Bob Garner finds a hidden gem at Randy’s BBQ in the town of Troutman, which is between Mooresville and Statesville. Randy’s opened in 1985 and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.
I came away impressed with Johnson Family Barbecue and also surprised that I hadn’t heard more about it before. So I’m glad to see it get some coverage from Bob Garner on WUNC-TV’s NC Weekend program.
This hidden gem on the Wake Forest Highway outside Durham draws diners in with barbecue pit-cooked over hickory wood.
From earlier this year, Bob Garner visits Southern Smoke Barbecue in Garland for UNC-TV’s “NC Weekend”.
The passion and creativity of the people behind Southern Smoke Barbecue, as well as their wood-smoked pulled pork and ribs, attract huge crowds to the small town of Garland, N.C. Bob Garner investigates!
On a recent NC Weekend, Bob Garner (North Carolina’s “barbecue man”) visits Sam Jones BBQ and also tries the new Our State BBQ NC app (our post on it here). According to Bob, the surroundings may be different but the barbecue is “right where it’s always been” (referring to Sam Jones also being the pitmaster at Skylight Inn). But a major difference is Sam is also doing spare ribs, turkey, and chicken at his new place along with multiple side options and beer. And according to Bob, he is “blending the best of what’s old and what’s new.” I really need an excuse to make it out east soon.
Here’s some gift ideas for the barbecue lover in your life. The bolded items are the ones I can personally recommend. Feel free to add or suggest any other gift ideas in the comments below and I’ll update the post through the holidays.
- The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America by Johnny Fugitt (new)
- Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue by John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed
- Bob Garner’s Book of Barbecue: North Carolina’s Favorite Food by Bob Garner
- The Best Tar Heel Barbecue: From Manteo to Murphy by Jim Early
- Barbecue Crossroads: Notes and Recipes from a Southern Odyssey by Robb Walsh
- Barbecue: The History of an American Institution by Robert Moss
- Carolina ‘Cue by Our State Magazine (or directly from Our State)
- The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue by Daniel Vaughn
- Peace, Love, & Barbecue: Recipes, Secrets, Tall Tales, and Outright Lies from the Legends of Barbecue by Mike Mills
- Barbecue Lover’s the Carolinas: Restaurants, Markets, Recipes & Traditions by Robert Moss (new)
- Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto by Aaron Franklin (new)
- Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ: The Complete Year-Round Guide to Grilling and Smoking by The Editors of Southern Living (new)
- Foods that Make You Say Mmm-mmm by Bob Garner (new)
- House of Swank North Carolina BBQ Shirt (pictured above)
- Cheshire Pork Gray Pig Logo T-shirt (blue)
- Cheshire Pork North Carolina Flag Pig T-Shirt
- Cheshire Pork Pig Hats, Sweatshirts, Aprons
- Cheshire Pork – lots more state flags and pig shirts here
- Carolina ‘Cuer Shirt
- House of Swank NC BBQ Can Koozie (pictured above with t-shirt)
- The Great NC BBQ Map (as well as prints, stickers, buttons)
- Pork Chart Print (above; not a member of Huckberry? Consider joining via this link)
- Butcher’s Coasters
- Carolina Cue Tote Bag (plus more in the Gift Shop at the site)
- Carolina Cue Gift Packs and Gift Certificates
– Part 2 of Robert Moss’ look at barbecue pits in the south
– First We Feast has their list of the most underrated barbecue in Alabama
– Dublin, Ireland gets in on the Texas barbecue trend/movement
– Well, technically a whole piglet…
— Food Republic (@foodrepublic) July 28, 2015
– The Chicago Tribune profiles Ole Time Barbecue in Raleigh (my place of choice during college), calling it a “kitschy temple of Eastern-style pork barbecue”
– Charlotte Five: Are Bojangles’ and Starbucks’ new barbecue sandwiches any good? Spoiler alert: no.
– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits Macon Road Bar-B-Que in Columbus, GA
– A few weeks back CLT Eats reviewed a pork sandwich from Sauceman’s ordered via Foodie Call
– Several barbecue event over the next few days in the Triangle: barbecue class, Bob Garner book signing, and Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival
– 6 top spots for BBQ in the Midlands of South Carolina
– Johnny Fugitt has a list of 9 great non-Memphis or KC barbecue joints worth the drive from St. Louis
— Buxton Hall Barbecue (@buxtonhall) July 24, 2015
– If you are still wanting to participate in a barbecue-related bracket, Red Clay Soul’s Georgia barbecue bracket is down to the Final Four and voting ends at 10pm ET tonight
– The latest in Arrogant Swine’s Serious Eats series examines the sounds of being the boss, and ends on a really great note about his assistant Roland
My assistant Roland came from the Doe Fund, a halfway house for the homeless. Mistakes from a previous life guaranteed that his resume was heading into the trash can everywhere he looked. Even his parole officer called me, asking if I was sure I wanted to have him around. In Roland I found a student, one who was eager not only to work but also develop a passion for cooking whole hog barbecue. If you ever walk by the Swine at 2 a.m. and smell the smoke from our burning oak logs, wave towards the pit room. You’ll likely see Roland smile and wave right back.
Towards the end of 2014, Time Out magazine compiled a top 100 list of dishes around New York City. In the meat section stood our whole hog barbecue. I posted a picture of Roland for all the world to see. Here was a man who before the Swine never worked a day in the kitchen, competing head to head with the best and most talented chefs in the world. He looked triumphant, and I was bursting with pride.
– Burger Mary takes a deeper look at The Joint, a Texas-style barbecue joint in New Orleans
– Mac’s Speed Shop on South Blvd is one of Charlotte Five’s Top 10 places to have a beer outside in Charlotte
– Old Hickory House closed its N. Tryon location last Saturday but sounds like they could be reopening at a new location at some point
Serving a packed house this week shows them the support from the community, hoping they decide to reopen somewhere else.
“We’re just going to take it easy for a little while, probably get back into it. Where, I don’t know, but somewhere local,” said Carter.
– Wendell man Christopher Prieto has released a barbecue and smoking book, entitled Southern Living Ultimate Book of BBQ
– More coverage on Midwood Smokehouse’s upcoming Charlotte location in Ballantyne
– Bob Garner’s (aka the Minister of Barbecue Culture at Raleigh’s The Pit) latest book reviewed
– Several barbecue restaurants are deemed the best restaurant in each NC county by Charleston Food Bloggers including The Smoke Pit in Cabarrus, Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge in Cleveland, Lexington Barbecue in Davidson (duh), Tarheel Bar-B-Q in Gates, and Parker’s Barbecue in Pitt
– Once again, congrats to Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge for their championship in Garden and Gun’s Ultimate Barbecue Bracket
— Garden & Gun (@gardenandgunmag) April 3, 2015
– Deep fried barbecue on a stick at – where else – the NC State Fair in Raleigh
– The 85th annual Mallard Creek BBQ Festival has big plans for 2014
In 2014, we expect to cook 14,600 pounds of pork barbecue, prepare 2,500 gallons of Brunswick stew, shred 2 tons of Cole slaw, brew 400 gallons of coffee, and entertain close to 20,000 people.
– Shots fired at Lexington-style barbecue by Linwood Parker, who owns White Swan Barbecue; isn’t White Swan the gas station barbecue who cooks with gassers?
“Years ago, when people started moving west in their oxen-dawn carts, it took so long they forgot the recipe for barbecue,” he said.
“When they reached their destination, the only kind of hogs they had were piney wood rooters that fed off acorns. So, their hog meat was green. They just added a lot of catsup to it to cover up the green color.”
– Review of Bob Garner’s latest book, “Foods That Make You Say Mmm-mmm”
– The 23rd Annual Hog Happnin‘ returns to the Cleveland County Fairgrounds on Friday, October 31 and Saturday, November 1
– Austin Chronicle story on John Lewis’s upcoming barbecue restaurant in Charleston
– A Notre Dame football blog talks NC barbecue in a post before last weekend’s game against UNC in South Bend
– Sam Jones is heading to Dallas for a whole hog event in November
– Eater story (with some nice photos) on the opening of Arrogant Swine in New York
Located on the border of East Williamsburg and Bushwick near the English Kills Canal, Arrogant Swine is the brainchild of pitmaster Tyson Ho, who studied under perpetual Barbecue Block Party participant Ed Mitchell, sometimes called the Pope of North Carolina barbecue. The hulking 3,000 foot space is a former warehouse, with high ceilings, a full bar, and a counter at the rear where the smoked meat and sides are sold by the plate or by the pound. Place your order and receive a number hoisted on a metal rod; carry it to your table and your meat horde will be delivered by and by. There’s an outside seating area, too, with giant graffiti murals decorating the outside walls of the building, and an L-shaped shack out back where the barbecuing is done.
– Shame about where this photo was taken but the linked article takes a look at barbecue culture in Charlotte
— Charlottes got a lot (@Charlottgotalot) October 14, 2014
– This weekend you can actually taste some of the pitmasters barbecue at the Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship ( as opposed to years past); more details here
You can taste BBQ from all 7 of our pro pitmasters on Sat, Oct. 18 from noon-2p. Wristbands are $5, buy @ main stage. http://t.co/RX9tMJf14d
— QCity Charlotte BBQ (@QCityBBQ) October 9, 2014
In case you missed it from our Wednesday linkdown, Here & Now interviews Bob Garner, and Rufus Edmisten, who lost the election for governor in 1984 because of barbecue.
When running for governor in 1984, Rufus Edmisten was asked if he had enough barbecue to eat. He made a fatal error.
“Something came over me that no one in their right mind would ever do,” Edmisten said. “I said, ‘Yes I certainly have, I’m tired of it. I hope I never see another drop of it as long I live.’ I said that, and I was joking of course!”
The comment created a media storm. Edmisten says the “barbecue faux pas” was a major factor in his loss.
“I never stopped liking barbecue,” Edmisten said. “I have withdrawals at times. I sometimes have to go four, five days on these fancy trips now that I have to make for clients, and I get these distinct barbecue hunger pangs.”