Matthew Register of Southern Smoke BBQ made another podcast stop last year to promote his book as well as his restaurant.
Description: “For this week’s episode of The Manual Podcast, the gang’s all here as Nicole, Sam, and Greg sit down with Matthew Register, founder of Garland, North Carolina barbecue joint Southern Smoke BBQ.
Not formally trained as a chef, Register first started cooking in his backyard and one day set out a goal for himself: if he could sell a certain number of sandwiches, he would open a restaurant. If you couldn’t guess, he did (in fact he ended up selling three times his goal), and the idea for Southern Smoke was born. Since then, Register’s business has grown to include catering and more. In this episode, he talks about what it was like to get there, and what it means for him to now be considered one of the guys when it comes to Carolina barbecue pitmasters.
During the discussion, too, the crew talks with Register about barbecue sides and why it doesn’t always have to be the same ol’ things. Thai chiles? Sure. Squash and rice pudding? Yes, please.
Finally, Register talks about why fall is the perfect time for grilling — the fatty meat helps fortify when the weather drops (in addition to it finally being bearable outside, especially in the South).
If you didn’t eat before listening to this episode, you’re going to be starving by the end (we were).”
Name: Bar-B-Q King Date: 12/27/19 Address: 2613 E Main St, Lincolnton, NC 28092 Order: Chopped barbecue tray with hush puppies, slaw, and Cheerwine (link to menu) Pricing: $
Monk: Sometimes there are places you wish you could get to more often but just can’t, whether its due to location or circumstance or something else. Bar-B-Q King in Lincolnton, NC (not to be confused with the Bar-B-Q King drive-in in Charlotte) is definitely one of those places for me. My first (and up until recently only) visit was nearly three years ago even though I thoroughly enjoyed that meal. But typically when heading west towards Asheville of the western part of the state, I drive out Highway 74 through Shelby (and Red Bridges) instead of cutting up Highway 321 from Gastonia to catch I-40, which is a route that would put me right by Lincolnton. This is where BBQ King has been doing their excellent version of Lexington-style barbecue for 48-plus years.
I recently stopped by after hiking at nearby South Mountain State Park for a late lunch and was pleased to find that the barbecue tray I got was full of freshly chopped and moist barbecue. A revelation at 3pm where at many other places I might get a tray of dried out barbecue that was chopped hours ago and sitting in a stream tray. Not the case at Bar-B-Q King.
The hush puppies were freshly fried and the onion rings were some of the best I’ve had in a while. In terms of sides, this year might be the year of the onion rings at barbecue joints (but also at non-barbecue restaurants).
I caught up briefly with Jordan Smith, second generation pitmaster and social media manager for BBQ King (among other things), afterwards and he said that the month of December is very busy for them between the caterings for holiday parties or factory shifts in and around Lincolnton and families looking to get out of the house after Christmas. That was certainly the case on this Friday, and I’m glad the locals continue to support BBQ King.
Though I had already written up my favorite barbecue meals of the year (which posted earlier in January), I definitely had to do some reshuffling to get Bar-B-Q King represented on the list as it was simply that good. Next time I’m heading to the mountains, I will be sure to take 321 so I can make another stop.
Monk: Ed Mitchell and his son and business partner Ryan joined last week’s episode of The NC Food and Beverage Podcast with Max Trujillo and Matthew Weiss to discuss how Ed got into barbecue, the state of Raleigh barbecue, and The Preserve, their upcoming venture with Lou and Amber Moshakos in the original location of Carolina Ale House. Lou was the restaurateur behind Carolina Ale House and several other brands and Amber is the current president of LM Restaurants.
While we do get some information, I do wish that Ryan hadn’t dominated the conversation so much. There were long stretches of several minutes where it was only Ryan talking, and I think we can all agree that Ed is who everyone wants to hear from. Regardless, let’s hope The Preserve is more successful than their last restaurant, Ed Mitchell’s ‘Que, which closed in 2015 (for the record, we quite liked) and their announced but never opened restaurant in Brier Creek that was to be called Ed Mitchell’s Q.