In sad news, Peace N’ Hominy Q Shack in Belmont has officially closed after owner Christine Rienk’s breast cancer returned after 12 years in remission; a GoFundMe has been set up to help with the costs of chemotherapy #cancersucks
Congrats to Chef Jim Noble who was awarded by the NC Restaurant and Lodging Association the Ken Conrad Award for Service to the Community for his work with his restaurant The King’s Kitchen (which donates 100% of its profits to feed the poor) and partners with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Dream Center to provide professional opportunities to Charlotteans who have suffered from “extreme life-challenges” such as poverty, homelessness and the slow, uphill battle of recovering from substance abuse or incarceration
Monk: Buddy’s Bar-B-Que is an unheralded Monday-to-Friday, breakfast-and-lunch-only barbecue joint off Highway 74 in Belmont. I only stumbled upon it within the past year because my parents moved to Belmont, a small town 12 miles west of Charlotte across the Catawba River, about a year and a half ago. But based on its shack-like, no frills exterior, I had hopes that it could be a hidden gem.
Chances are, if you are going to Buddy’s you are going for takeout. They do have one small table inside but otherwise, the building is pretty much all order counter and kitchen. A small smokehouse sits out back, and promisingly has piles of wood littering the area around the building. Husband and wife co-owners Buddy and Debbie Cunningham also run a catering business when the restaurant isn’t open, and based on the army of mobile smokers in the parking lot, a seemingly successful one at that.
In terms of barbecue, Buddy’s only serves a couple items with the rest being burgers, dogs, breakfast as well as some regional specialties like chuckwagon or country ham. The large chopped pork sandwich comes with a choice of red or white slaw, which I always like to see, plus hush puppies. Buddy’s thankfully carries Cheerwine (as well as Sun Drop) so my decision was a pretty easy one to make. After a few minutes wait, I took my bag out to the parking lot and plopped it on my back trunk.
The sandwich was large and perhaps a bit too big as it fell apart under the weight of the red slaw and pork after a few bites. I ended up having to pick up the fallen chunks from the wrapper with my hands, but I shouldn’t complain too much about too much food. Still, what was left of the the intact sandwich was a pretty darn good one, with the wood smoke shining through in the pork. Next time, I’ll opt for the hopefully more manageable small sandwich and just get a second if I’m extra hungry.
I imagine the wait for my food was largely due to the freshly fried hush puppies, and that’s a wait I’ll gladly do again. They were still warm as I took them out of the bag, and there’s not too much better than a freshly fried, perfectly balanced hush puppy.
So after a little more than a year of trying to make it to Buddy’s Bar-B-Que, I ended up pretty satisfied with the meal I had. If you happen to find yourself in the small mill town of Belmont during the week for lunch, give them a try.
“The city caught my attention because of how pleasant it is,” says Rodney Scott, the James Beard Best Chef Southeast 2018 for his Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston. He’s set to open his next, identical concept in Birmingham first-quarter 2019. “It’s a big city, but it feels like a small town,” he says. “It doesn’t feel like New York or Chicago, but it’s just as important a food city in my opinion.”
WBTV in Charlotte recently featured the “Love Endures” mural by artist Curtis King, which was saved from demolition and now resides behind Sweet Lew’s BBQ
The New York Times’ eating guide for Atlanta for this weekend’s Super Bowl and gives Bryan Furman and B’s Cracklin’ Barbecue a shoutout for being the only whole hog joint in town
Name: Peace -N- Hominy Q Shack Date: 3/25/15 Address: 403 E Catawba St Ste 200, Belmont, NC 28012 Order: “Pul’d” pork sandwich with BBQ slaw, hush puppies, and Sun Drop (link to menu) Price: $9.50
Monk: Belmont is a small town situated just off of I-85 between Charlotte and Gastonia that is mostly known for being the home of Belmont Abbey College, a small Catholic college. I haven’t really spent much time that way but last year a promising looking barbecue spot called Peace -N- Hominy Q Shack opened up. Being that Belmont is actually a little bit closer to where we currently live than barbecue restaurants in Fort Mill, Concord, or Kannapolis (since I’ve exhausted most Charlotte options), I decided to check it out.
I quite like the space that Peace -N- Hominy occupies at the rear of an older building that also houses Belmont’s Drug Store. It’s a smaller space and there aren’t but a handful of tables available in the main dining area (which were all full that day during lunch), so I headed back to the barstool seating against a wall just off the open kitchen.
Peace -N- Hominy state on the menu that they smoke their pork for 13 hours with apple-wood and hickory but from what I could tell, they do their smoking with a gasser. Which you could taste in the dry and coarsely pulled pork I had on my sandwich. The chunks that did have some bark were a notch above the other pieces but on the whole it was crying out for one of their table sauces (available in hot, vinegar, and mustard).
Speedy: Which sauce did you try? Did it help?
Monk: I tried the vinegar sauce, which helped a bit in terms of dryness. Another thing that helped was the barbecue slaw on the sandwich itself. One suggestion, though – they should put the slaw on top of the pork (as most places do) so that by the time I receive the sandwich the bottom half of the bun isn’t soaked through due to the weight of the meat sitting on top of the slaw. This resulted in me having a somewhat hard time eating the sandwich without it falling apart.
The hush puppies come lightly dusted with what I believe is cinnamon sugar and is almost more dessert than savory side. Nonetheless, they are quite good despite being somewhat inconsistent – some were a little more underdone than others.
And a note about the paper straws they utilized. Props to Peace -N- Hominy for refusing to use styrofoam products – I wish more restaurants would do this – but a paper straw is where I draw the line. Its just not natural to sip through a straw that is slowly disintegrating and breaking down with every sip. I try not to hyperbolize too much (I usually leave that to Speedy), but a paper straw truly is the devil’s instrument.
Speedy: I have no idea what you’re talking about…
Monk: Sure you don’t, Speedy…
In addition to having a pretty good name, Peace -N- Hominy Q Shack is a decent little barbecue joint. They are unfortunately at a bit of a disadvantage by not using a wood burning smoker from the get-go but are worth checking out in Belmont.