Kevin Pang, formerly of the Chicago Tribune and now of the AV Club’s food blog The Takeout, took a barbecue road trip from Chicago to the Carolinas and back in 2010 and documented it on the BBQ Roadtrip Tumblr. Here, he interviews Keith Allen of the recently departed Allen and Son Barbecue in Chapel Hill to discuss his philosophy on barbecue.
Side note: I remember devouring this roadtrip blog in on sitting back when we first started our blog. What a cool trip, and I could only wish for someone to pay the Barbecue Bros to take a similar trip.
In 1971, when Keith was 19, he quit his butchering job at the A&P, sold his landscaping equipment, and borrowed $3,000 to open a restaurant. He gave it the same name as the one his father owned in Chatham County, where Keith worked the barbecue pit from the age of 10. Ever since, he’s gotten to his Allen & Son at 2:30 a.m. five days a week — splitting every piece of hickory, roasting every shoulder, chopping and seasoning every serving. “Nobody’s hands but mine touch my barbecue,” he likes to boast, “until the customer’s do.”
A recipe for collard chowder from Matthew Register of Southern Smoke BBQ in Garland; his cookbook comes out in May but is available for preorder now
The latest from J.C. Reid explores the barbecue explosion in Houston from a geographic standpoint:
When a re-posting of a 2014 article takes over the internet on a Sunday; Munchies on how one food writer noticed a micro-trend of barbecue restaurants around the world modeling their restaurants on Fette Sau in Brooklyn
– Sam Jones agrees, and is a friend of Billy Durney of Hometown Bar-B-Que
Take a breath folks. BBQ is defined by geography. To say any is superior to the other is simply a personal preference, and a bit closed-minded. In my opinion, @BillyDurney does some fine work in Brooklyn.
– A few NC sportswriters in Brooklyn for this week’s ACC Tournament actually tried Fette Sau and the verdict? Actually pretty good!
When all was said and done, the four Carolina boys that showed up on their barbecue high-horse were left with little room to eat their words — fat and surprisingly happy — after chowing down on a couple pounds of meat.
The Charleston Wine + Food events, I think, offered a sort of preview of the future of barbecue in one of the South’s great culinary cities. At least a half dozen new barbecue joints have opened in the city in the past year, and several more are still in the works. Their fare is as diverse and ambitious as the dishes served up at the festival, and in an upcoming installment we’ll take a survey of this evolving Charleston barbecue restaurant scene.
I’ve just started The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America by Johnny Fugitt but wanted to share some of the accolades that Charlotte and NC received in the book. I will spoil only just a little bit, and you will have to pick it up for yourself in order to read the rest (currently the #1 new release in US Travel Guides!).
Midwood Smokehouse (our review here and here) makes the top 100 barbecue restaurants in America list (everything outside of the top 25 was not ranked)
Midwood Smokehouse’s brisket is #6 on “10 Best Briskets outside Texas (better than 99% in Texas)”
Boone’s Bar-B-Que Kitchen (our review here) also makes the top 100 list
Boone’s brunswick stew is #1 in “The Three Best Brunswick Stews I found in all the Land”
Boone’s also makes “America’s 10 Best Vinegar/Tomato-Based Sauces” at #10 for their Eastern Carolina sauce
Finally, Boone’s brunswick stew is also listed on Johnny’s “Dream Carolina Meal” as a side along with Skylight Inn’s pork as well as Lexington Barbecue’s pork and barbecue slaw
North Carolina North Carolina joints were also well represented, with Skylight Inn #8 overall, Allen & Son’s Barbeque (our review here) #18, and Raleigh’s The Pit (our review here) making the top 100; there were several other individual accolades for pork and sides.
Finally, thanks to Johnny for the shout out to us in his review of Lexington Barbecue. Our love for Lexington Barbecue is well-documented (review here), and its cool that he associated us with it.
A short video from the AP on the True Cue guys and their “cue-sade” (nice) against “faux ‘cue.” Allen & Son Barbecue and its pitmaster Keith Allen are also featured, along with a couple of very Breaking Bad-inspired uses of a Go Pro Camera.