Despite Pitmaster Changes at Buxton Hall Barbecue, the Food Remains Consistent and That’s a Good Thing

Name: Buxton Hall Barbecue
Date: 12/22/22
Address: 32 Banks Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Order: Combo platter with whole hog barbecue, sliced brisket, and ribs with chicken bog and collards (link to menu)
Pricing: $$

Monk: Since the last time either Speedy or I visited Buxton Hall Barbecue, there’s been quite a bit of change. This past summer Elliot Moss, the face and pitmaster behind the launch of Buxton Hall, announced that he had parted ways with the Chai Pani Restaurant group which owns both Buxton Hall Barbecue as well as the Buxton Chicken Palace that Moss also helped start. Moss is staying in Asheville and opening a concept of his own (a “comfort classics restaurant” called Regina’s Westside) but it should not be overstated how much he helped put whole hog on the map in western NC as the brains behind Buxton Hall. 

On a day trip to Asheville, Speedy and I wanted to check out the restaurant to see if anything had drastically changed in the past 5+ months to our beloved Buxton Hall. While we’ve each visited the restaurant plenty on our own, this was our first time visiting as a duo. Plus, it was Speedy’s birthday and we had Papa Speedy and Cousins Daniel and Matt in tow!

Speedy: And what better to do on your birthday than have barbecue! One thing I noticed first off is that brisket (which I believe was a 2019 or 2020 menu addition add) was off the regular menu but available as a special (though only sliced was offered, instead of sliced and chopped). Obviously, you can’t go to Buxton and not get chopped pork, so when we were offered a special plate with pork, brisket, and ribs, Monk and I jumped on it. And add two sides to boot!

Monk: Apologies in advance for the subpar food photography – we visited for dinner and the lighting was quite low. Great ambiance, poor lighting conditions. Back to the food – the whole hog portion was a bit on the small side but tasted just as good as I remembered.

Speedy: And that is a good thing. I agree – top notch pork. The ribs, which I had not had at Buxton previously, were also really, really good. They were cooked perfectly – tender but not falling off the bone, and well seasoned without being either too sweet or too salty. The pork at Buxton is always the star (and was again today), but the ribs made sure they were heard. 

Monk: The ribs were definitely a revelation for me, as I also had not tried them previously. Unfortunately its hard to say if any effects were felt here, but at least what we had was really freaking good. The brisket slices were all lean (we weren’t asked our preference) and while they were fine, by no means were they the standout of the meal. 

Speedy: I had previously really enjoyed chopped brisket at Buxton, so I’m curious as to whether this is where the change in the pitmaster was truly felt, since it’s not a meat cooked every day and mastered. As for the sides, I didn’t notice any difference in the collard greens, which are some of my favorite anywhere and a must-order. 

Monk: While the collards had a nice kick and plenty of vinegary tang, I felt the chicken bog was perhaps a little on the dry side and at least on this night was not quite up to par with previous offerings. We should mention the smoked wings we got as an appetizer, which were very solid as well.

Going in, I wanted to order the hash and rice but it wasn’t a side option (and I didn’t think to ask to sub it in). I’d be really curious to see how that in particular holds up since that is a Pee Dee Region staple that was near and dear to Moss’s heart. Oh well – next time.

Speedy: The last time I was at Buxton, I texted Monk to ask whether it’s the best barbecue joint in NC. We decided that while we weren’t sure we were ready to go that far, it has to be in the conversation. At least so far, the loss of Elliott Moss doesn’t change that.

Ratings:
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 4.5 hogs
Ribs – 4.5 hogs
Brisket – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 4 hogs
Overall – 4.5 hogs

The 8 Best Barbecue Meals Monk Ate in 2022

Monk: 2022 was yet another year of great barbecue. In addition to finally getting to spend some time in the eastern part of the state for whole hog (although still not nearly enough), I tried two of the best new school barbecue at Palmira Barbecue in Charleston and Lawrence Barbecue in Durham. In terms of North Carolina, in the last weeks of the year I ate at two of the best joints in Buxton Hall Barbecue and Stamey’s. Here are the meals in photos listed in alphabetical order.

Whole hog barbecue dinner from B’s Barbecue, Greenville, NC (link)

Whole hog and ribs from Buxton Hall Barbecue in Asheville (re-review coming soon)

Hash and rice from Duke’s Barbecue in Orangeburg, SC (link)

A little bit of everything from Jon G’s Barbecue in Peachland, NC

Pork, brisket, and sticky ribs from Lawrence Barbecue, Durham, NC (link)

Whole hog barbecue, hash and rice from Palmira BBQ, Charleston, NC (link)

Whole hog barbecue from Skylight Inn, Ayden, NC (link)

Chopped barbecue plate with extra brown from Stamey’s Barbecue, Greensboro, NC (re-review coming soon)

Linkdown: 12/7/22 – The Rodney Scott and Eric Church Joint Venture Edition

Featured

Monk: Country music star (and NC native) Eric Church has shared the first digital renderings of Chief’s, his upcoming venture with Rodney Scott. Not content to have just a honky tonk joint with great whole hog barbecue, the building will also house a studio for live broadcasts (such as Church’s SiriusXM show).

Chief’s will open in downtown Nashville in 2023.

Native News

More pink barbecue merchandise now available at Clyde Cooper’s in Raleigh

A short profile on Buxton Hall Barbecue‘s executive chef Nick

The Cheef will be at Oskar Blues Brevard’s 10th anniversary party this coming weekend serving tacos and sandwiches

Midwood Smokehouse, Mac’s Speed Shop, and Noble Smoke are options in Charlotte to bypass Christmas cooking

Midwood Smokehouse‘s upcoming Raleigh location will be more Tex-Mex

Non-Native News

Hogs for the Cause announces its 2023 lineup

Barbecue historian Joe Haynes has a new barbecue book out, just in time for the holidays

John Turner’s been making the rounds at your favorite places in Texas:

City Market in Luling

Smitty’s Market in Lockhart

Terry Black’s in Austin

Valentina’s in Austin

Pinkerton’s in Houston

And finally, Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que in Brownsville

Defining east vs central Texas barbecue, Open AI chat bot style

Linkdown: 7/6/22

Monk: After a 2 month break to recap season 3 of “BBQ Brawl,” we’re back with a roundup of the latest barbecue news in North Carolina and beyond.

Featured

Catching up on some of the NC barbecue posts the past couple of months from Friend of the Blog John Tanner, he was making the rounds in eastern NC during the spring starting with a return trip to Parker’s Barbecue in Wilson where he enjoyed the barbecue but particularly the fried chicken

He then headed to Marty’s BBQ across town and did a head-to-head comparison with his meal at Parker’s

He followed up those meals with another return trip to Grady’s BBQ which, despite John’s near persistent drum beating, is still not a UNESCO world heritage site

John also visited Southport Smokehouse and Leland Smokehouse in the Wilmington-area and came away resolved to eating seafood at the beach in the future

But that was followed by the best pork of his trip (and contender for best in eastern NC according to him) at Stephenson’s Bar-B-Q in Willow Springs

John then swing through the Piedmont and hit up Stamey’s Barbecue in Greensboro which, while he had a fine meal, he was surprised to learn that hush puppies didn’t come with the meal

When news of Richard’s Bar-B-Q in Salisbury closing later this month, he also spun some words reflecting on the pending loss of yet another True ‘Cue joint

Native News

Congrats to Grady’s BBQ on 36 years open

Elliot Moss has parted ways with Buxton Hall Barbecue, according to his Instagram post, but will be staying in Asheville and has another restaurant in the works; as for barbecue: “I’m NOT done with BBQ. My passion for BBQ will live on forever. I’ll be doing some bbq traveling & cooking. Stay tuned”

ICYMI, our latest Lexington (NC) Barbecue Rankings