in southeast North Carolina

Non-Native News

Things are looking dicey for turkeys this Thanksgiving; this is from Heim BBQ

The BBQuest Eater Heat Map

Dispatches from the Tales from the Pits BBQ + Bourbon road trip