Friday Find: SFA Visits Archibald’s BBQ in Northport, AL

Eater and the Southern Foodways Alliance visit the famed Archibald’s BBQ

In Northport, Alabama, the family-owned, family-run Archibald’s BBQ has been feeding the local community its signature pit-smoked ribs and sliced pork butt for 55 years. In this short film by Wes Wages, Armosa Films, and the Southern Foodways Alliance, the family behind Archibald’s — George Archibald Jr., his sister Paulette Washington, and her son Woodrow Washington — take center stage.

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Linkdown: 7/26/17

– Congrats to Carolina Bar-B-Que in Statesville on being open for 32 years!

– Jon G’s BBQ (our current Charlotte #1) is moving up in the world with their spiffy new trailer

– As previously announced, the next location of Midwood Smokehouse will be in Birkdale Village in Huntersville in the old Smoke location

– John Lewis names his pitmasters of the future in Tasting Table

– Tasting Table had their list of America’s Top 11 BBQ Joints from an article back in May, which I don’t believe I saw until now

– Is it ever too hot to eat barbecue? Never.

– Atlanta’s gotten a 4 Rivers Smokehouse (the first outside of Florida) in its burgeoning westside

– A GQ feature on the Austin barbecue scene

– AV Club’s Supper Club explores Alabama’s white sauce, “smoked chicken’s best friend”

– The best barbecue sides in Austin

– Filing this away for future reference…

Linkdown: 6/21/17

– Rodney Scott surprisingly smoked ribs instead of whole hog at this year’s Big Apple

– The Washington Post’s Jim Shahin has a list of favorite barbecue books this season, and it includes Elliott Moss’s “Buxton Hall BBQ Book of Smoke”

– I couldn’t disagree more but Charlotte Agenda refers to Bubba’s Barbecue as a “hidden gem”

– Whole hog in the most unlikeliest of places? Gravy’s got the scoop

– NC barbecue in Virginia at Willard’s BBQ in Reston

– The Houston Chronicle has an article on barbecue camps, focusing on the one at Texas A&M but with a passing mention of a few in NC (though it mistakenly mentions that the NC State Barbecue Camp only started this year; this was its second third year)

– The Smoking Ho has some nice barbecue photos from his quick trip to LA

– What else would you expect from an Alabaman?

Friday Find: A State of Underrated BBQ

A short film from Zagat on Alabama barbecue, which they say “might be America’s best kept secret”. I don’t know about all that, but it’s worth exploring their barbecue a little more.

When it comes to great barbecue, Alabama might not the first state that comes to mind. However, Alabama is home to more barbecue restaurants per capita than any other state, and its pitmasters are extremely confident their state offers the best barbecue in America. Zagat toured a selection of Bama’s famed barbecue joints to find out what defines this style of cuisine.

Linkdown: 2/8/17

– You’ve got two days left to vote in this very important poll

– More on Mobile, AL’s The Brick Pit being saved by both social media as well as faith

– The latest stop for Marie, Let’s Eat! is Spencer B’s BBQ just south of the Tennessee-Georgia line and it contains some of his discussion with Speedy from their visit to B’s Cracklin’ Bar-B-Q on New Year’s Eve (pardon the long block of text)

I suggested that a big reason I’ve been so disappointed with the options around Chattanooga is that barbecue in Georgia can be so radically different everywhere and anywhere you go that it’s impossible to get bored, and incredibly difficult to predict what any new place will be like. The flavor profiles, the sauces, the techniques, these can all vary spectacularly in the same small town.

Speedy wasn’t ready to agree with that. After all, he grew up eating Lexington-style pork and slaw trays in central North Carolina, and it’s certainly true that in my limited experience, not just in Lexington itself but in the whole Greensboro-Salisbury corridor, you don’t see variety with quite the broad brush that I’m talking about there. So it’s certainly possible that what I’m finding in eastern Tennessee is what comes naturally in other places: people who’ve lived here for decades grow up perfecting a style which draws inspiration from what’s in the community already.

The problem, to put it delicately, is that Lexington-style barbecue is a million, billion times yummier than what’s going on in eastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia.

– Charleston Eater takes a sneak peek at Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston, which is so dang close to opening

– Here’s a closer look at the menu from Charleston City Paper; while people may have complained, when it opens Rodney Scott’s pork by the pound price will be right in line with the average in Charleston

– In case you missed Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods, he went to a few barbecue joints in the southeast – including Fox Bros BBQ, Buxton Hall Barbecue, and Shealy’s BBQ

– First We Feast is just asking for a fight from all of the different barbecue factions

Linkdown: 2/1/17

– The Brick Pit in Mobile, AL gets a second life thanks to a Facebook post

– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits Mike’s Smokehouse in Chattanooga, which is among the better barbecue joints in the area

– In case you might be doing some brisket smoking for the Super Bowl

– I love Robert Jacob Lerma’s barbecue photography

– An older article where Robert Moss picks SC’s most underrated barbecue

– If you’re ever laid over in the Houston airport, it might be a good idea to head to Gatlin’s Q

– Put your barbecue knowledge to the test (I got 80/100)

Linkdown: 8/10/16

– Speedy Lohr’s in Lexington has finally reopened, nearly a year after a fire forced it to close

– Daniel Vaughn of TMBBQ writes a eulogy for the barbecue joint, including Grady’s

We all know that barbecue is growing, but a reminder is in order. As we pointed out last year, the independently run, counter-service barbecue restaurant numbers are shrinking. Those are the barbecue joints. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

– Missed this last week, but Jim Shahin had a SC barbecue primer in addition to the “future of barbecue” article I linked to

– Saveur Magazine has an article on the history of Chicago barbecue

– Robert Moss likes the whole hog at Buxton Hall a lot, but says not to skip the fried catfish

– Grant’s latest stops: Roger’s Bar-B-Que in La Grange, GA and Byron’s Smokehouse in Auburn, AL

– The Davidson Farmer’s Market Pig Pickin’ is this Saturday and features Chef Michael Spencer of Fork! preparing a 150-pound pig for pulled pork sandwiches, tacos, and banh mi sandwiches

– Wyatt Dickson of Picnic will be bringing whole hog barbecue to Lewis BBQ on 8/21

Linkdown: 7/27/16

– JJR’s BBQ at Bank of America Stadium has gotten the upgrade treatment as part of the latest round of renovations at the stadium

– The Southern Foodways Alliance has an oral history interview with Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor of Heirloom Market BBQ

– Several barbecue sammies on Esquire’s “Where to Get the Best Sandwich in Every State”, including a barbecue sandwich from Stamey’s in Greensboro

– “One of the reasons the project took longer than expected to complete was the discovery of a barbecue pit from the first brick and mortar barbecue restaurant in Lexington. Greene said the pits were hidden behind a closet in the former conference room, but when workers discovered what they were city officials knew they had to preserve that heritage, even at the cost of delaying the project.”

– Grant’s latest stop is Bluegrass Barbeque in Moody, AL which was the last stop on his Memphis trip

– TMBBQ visits Lewis Barbecue in Charleston and John Lewis proclaims “I live here, and I’m staying here”

– Sports Channel 8 makes the case for ECU to the Big 12 based on barbecue

Often times, I hear the Greenville television market getting knocked when conference expansion conversations happen. And yes, it’s not that large. But considering the Big 12 is a Texas-based league, I don’t think we’re looking at this the right way. Instead of looking at ECU’s market in terms of television size, let’s view it strictly in terms of BBQ quality. Texas has the brisket, I get that and I love it. But Greenville has B’s and Skylight Inn and Parker’s and many other great choices. Whether you like slaw on your pork or not — I personally choose to go without it — ECU’s BBQ scene stacks up with anybody in the country.

– Tough decisions:

Linkdown: 5/11/16

– We were fortunate enough to be considered “experts” (shh…don’t tell them) and submitted nominees for 10Best.com’s Best BBQ Pork Sandwich in NC contest. Voting ends June 6 at 12pm ET.

– Some coverage of the 10Best contest from Pitt County, Asheville, and Garland

– Creative Loafing profiles Seoul Food Meat Co.

– Over at Marie, Let’s Eat!, Grant visits the last remaining Old Hickory House, located in Tucker, GA, as well as Big Cove BB-Q in Owens Cross Roads, AL

– Whole-hog Carolina barbecue converts Louisiana-native Rien Fertel

Mr. Fertel locates the birthplace of whole-hog barbecue in eastern North Carolina. In aptly named Pitt County, he visits three whole-hog establishments. The agriculture-and-livestock-rich region, he says, is “a bastion, or pit, as it were, where the nation’s oldest vernacular barbecue tradition has been slowly smoking for nearly two centuries.”

– Matthew Odam recently went on a 16-stop barbecue tour throughout Texas

– Midwood Smokehouse’s crinkle cut fries makes this list of best fries in Charlotte from Charlotte Agenda

– Always worth a link:

Linkdown: 1/20/16

– The continuing trend of American barbecue’s growing popularity abroad

But it’s not just Paris. Barbecue, that onetime fiercely regional American food, has gone global. American-style barbecue restaurants have opened in Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, London, Vienna, Mexico City, even Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Last year, Wayne Mueller, the third-generation owner of Louie Mueller Barbecue, went on a State Department-sponsored world tour, during which he cooked barbecue and discussed its culture and history at the Milan Expo in Italy.

Yet another 10 best BBQ restaurants in America list, though this one includes a couple of unique ones like  Henry’s Smokehouse in Greenville (our review here) and Fox Brothers in Atlanta

Understanding the barbecue ratings game and whether you can judge a barbecue restaurant on the same scale as a French restaurant

– Garden & Gun examines the sauces of the teams that played in last week’s National Championship Game

– Grant visits the new Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant outpost in Chattanooga

– Big Wayner’s got a Five for Friday full of barbecue links

– Two of the 10 most anticipated Charlotte restaurant openings according to Charlotte Agenda have barbecue in their DNA: Kid Cashew (a Mediterranean smokehouse) and Seoul Food Meat Co (Korean flavors with American meats)

– An upcoming Atlanta joint hopes to help define what Georgia barbecue means