Linkdown: 6/7/17

– A great article by Keia Mastrianni in the June/July edition of The Local Palate; the print edition is out now

– The Raleigh News & Observer has a new series called “Good ‘Eatin” that takes a weekly visit to local eateries in North Carolina, and it will continue through Labor Day; this week it visits Pattan’s Downtown Grille in downtown Rockingham that has a franken-sauce of east, west, and SC but cooks over wood

– See if you can find Midwood Smokehouse in this cool Charlotte 8-bit art:

– Frank Scibelli – the restaurateur behind Midwood Smokehouse, Midwood Smokeshack, Yafo, and more – has been named a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in the Southeast

– The Daily Reflector out of Greenville, NC has a profile on Parker’s Barbecue in Wilson

– Congrats to Mac’s for winning second in whole hog at this year’s Memphis in May; here’s the deets on the rig they smoked on

– 12 Bones and Buxton Hall Barbecue are on Kathleen Purvis’ list of things to do in Asheville

– TMBBQ on how Texas got a legit Texas barbecue joint

Some photos from last week’s Cape Fear BBQ Festival in Wilmington

– The story behind Texas Pete, the perfect hot sauce for NC barbecue

Linkdown: 9/30/15

– This year’s 86th Annual Mallard Creek Barbecue will be on Thursday, October 22

– Queen City Q and the Hornets enter into a partnership for the upcoming NBA season

As part of the multi-year agreement, Queen City Q will operate a pair of branded concession stands at Time Warner Cable Arena, one on the lower level and one on the upper level, allowing fans to enjoy some of the area’s best and most popular barbecue while attending events in the building.  Queen City Q products will also be featured on the arena’s suite menus.

– Charlotte Agenda makes one of their bold and click-baity proclamations that “the best barbecue in Charlotte just might be sold by Boy Scouts

-The second Charlotte-area location of Smoke opens in Stonecrest next week

– Steve Raichlen has some barbecue secrets from Ed Mitchell in the HuffPo

– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits the newer, larger Character’s Famouse BBQ in Adairsville, GA – you might recognize its pitmaster Michael Character from BBQ Pitmasters

– NOLA Smokehouse in New Orleans closes this Saturday

– Johnny Fugitt has 7 recipes he must try from the 12 Bones cookbook

– Robert Moss’ list of the south’s best barbecue beverages rightly includes Cheerwine

– Some details on a pre-Barbecue Festival shindig:

-Speaking of Lexington, Brad Livengood of The Lexington Dispatch has some barbecue history regarding pirates I previously had not come across

Pirates loved to party, and there was nothing like a good pig picking to make a party atmosphere. So they devised a process based upon an apparatus made of green wood. It was a rack of sorts, to hold the pig’s carcass as it was being smoked. The rack was placed over a pit filled with charred embers to slowly simmer the meat. They called the process, the boucan. Its practitioners were soon known as boucaneers. The often used synonym for pirate, buccaneer, comes from this method of cooking barbecue. I don’t know if there was hickory wood involved, but it surely was smoked and pit-cooked. So we lovers of barbecue in Davidson County have something in common with Blackbeard and his ilk, and it’s just a short walk down the pages of history from the tastebuds of some cutthroat pirate to our love of a chopped sandwich today.

– Lucky Peach says there are 14 (!?) styles of american barbecue

Linkdown: 6/17/15

– Of course barbecue gets a prominent mention in this Eater feature “Destination North Carolina: A Southern Food Road Trip Extravaganza”

“From Brunswick Stew to Barbecue” is a new cookbook exhibit at UNC’s Wilson Library

– Dispelling some myths around the name and origin, here’s the real history of hush puppies

– Who won at the NC Barbecue Championships this past weekend in Tryon? Also, the big economic impact of the festival on the small mountain town of Tryon

– Shortly after being named to Southern Living’s Top 50 Barbecue Joints, B’s Cracklin Barbecue in Savannah burned to the ground; thankfully neighbors have pitched in to help rebuild

– John Lewis of La Barbecue gets profiled in Garden & Gun Magazine as well as four other “keepers of the flame” – the Monk family (of Lexington Barbecue) and Tyson Ho are also profiled

– La Barbecue, meanwhile, is no longer moving to a permanent space on South Congress in Austin and is instead expanding to dinner

– More coverage from Southern Living’s Top 50 BBQ Joints list from Greenville Online

– Apparently few places in Fayetteville serve chopped barbecue

– A short article on the 12 Bones Smokehouse cookbook

– A couple of barbecue-related gifts for dad on this coming Father’s Day

– Speaking of which, last day to order to get a Great NC BBQ Map in time

Linkdown: 5/20/15

– In cool local barbecue and beer news, Birdsong Brewing is brewing a small batch beer with the help of Queen City Q

– Congrats to Mac’s Speed Shop as they took 5th in whole hog at last weekend’s Memphis in May

– Charlotte food writer Kathleen Purvis breaks down 5 new barbecue books from 12 Bones, Franklin Barbecue, and more

– Charlotte Five points out what you can eat at The Improper Pig for under $20 (tip not included)

– Chef Ben Adams of Durham’s Piedmont is leaving that restaurant to open a barbecue restaurant in North Durham with Wyatt Dickson, whom he met back in college at UNC

– Meanwhile, The AP Stylebook gets things horribly, horribly wrong: barbecue is a noun not a verb

– This opinion article from blues singer Pam Saulsby contains some updates on Ed Mitchell’s next venture

A reliable source tells me that while Mr. Mitchell’s Que Restaurant and Blues Experience is no longer in business at The American Tobacco Campus in Durham, there are plans to re-open in a larger location. In fact, Mitchell has his eye on two locations: one between Chapel Hill and Durham and another on the outskirts of Raleigh.

– Robert Moss has a list of the top 5 southern barbecue sides, broken down by region, in his latest column

– Catching up with prior posts from Moss, one on Aaron Franklin winning a James Beard award and another on shoulder clod, “Texas’s forgotten bbq star”

– If you’re smoking barbecue at home (and you should), here’s some great info on what wood to use for what meat

– The Men In Blazers met up with GFOP’s (great friends of the pod) at Joe’s Kansas City last week

Linkdown: 4/22/15

– The BBQ Capital Cook-Off is this weekend in Lexington

– And on that note, Visit NC has a Lexington barbecue tour itinerary

– 12 Bones makes Bon Appetit’s list of eating and drinking your way through Asheville

– Aaron Franklin’s barbecue book reviewed by Eater, who call it “a Master Class in Perfectionist Technique”

– Robert Moss says there’s always room for banana pudding and we have no arguments

– An employee was apparently stabbed at Sauceman’s in Charlotte yesterday

– Marie, Let’s Eat! visited Memphis a few weeks back and the reviews have started to come in: Leonard’s Pit Bar-B-Que, Cozy Corner Restaurant, Tops Bar-B-Que, and Three Little Pigs Bar-B-Q

– BBQ Snob seems to have enjoyed his visit to Arrogant Swine, calling it “an honest version of Eastern North Carolina whole hog”

Linkdown: 2/18/15

– Wow, Ed Mitchell’s Que in Durham has closed after less than a year at its American Tobacco Campus location

Mitchell explained that his Durham restaurant did not have any space for private dining for corporate events and only had capacity to cook one whole hog at a time, which was not enough to meet the demands of the restaurant and catering operation. “I fell in love with the space,” said Mitchell, adding that he should have had a better understanding of the space’s limitations compared to his business needs.

– In other closing news, could the River Arts District of 12 Bones Smokehouse be forced to leave its current location in favor of a new “redevelopment plan” along the river?

Now with the start of a multimillion-dollar project to redevelop areas along either side of the French Broad River, the 12 Bones site may have to make way for a new roundabout that is part of a plan to move Riverside Drive to the west, a city official said Friday. It’s a move that’s being contested by the property’s owner, former Asheville Vice Mayor Chris Peterson.

More coverage on the upcoming Stonecrest location of Smoke Modern Barbeque, which opened its Huntersville location last week

– The Barbecue Festival received won 3 excellence awards at the 2015 North Carolina Association of Festivals and Events ShowFest conference and trade show held in Charlotte on Jan. 24 and 25

– A location of Kansas City chain Gates Bar-B-Q in Missouri burned down Monday night

– From last month, Garden and Gun’s 5 unusual barbecue spots

– Robert Moss’ list of 10 Must-Visit Carolina Barbecue Joints includes several Barbecue Bros faves

Photo Gallery: Some photos from our German TV Debut

In case you missed it, we posted a video of mine and Speedy’s german TV debut last week. Here’s a few behind-the-scenes photos from that shoot, some courtesy of me and some courtesy of Lars the producer.

Monk

12 Bones Smokehouse – Arden, NC

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Name: 12 Bones Smokehouse
Date: 7/18/14
Address: 3578 Sweeten Creek Road, Arden, NC 28704
Order: Speedy: Two half rack of ribs, rib taster, beer; Monk: Pulled pork plate and sliced brisket plate with collards, baked beans, vinegar slaw, and cucumber salad, Pisgah Pale Ale (link to menu)
Price: Speedy: $34; Monk: $20

Monk: One joint that’s been on our hit list ever since we started the blog 2+ years ago was 12 Bones Smokehouse in Asheville. All of our past visits came pre-blog, with the River Arts location outside of downtown Asheville being nearest and dearest to our heart. They actually do have two locations – one in River Arts and another in nearby Arden, out towards the airport – and on this day we found ourselves in Arden (more on that in the future).

Speedy: This was my first visit to the Arden location, and other than the location, I think I liked it better than the River Arts locale. It’s bigger and has similar outdoor seating. The old gas station atmosphere has a really nice feel to it, so I enjoyed it very much. As for the order, Monk and I went a little crazy. We ended up ordering three bones of each type of rib offered, a brisket plate, a pork plate, sides, and beers. It was definitely a lot of food, but we were hungry, so the order wasn’t out of line.

Monk: For once I didn’t sabotage myself and eat anything before a barbecue meal! As for the food, the pork just didn’t have the smokiness in the bark that I prefer, which is likely due to being smoked in a Southern Pride gasser. It’s pretty clear that the pork is not the focus of 12 Bones, which shouldn’t be all that surprising considering the name.

Speedy: All things considered, I thought the pork was pretty decent. While it won’t win any awards on this blog, it had good tenderness, and I thought there was a touch of wood flavor (though not enough). It’s clear by the wood piles of oak and hickory in the back that 12 Bones does make a concerted effort to impart smoke flavor into their gas cooks, so for a gas cooker, I think this is some of the better pork I’ve had.

Monk: The brisket was pretty unfortunate, really. It was very thinly sliced (think sliced deli roast beef on setting 2 or 3) and thus had dried out considerably by the time we got the food. Plus, similar to the pork it didn’t have the smoke or smoke ring in the bark. I had not gotten the brisket here before and based on this visit, customers should avoid it as well.

Speedy: But let’s be honest – you don’t go to a place called 12 Bones for the brisket. The ribs are as good as you’ll find anywhere. 12 Bones is known for its unique and eclectic sauces, and on this day, they had their standard salt/pepper rub, brown sugar, and chipotle blueberry ribs, along with special smoked apple and pineapple habanero ribs. Monk and I decided to order 3 bones of each flavor. The ribs themselves are always cooked perfectly – tender without actually falling from the bone. The different sauces allow for different flavors, but I have noticed that 12 bones generally produces a very sweet rib, which is in contrast to the vinegar-y tang I’m used to when eating ‘cue. I think it ends up working very well and kudos to them for thinking outside the BBQ box.

Monk: The ribs are definitely the highlight at 12 Bones, but holy heck watch out for those sauced with pineapple habanero. They start out sweet but can get you on the back end, particularly if you aren’t expecting it. And I definitely got got.

12 Bones has southern sides, but not all are necessarily what you think of when it comes to barbecue. A slice of cornbread comes with each plate, and I loved it. Had I not been stuffed by all of the meat, I would have eaten mine and possibly Speedy’s. The collards, baked beans, vinegar slaw, and cucumber salad all had merit and I would recommend any of them as a side choice. Again, not all were traditional barbecue sides but still worthy of an order.

Speedy: You stay away from my cornbread, Monk! That stuff was delicious. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – you can’t get 5 hogs for sides if you don’t offer hush puppies, but 12 Bones gives you everything else you could want.

All in all, a meal at 12 Bones Smokehouse is a great experience. I had previously never ordered anything but ribs, and I don’t think I ever will again. I understand offering other meats, but really, if you order something other than ribs, it’s your own fault if you don’t enjoy the meal. So man up, order the ribs, and enjoy!

Ratings:
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 4 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Ribs – 4.5 hogs
Brisket – 2 hogs
Sides – 4.5 hogs
Overall – 4 Hogs
12 Bones Smokehouse on Urbanspoon
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Linkdown: 8/13/14

– This is my nightmare: the Lone Star Tick (named for Texas) can make you allergic to barbecue as well as burgers

– The 2014 NC Whole Hog Barbecue State Championship will be October 3/4 in Downtown Raleigh

This year, the State Championship will return to Downtown Raleigh as part of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Wide Open Bluegrass Festival. After the judging is complete, the mouth-watering barbecue will be chopped and sold in sandwiches to festival attendees on Saturday, October 4.

Another article from the Mooresville Tribune on The Great NC BBQ Map; it was also listed this week as one of the 5 things you need to know in the South right now from Southern Living

– Barbecue on other lists, pt. 1: Garden and Gun named their top breakfast joints in the South and Southern Soul Barbeque in St. Simons Island, GA made the list

– Barbecue on other lists, pt. 2: in addition to legendary barbecue, Skylight Inn in Ayden apparently has one of the NC’s best burgers

– Thrillist’s list of The 15 Best New BBQ Joints in America

A letter to the president regarding NC barbecue, plus a pork butt recipe

Dear President Obama,

It seems you like barbecue. You broke in line at Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas, but I guess the headaches of being president allow you some leeway. You had a cold Bud Light when you hit Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City, even if they had run out of slaw, but you stood in line there, so between the beer and waiting your turn, you showed your humanity and touch with the common man.

I know you’ve been to North Carolina many times, but I’ve yet to hear about you stopping at one of our well-smoked, traditional barbecue joints. They really are your kind of places. I’m not talking about the newfangled ones, where the emphasis is on selling you a liquor drink. No, we have some time-honored places where wood smoke meets the meat.

– 12 Bones Smokehouse makes this list of places to eat from The Telegraph’s (UK) guide to Asheville as well as Culture Trip’s 10 “must-try” local restaurants in Asheville

How I Built A Barbecue Restaurant in Brookyln: A Lease Safari, from Tyson Ho of Arrogant Swine – you remember, Arrogant Swine is the Carolina style whole hog joint who is using Heritage Cheshire hogs that I want to go to next time I’m in NYC (via)

– A shot of the space where Buxton Hall will be housed

– Pat Martin, pitmaster of Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, cooked the annual barbecue dinner at the James Beard House last Thursday and here was the draft menu

Linkdown: 6/18/14

– A review of the Mighty Quinn’s in Clifton, NJ

– Hogs for the Cause out of New Orleans has added an event in Charleston dubbed Holy City Hogs

– Ed Mitchell’s barbecue made an impression on Zagat from the Big Apple BBQ a few weeks back (via)

Whole hog from pitmaster Ed Mitchell

North Carolina-based pitmaster Ed Mitchell recently opened Durham restaurant Que with his son Ryan. At this weekend’s event he prepared whole hog which was tossed in the classic North Carolina vinegar-based sauce, resulting in some of the most interesting and complex flavors we tasted. 

New location, new management for Hog Day, this year in Efland

– Three Salisbury men have created Little E Sauces and Marinades, a line of rubs, marinades, and sauces that has been picked up by Food Lion

– A Beer Pilgrim’s review of 12 Bones Smokehouse in Asheville

– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits Lovie’s BBQ in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, that, while isn’t a Lexington-style joint, has a thin vinegar sauce somewhat reminiscent of a Lexington dip

There is only one sauce available, and it’s as close to a Lexington-style thin vinegar-tomato mix as you’re likely to find in Atlanta. I don’t know that it went all that well with the chicken, but the pork just loved it.

The Great NC BBQ Map should be shipping out for customers to receive maps by the end of July, and the final tally of barbecue restaurants is kind of mind-blowing

How many restaurants ended up on the map? Guess. We don’t think you’ll believe the number….

FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY FOUR!!!!

Yes, you read that right. 434. And another 42 barbecue festivals and cook-offs! So get your bellies ready.