Linkdown: 6/7/23 – The Agent ‘Cue Edition


Monk: Queen City Nerve goes deep on the roots of the newly opened Firehawk Brewpub in Mount Holly. While I haven’t made it out there myself (and couldn’t make the media opening due to family commitments), I do plan to make the trip very soon. After reading this article about the barbecue restaurant/fish camp/brewery, I’m even more excited.

Native News

Dana Hanson is a Meat Scientist at NC State and runs their annual barbecue camp, modeled after Texas A&M

Sweet Lew’s BBQ and The Smoke Pit are two vendors for this weekend’s Taste of Charlotte

Looks like Christopher Prieto and Prime Barbecue will be on UNC-TV soon

New Sam Jones BBQ merch just in time for Father’s Day

Non-Native News

John Tanner enjoyed Randy’s Ribs , a carry-out place on Route 5 in Maryland

Fresh off retirement from the competition circuit, Melissa Cookston weighs in on 14 barbecue myths

Congrats to Kevin Bludso on the James Beard win for his latest cookbook;

No barbecue pitmasters or chefs won this year and the Carolinas were also shut out, but here’s the full list of winners

Linkdown: 5/3/23 – The Speedy’s Barbecue is Back Edition


Monk: In “news you absolutely love to see,” Speedy’s Barbecue has reopened in Lexington. Undaunted by the NC DOT’s widening of Highway 8 that killed off Smiley’s Barbecue, Speedy’s has moved about a half mile down the road from their longtime location of 60 years into what formerly housed Tricia’s Catering.

In an interview earlier this year owner Roy Dunn stressed that only the location is changing. Speedy’s will have the same menu, same staff, same prices and same motto — “ Quality, Quantity and Quick service.”

Curb service, a staple of classic Lexington barbecue joints, is open with 13 spots available

Merch is available

Speedy’s Barbecue is now open 11am to 8pm Monday through Saturday at 408 Piedmont Dr Lexington, NC 27295

Native News

Congrats to Little Pigs BBQ of Asheville, who celebrated 60 years open last month

Jon G’s Barbecue makes Eater Carolinas’ list of Essential Restaurants in Charlotte

Paste Magazine reviews the Cheerwine-flavored beer from NoDa Brewing

Congrats to Concord-based SnS Grills for being named “The Best Kettle Style Grill” by Food and Wine in a recent rundown of charcoal grills

WRAL’s best barbecue in Raleigh contains one old but mostly newer places

Non-Native News

Congrats to City Limits Q on the announcement of their upcoming brick and mortar in West Columbia

Aaron Franklin’s latest restaurant Uptown Sports Club is more sports bar than barbecue joint, but it does have some chopped brisket and sausage on the menu in various forms

Amy Mills of 17th Street Barbecue was recently honored back in March

Happy belated birthday to “Black Smoke”

Congrats to Wildwoods BBQ on winning last week’s Brisket King NYC

A little history lesson on Big Joe Bessinger, the “pioneer of SC BBQ”

Content ahead of last week’s NFL Draft in Kansas City: Mitchell Schwartz’s favorite barbecue joints in KC

Firehawk Brewpub will offer creekside beer, barbecue in Mount Holly

Monk: It was just a few weeks ago when we learned of the existence of Firehawk Brewpub in Mount Holly and according to comments on their Instagram, they are opening “very very soon.” Based on this, I would expect them to be open by the end of May. This video is from the Charlotte Observer.

Description: The new Mount Holly restaurant, located in the former Fire Department building, includes a patio and outdoor greenspace to enjoy craft beer and wood-fired barbecue.

Sweet Lew’s BBQ Remains Ever Dependable

Monk: While I’ve certainly stopped into Sweet Lew’s BBQ several times since our somehow only official review from opening day in December 2018, I recently made a quick week day stop for lunch to check out how things are going.

To avoid overeating on a workday, I went with the chopped pork sandwich combo which comes with one side and a drink for $14. The chopped pork sandwich itself is a mountain of smoky pork on a potato roll and can be topped with your choice of slaw and sauce (red slaw and vinegar for me, respectively). You could probably get two respectable sandwiches out of the amount of pork so $14 is a better value than at first glance.

They didn’t have rice at that moment for what would have been my preferred side of hash and rice so I went with barbecue potatoes, an item I hadn’t had at Sweet Lew’s before. While they may look plain in the pictures they were packed with flavor from a broth of pork. Would definitely order again.

Sweet Lew’s BBQ is an ever dependable barbecue joint in the Belmont neighborhood just outside of Uptown Charlotte that is worth a stop in if it’s been awhile. They’ve also got a great covered patio for the warmer weather coming up. I’d recommend you check them out if liked me it’s been a while. I’ll certainly be stopping in short order for a full re-review.

Have you checked out Sweet Lew’s BBQ lately? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.