Friday Find: “How Filipino Pitmaster Johneric Concordia Makes Some of the Best Barbecue in LA”

Monk: Johneric uses Filipino flavoring in a Cookshack smoker at The Park’s Finest BBQ in Los Angeles to produce some delicious barbecue to feed the locals in Angelino Heights in LA.

Description: At The Park’s Finest in LA, the cuts of meat used in traditional American barbecue meet Filipino seasonings and sauces to make dishes like coconut beef, timuay beef tri-tip, and a smoked and seasoned meaty beef short rib.

Checking In: Sweet Lew’s Barbeque

Monk: While our official (and thus far only) review of Sweet Lew’s Barbeque is from 2018, between pop-ups with Bryan Furman, Patio Parties, and new specials, there is usually a good reason to check out Sweet Lew’s every couple of weeks or months.

Lewis Donald and team are constantly making improvements to the experience and lately have been focusing on the exterior of the building. From the addition of flags from the US, North Carolina, and Texas (reminiscent of Noble Smoke) to the new covered patio providing much needed shade to the murals outside and in, the Sweet Lew’s of today is much different from how it started off in December 2018.

The murals (pictured in header image above) in particular are worth highlighting. The artist, SHE Originals, received a grant from the NoDa Neighborhood association to paint the three exterior walls as well as the inside, highlighting the history of the Belmont neighborhood. Take a look in detail next time you’re there.

Then of course there’s the menu and food itself. Lewis brought many of the popular daily specials in to the everyday menu. Of note is his take on barbecue hash. Much different than a midlands South Carolina hash with its use of beef in addition to pork (with no liver or pig offal in sight), its the only place in Charlotte that is serving any version of it. For me, this is a must order every time I visit.

On my most recent visit, the ribs were also a highlight. Each rib provided the perfect bite and were well balanced in terms of flavor.

A few years back, Sweet Lew’s moved to making their sausage in-house (with some tips provided by Garren of Jon G’s), and the recent results were really great. As was both the turkey (which I hadn’t previously tasted), the brisket (much improved from my last time), and chicken wings (perfectly done).

In all aspects, Sweet Lew’s continues to improve. The experience and ambiance is better all around and the food that Lewis Donald is putting out continues to evolve for the better. If it’s been awhile since you checked out Sweet Lew’s Barbeque, do yourself and see what they are doing on Belmont Ave. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Linkdown: 9/1/21

Sadly, for the second year in a row the Mallard Creek Barbecue has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. The Mallard Creek Barbecue is by far the oldest barbecue tradition in Charlotte, so its a shame that the 91st edition of it will have to wait another year. Assuming that’s the case, I’ll be there but will be missing their slightly controversial version of Brunswick stew come the 4th Thursday of October.

Native News

Jon G’s gets the Axios Charlotte bump

“On Barbecue” by John Shelton Reed gets reviewed by Star News Online

Smokeshow BBQ will be smoking Guatemalan Churrasco this Friday at Salty Parrot Brewing in Charlotte

Shaw’s Barbecue in Williamston is profiled by WNCT’s People & Places

Non-Native News

Secondhand Smoke is continuing the Pete’s BBQ tradition in Rock Hill and will be open this Labor Day Weekend; Pete’s BBQ served every Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day weekend for 55 years before closing in 2018

John T Edge explores the vernacular of Fresh Air Bar-B-Que’s architecture

In Houston, barbecue pop-ups are all the rage

Scott’s Bar-B-Q is featured in the first episode of “Backroad Bites” from South Carolina Education TV, which is back for a third season

The BBQ Review checks out The Southern Belly in Columbia, SC

Prayers up to Louisiana