Off the top, I haven’t tried Dickie Do’s in Haw River or Real Q in Winston-Salem (though I should remedy that), so can’t comment on those. But the rest of the joints on the list I have no qualms with, though while I enjoyed both I was surprised that he liked Clark’s Barbecue in Kernersville and College Barbecue in Salisbury so much.
The qualm that I do have is the lack of inclusion of The Barbecue Center in Lexington, though John acknowledges he may be in the minority here and links to his story for reference on his experience and thinking. Regardless, John Tanner is a well-trusted source on barbecue and NC barbecue in particular, so head on over and check out his list.
The land where BBQ King in Charlotte sits is up for sale for $4.2M
The latest Jon G’s pop-up is today at Vaulted Oak Brewing
Lewis Donald of Sweet Lew’s BBQ is one of the pitmasters at the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival
Leroy’s Taco Shop, the taco concept from Jake Wood of Lawrence Barbecue, opened this past weekend
Houston’s best barbecue restaurants near NRG Stadium for Final Four attendees this weekend
Two big barbecue festivals this weekend: the Houston BBQ Festival and Hogs for the Cause in New Orleans
The history behind Hogs for the Cause, which turns 15 this year
Hurtado Barbecue is bringing brisket birria tacos to Texas Rangers stadium
News you can use: don’t serve a pork butt sitting out accidentally for 12 hours
Robert Sietsema enjoyed Boots and Bones in Jersey City, which features the first pitmaster from Blue Smoke
Name: Boulevard Barbeque Date: 3/10/23 Address: 810 S College St, Morganton, NC 28655 Order: Two meat combo platter with pork, brisket, red slaw, jalapeno cheese grits, and hush puppies (link) Pricing: $$
Monk: Boulevard Barbeque is a restaurant in Morganton, which sits at the entrance to the Blue Ridge mountains in Burke County, NC. Mountain barbecue can be hit or miss in North Carolina, with places such as Buxton Hall Barbecue and , Hubba Hubba Smokehouse being on the great end of the spectrum. Boulevard, as it turns out, sits on the exact other end of that spectrum.
I went with the two meat platter of chopped pork and sliced brisket, which looked appetizing enough when placed on the table. However, looks were deceiving in this case as the pork was dry and mediocre despite having some decent bits of bark chopped in. It had a vaguely smokey taste to it, and Boulevard has a rack of wood outside its front entrance. But I suspect this is a wood-assisted gasser situation as this tray of pork was sorely in need of some sauce.
Keeping with the theme, the sliced brisket looked the part sliced about a half inch thick with a decent crust, but upon tasting it was dry slices from the flat of the brisket.
They give you a literal mountain of hush puppies almost certainly from frozen, though they were good enough in the moment. Alongside it I got a passable red slaw slaw and average jalapeno cheese grits.
In addition to the food, the restaurant itself was in need of a good scrub, as noticeable buildup of dust precariously sat above our heads in the (thankfully) turned off ceiling fans. The bathrooms were in even worse condition. There are far better options for barbecue in the mountains than Boulevard Barbeque so I’d recommend you keep on driving on I-40 in whichever direction you were already headed
Monk: A brewpub with a True ‘Cue barbecue joint attached is coming to Main Street of Mount Holly in early April. Owner Scott Blackwood is combining craft beer with traditional NC wood-smoked barbecue in what he’s calling Firehawk Brewpub. That means pork, ribs, and chicken smoked over a mix of oak, hickory, and pecan in a reverse-flow offset smoker cooked by “BBQ Don” Trevor Seifts.
“Being in the fire department, it seemed logical that we cook our food on live, wood-fired grills,” Blackwood told CharlotteFive. Couldn’t agree more, and I hope to report back on it before too long.
John Tanner and company (including John Shelton Reed) devoured their try of barbecue at Old Colony Smokehouse in Eden
Southern Fire Pit has closed due to building expenses. It replaced Arcadia Q, which itself closed in late August 2022. Toni London had been the manager of Arcadia Q before opening this restaurant.
The latest (perhaps final?) chapter of the Cafe 71 Smokehouse saga sees the former owner Newlan Otto Spears Jr. charged with writing bad checks
Anthony Anderson and Cedric the Entertainer have launched a barbecue company called AC Barbeque and will film a series for A&E called “Kings of BBQ”
John Tanner made it back to Smokecraft Modern BBQ in Arlington and found it worthy of recommendation
Today, Adrian Miller is at the History Colorado Center to take “an informative and entertaining look at people and places that shaped Colorado’s barbecue traditions”
Daniel Vaughn talks with The Texas Standard on the Egyptian-influenced KG BBQ in Austin
Roundup Rodeo BBQ is the newest barbecue restaurant at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios
Speedy: It was Super Bowl Sunday, 2023. I had been up a good portion of the night smoking a brisket on the Big Green Egg, and my MEATER thermometer (highly recommended!) told me it was time to pull my brisket, so I did. I let it rest in a cooler for a couple of hours, and when it was time to slice – disaster. My flat was overcooked and dry, the fat in my point was not rendered down enough, and I just didn’t have a good brisket. I decided it was time to do something about it. So I did.
Backyard Pitmasters is a Texas company that started BrisketU – a three hour class offered at various cities around the United States teaching backyard cooks how to smoke a central Texas style brisket. In Nashville, these classes are offered a few times a month at various breweries at a price of $119 – a price I was happy to pay if it would keep me from wasting another brisket. I signed up for a March class at Mill Creek Brewing in Nolensville, TN.
When the day came, I arrived around 15 minutes ahead of the noon class start time, and saw a large trailer offset smoker running – a good sign, and a great smell. I walked into the brewery, grabbed a beer, signed in at the registration table, and sat down at an empty seat. I was one of about 20 enthusiastic backyard cooks that day, and the class started just a few minutes after noon.
Our teacher was Pitmaster John, a Houston native who had transplanted to Nashville. It was pretty clear from the get-go that John knew his stuff. The class started talking about different pit types, fuel types, and wood. Questions were welcomed as we navigated these topics (and throughout the day), and talked a little bit about the different pits the individuals in the class used. John mentioned that the techniques taught in the class are pit agnostic, which I think is mostly true, but he used (and mostly talked about) offset smokers.
I found the three hour class to be incredibly interactive and informative. Several times throughout the three hours, the whole class got up and went outside to the pit to talk about various topics and to look at the brisket that was on the pit for us to enjoy later. Over the course of the class, we talked about equipment (pits and accessories), fuel/wood, different cuts of meat, how to select a brisket, trimming techniques, rubs, timing of the cook, wrapping, resting, and slicing the brisket.
This was A LOT to take in over three hours, but BrisketU provided a small book outlining most of what was talked about. John also did a nice job talking about where he personally deviated from the prepared materials when he cooked his own briskets. We were also fed twice throughout the class – brisket tacos halfway through, which were really good, and of course, the brisket at the end. We were given slices of both fatty brisket, lean brisket, and burnt ends.
So, what was the verdict? Overall, I had a great experience. This class is fast-paced, so it’s definitely not for someone who has zero experience around a barbecue pit, but you don’t need a ton of experience to keep up. I also don’t think it’s for competition barbecuers, though competition teams may learn some new tricks. Pitmaster John was clear that this was a backyard barbecue class, so we didn’t talk about what competition judges look for (in appearance or taste) or touch on building a competition box. But if you’re someone who has some level of familiarity with a smoker and wants to improve your briskets, this class is perfect for you. (Hint: the class also makes for a great gift for the aspiring pitmaster in your life.) I was quickly able to identify about a dozen things I’m going to do differently next time I cook a brisket – especially in the trimming and wrapping processes. I also left the class with a list of about $200 accessories I’m going to buy – everything from butcher paper to different slicing knives, but for barbecuers, this is the way.
Oh! You want to know how the brisket was! In short, it was great. The brisket was cooked perfectly, with great flavor and moistness – even on the flat (we learned a trick for this!). Backyard Pitmasters make (and sell in the class) their own rubs, which I think needed more pepper, as the bark was the only deduction I would have when scoring the brisket. But still, if I can cook a brisket even 90% as good as the one in this class, I will have gotten my money’s worth.
Ratings: Atmosphere – 4 hogs Knowledge of Pitmaster John – 5 hogs Materials – 4 hogs Brisket – 4.5 hogs Overall class score – 4.5 hogs (highly recommended!)
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