Linkdown: 6/3/15

– Remember the Carolina-style barbecue joint in SF, Rusty’s Southern? Well there, “barbecue doctrine gives way to what simply tastes right” as they do their variations on NC and SC style barbecue and sauces

– EDIA, Inc, the folks behind The Great NC Barbecue Map, collaborate with Garden & Gun Magazine on 5 lesser-known NC barbecue joints

– This DC-area blog has a breakdown of the different spots around DC to try various styles of barbecue

– Red Hot & Blue opened its latest chain restaurant in Cary in early May

– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits Couch’s Barbecue in Ooltewah, TN for the second time and reiterates that its worth a stop, even if the style of barbecue is a little unique

– Robert Moss goes in deep on Central Texas sausage in his latest post for Southern Living

– Some (but not all) details on Looking Ahead to the Past BBQ, a cool sounding barbecue event around Charlotte on June 14; the location has yet to be disclosed:

The Relish Carolina event will include outdoor cooking by chef Jim Noble and his Noble Food & Pursuits team, wine pairings by Eric Solomon of European Cellars, and involvement from Dan Huntley of Dan the Pig Man Barbecue, Free Range Brewing, Haunt Bar and Unknown Brewing. Some of the proceeds will benefit The Kings Kitchen and Bakery, owned by Noble, which supports homeless programs in Charlotte.

Linkdown: 1/14/15

– Barbecue Bros fave Midwood Smokehouse is adding a Ballantyne location so that folks in suburbia can have good barbecue too; it will also allow them to expand their catering operations with the space’s larger kitchen

– Charlotte Observer restaurant critic checks out The Improper Pig and has mixed reviews

The place’s selection of sauces also include a sweet/spicy traditional, an Eastern-style and a mustard one, plus versions dubbed Korean, Thai and teriyaki. You’ll want to try them, and use at least one liberally. A half chicken, smoked, had more moisture than the pork, though not much more flavor. Wings were OK, and go for $10 a pound, in our case eight wings.

– Over in the Triangle, Big Mike’s Brew N Que opens in Cary; half barbecue restaurant, half bottle shop

– Robert Moss breaks down the unique regional variations of brunswick stew

– Speaking of which, in his latest column he moves away from exploring certain dishes to reviewing a barbecue joint; first up, its B’s Cracklin BBQ in Savannah, who only opened last October but is cooking heritage breed hogs over all types of wood

– Steve Raichlen predicts barbecue trends in 2015

The Eater National 38 includes Franklin Barbecue and Gunshow in Atlanta, which serves whole hog barbecue

– Daniel Vaughn’s most underrated barbecue meats and sides in Austin

– Useful NC infographic

– King’s in Kinston gets the Our State Carolina ‘Cue treatment

City Barbeque – Cary, NC

: City Barbeque
Date: 11/14/14 and 1/7/15
Address: 1305 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary, NC 27511
Order: Lil City (Combo plate with pork and brisket), gumbo and hushpuppies (link to menu)
Price: $10

Speedy: Look – I know City Barbeque is a small chain (though they don’t franchise) and I know they use a gasser (though it is a Southern Pride), but I had a hankering for ‘cue one day and I had driven past this place before, so I decided to stop in. And I’m glad I did.

City Barbeque sits as a stand alone building in a good sized shopping center. It’s Southern Pride smoker is attached to the building, such that the wood is put in from the outside, but there’s a door on the smoker inside the building as well. The restaurant has a modern feel. You order at the counter, and the meat is then cut or pulled and you take your seat. The order method makes it seem like it’s trying to be old school, but it kind of falls flat on that aspect. It’s not a bad atmosphere, per se, but not my fav.

City serves all kinds of ‘cue – pork, brisket, sausage, chicken, turkey, and ribs. It definitely has a newer feel. Both times I’ve been, I’ve avoided the ribs (as I’ve been in business-wear) and opted for an off-menu (but often ordered) Lil City, which is a half portion of brisket and half portion of pulled pork. I’ve had three sides total in two trips – the gumbo (never before seen as a ‘cue side), hush puppies, and vinegar slaw.

The pork has a really nice bark and is pretty tender. I could use a little more smoke, but the flavor is there. There is a station with several sauces available (kind of like the salsa bar at Moe’s), one of which is a vinegar sauce. I think adding a bit of this enhances the flavor, but overall, the pork is good.

The brisket, I think, is a little bit better. It is also plenty tender with great bark. There might be slightly too much tug, but I’m nitpicking a bit. I also think it could use a little more pepper in the rub to give a little more bit to the bark, but overall, I think it’s a very good brisket – especially for North Carolina.

The sides are top notch. The hush puppies are perfect. The slaw, which contains carrots and peppers in addition to the cabbage, is strong, and the gumbo is great (note: I’m a sucker for gumbo at all times, so having it available as a side here is a huge bonus). Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the sides.

Monk: Hmm…I’m not sure how I feel about gumbo at a barbecue place, but at least it was good. Sounds like City Barbeque (a chain started in Ohio) is worth a try next time I’m with all of the other relocated yanks in Cary.

Speedy: I definitely want to go back some time for dinner to check out both the ribs and the sausage, but overall, City Barbeque is a really good meal. It doesn’t have the down home feel of the old-timey ‘cue joints, and it does use a gas smoker instead of a stick burner, but these guys understand how to smoke meat. I’ll definitely be back.

Atmosphere/Ambiance – 2 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Brisket – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 4 hogs
Overall – 3.5 Hogs
City Barbeque on Urbanspoon

IMG_2095 IMG_2097 IMG_2098 IMG_2094 IMG_2099

Linkdown: 1/7/15

– More on the closing of Jimmy’s Barbecue, whose closing “signals change with barbecue” in the Lexington area

The closure of Jimmy’s continues a change in the local barbecue scene. Five years ago, seven restaurants participated in the annual Barbecue Festival. The closing of John Wayne’s Barbecue and Whitley’s Barbecue dropped the number to five, and now it will fall to four. The remaining restaurants and festival organizers may want to consider adding some of the county’s other barbecue restaurants to gain more manpower and food for the annual event.

– Yahoo! Travel calls The Barbecue Festival in Lexington the “can’t-miss event” in North Carolina

– Red, Hot, and Blue is opening a second RDU location, this time in Cary

A look back at the Kansas City bbq scene in 2014 (h/t @mossr)

A Reuter’s article on Daniel Vaughn, BBQ snob, from a few week’s back

“When I saw him walking up, I was a bit nervous. He can make or break a business,” said Matt Proctor, the pit master and owner of Stillwater.

– Is this guy (the so-called “brisket bandit”) kind of like the Robin Hood of brisket? Update: looks like he’s been caught as of Monday

– Speaking of brisket, it is more expensive than ever

– Our review posted earlier this week, but here are 8 things you need to know about The Improper Pig from Charlotte Five

– The SC BBQ Trail now has an interactive map:

– File this under “The More You Know”:

Linkdown: 3/26/14

– Charlotte Beer has a post on The Great NC BBQ Map and the barbecue-themed smoked amber ale with chile peppers being brewed in for their launch party; speaking of which, it’s still not too late to pledge to their Kickstarter!

An update on Rodney Scott post-exile tour:

All told, the tour raised just over $80,000, $60,000 of which will go toward the estimated $100,000 it will take Scott to rebuild his pit room. (The remaining $40,000 he’ll secure through a bank loan.)

As a 40-year-old business, Scott’s might have been able to sneak by with some grandfathering and just recreate what they had before. But Scott says, “We came to the conclusion that we should do this right. We decided to upgrade to all codes and all regulations, so this thing would be [around] more than a few more years.”

– Unknown Brewing Co. in Charlotte is having a Smoke Off on April 19 with 20 teams competing, live music, and beer of course

– Lexington’s BBQ Capital Cook-off will be April 25 and 26 (via bbqboard)

– There is a bill in the South Carolina senate which would declare barbecue the “Official State Picnic Cuisine of South Carolina”

– Speaking of which, Stephen Colbert is at it again; I know he is trolling but he does realize he is talking about mustard-based barbecue right?

– City Barbeque is opening in Cary, NC in mid April and are holding a sauce contest as part of their grand opening festivities; enter now through March 31

Barbecue traditions from around the world including lechon and satay from the Phillipines (via)

– Pretty in Pistachio has a short profile and some great photos of Mighty Quinn’s (our review here) in NYC’s East Village

image(image via)

– And finally, Big Wayner has 5 reasons why you should join the newly formed North Carolina BBQ Association

Linkdown: 11/27/13

Happy Thanksgiving from the Barbecue Bros!

– Great name for a NC BBQ joint in Hong Kong – yes, that Hong Kong (h/t rlreevesjr)

– A nice little article from The Elon newspaper entitled “The BBQ State: Unique origins of barbecue define North Carolina history, culture” which also includes a neat interactive timeline

A nice infographic on the 4 types of barbecue sauce (via)

– The BBQ Jew has some thoughts about City Barbeque coming to Cary

– The Pit Durham opened yesterday and will be open on Thanksgiving

Linkdown: 11/20/13

So pumped to attend tonight’s Southern Supper at Midwood Smokehouse with guest pitmaster Sam Jones

– Some write ups on the event from Creative Loafing and Charlotte Magazine

Jones and Barry plan to engineer a 3-course “throwback” barbecue dinner which will include local brews and beers from NoDa Brewing Company, southern hors d’oeuvres of pimiento cheese and smoke jalapeno dip, house salad, the whole hog (of course), old-fashioned warm apple cobbler with cinnamon ice cream, and other sides (hush puppies, collard greens, mac&cheese, etc.).

– In somewhat hilarious news considering the reputation of Cary (aka Concentrated Area of Relocated Yankees), the Ohio barbecue chain City Barbeque is opening a location there (via)

– Engineering consulting firm WK Dickson has turned the site of the former Melton’s Barbecue in Rocky Mount into a park, fittingly named Barbecue Park   

Why was the BBQ sandwich not named NC’s best sandwich? Instead, picked the Carolina burger

– More deets on True ‘Cue courtesy of TMBBQ; also they have started to add content to the official site seeks to educate people about real barbecue—meat slow-cooked over wood or charcoal alone, without the assistance of gas, electricity or any other heat source—by certifying and promoting businesses that produce it.  Why do we care?  Because real barbecue is rooted in taste, tradition and a sense of place, three things increasingly lacking in today’s world.  We think the world will be a better place when there is more real barbecue in it.

– Speaking of cooking real barbecue over wood, The Pit Durham opens next Tuesday