Charlotte Barbecue News from the Final Months of 2022

Monk: The biggest news from a mostly quiet past three months was the reopening of Bubba’s Barbecue in north Charlotte after 2+ years closure due to the pandemic. It technically opened over the summer, but that was a quiet reopening and it wasn’t publicized until October.

As noted in the article linked below, the restaurant first opened in 1963 as Jackson and Spoon’s Barbecue (later just Spoon’s Barbecue) on South Boulevard. In 1987, owner Ralph Miller purchased the restaurant and the original recipes. He later renamed the restaurant Bubba’s Barbecue and moved it to Sunset Road, where it has been serving Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue since 1994.

I’ll have a report back in a few weeks, but in the meantime it’s good to have a classic barbecue restaurant back in operation.

October

10/7 Bubba’s Barbecue quietly reopened over the summer, reports the Charlotte Observer

10/9 Jon G’s Barbecue collaborates with Lawrence Barbecue on a taco pop-up in Raleigh at Trophy Brewing

10/11 Mac’s Speed Shop’s latest location in Concord will also feature live music

10/18 Local coverage from WSOC TV on Phar Mill Brewing & BBQ‘s expansion into Concord

10/23 Courtney’s BBQ in nearby Clover opened a brewery that is open every day the restaurant is

November

11/7 The Smoke Pit wins Best Soup for its Smoked Chicken and Dumplings in the 17th Annual Soup Sampling by Cabarrus County’s Meals on Wheels

11/17 Jon G’s Barbecue collaborated with Virtuoso Bread in Waxhaw by smoking a bag of rye berries for 4 hours “in a way that the flavor would come out gentle and not too intrusive”

11/30 The NC F&B Podcast publishes its podcast visit to Jon G’s Barbecue

December

12/19 Midwood Smokehouse’s Raleigh location (opening this month) will have some different items than their current stores, including what looks to be a crunchwrap-type item

12/28 Mac’s Speed Shop has new menu items until the end of February, including this beef rib

Linkdown: 11/2/22 – The Call Back Later, Anthony Bourdain Edition

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Monk: Two decades ago, Anthony Bourdain and his production team reached out to Ed Mitchell at The Pit in Raleigh to talk about getting on season 2 of his show “A Cook’s Tour.” The only issue was that it was in the middle of a lunch rush. So, Ed Mitchell being a man of the people, he told him to call back because he was busy.

Forbes contributor Leslie Kelly recently caught up with Ed Mitchell and his son Ryan in light of his recent induction into the American Royal Barbecue Hall of Fame earlier this year. In addition to his True Made brand of barbecue sauces, he’s got a book coming in 2023 along with (hopefully) his much-delayed brick and mortar barbecue restaurant in Raleigh, The Preserve BBQ.

Native News

Shepard Barbecue will be on this Friday’s episode of Diner, Drive-In’s, and Dives airing at 9pm on Food Network

More on Phar Mill Brewing & BBQ’s expansion into Concord

Philly Bite Magazine (huh?) weighs in on NC barbecue with a half decent list

Non-Native News

John Tanner’s been making the rounds again, this time in the heartland of the country.

First up, he meets up with BBQ Tourist (and friend of the blog) Ryan Cooper at Porky Butts in Omaha, Nebraska for a platter of some Kansas City barbecue

…he hits up the Boxer Q food truck in Topeka, Kansas for a pork sandwich after a 10k walk

…he visits Chef J BBQ in Kansas City, Missouri for some wonderful by recommendation of Ryan

…back in Maryland, he enjoys Chicago-style rib tips and ribs at Uncle D’s Grill

…finally, he tries out Due South BBQ in Christianburg, Virginia for a pork sammie and the ever-rare side of hushpuppies (in Virginia, at least)

Charlotte Barbecue News from July through September of 2022

Monk: Phar Mill BBQ and Brewing has not only recently joined the Charlotte barbecue landscape within the last year or so but has even opened a second location in Concord (it’s original location is in Harrisburg). They are a joint that is smoking it’s barbecue over wood – on a Jon G’s smoker, nonetheless – and I hope to report back soon.

In the next six months, I’d love to see more upstart barbecue joints in Charlotte plus maybe an established, wood-smoking chain like Sam Jones or Rodney Scott or Home Team join the Charlotte barbecue scene because, you know, a rising tide lifts all boats.

Here’s the notable barbecue news from the past three months.

July

7/12 Spectrum 1 checks in on Barvecue, the wood-smoked, plant-based barbecue from Cornelius

7/12 Jon G’s Barbecue makes Yelp Charlotte’s list of 25 places to eat in Charlotte

7/15 Lewis Donald is no longer involved with Dish and will be focusing his efforts on Sweet Lew’s BBQ and the Carolina Barbecue Festival going forward

August

8/3 HopFly Brewing Company releases Go Time Smoked Pilsner, brewed in collaboration with Jon G’s Barbecue:

We put this recipe together with our friends from the renowned @jongsbbq in Peachland, NC. In addition to our favorite pilsner malt, we filled this beer out with a healthy quantity of wheat smoked by Jon G himself down in Peachland. This beautiful golden lager has a round, malty sweetness complemented nicely with overtones of the BBQ pit. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a slab of smoked brisket, or while you’re at home standing next to the grill. 4.0% ABV

8/3 Jon G’s also makes the News & Observer’s favorite NC barbecue joints

September

9/3 Jon G’s Barbecue shares some photos of their involvement in the wedding of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Afflect in Savannah

9/9 Phar Mill Brewing and BBQ opens its Concord location

9/14 Noble Smoke, Jon G’s, Midwood Smokehouse, and The Smoke Pit are included in this Texas-style barbecue restaurant roundup from Kevin’s BBQ Joints

9/16 Phar Mill Brewing and BBQ announces its new chef, Chef Eric

9/17 Midwood Smokehouse made it to the finals of the News & Observer Barbecue Bracket but ultimately lost to Wilber’s Barbecue

Linkdown: 10/12/22 – The “Noted North Carolinian, Texas Pete” Edition

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Monk: Fascinating story first brought to our attention by the excellent NC Rabbit Hole newsletter by Jeremy Markovich. And relevant because Texas Pete has a long history with NC barbecue: “[The history section on the Texas Pete website] goes on to say that basically, during the depression, the Garner family wanted some spicier sauce to serve at their barbecue stand. The sauce outlived the stand.”

Also fascinating: Jeremy first brought this to our attention (culling information from a publicly available lawsuit, but still) but has since been aggregated out of credit. He breaks it down in the following Twitter thread.

The story has since been picked up by The Huffington Post, USA Today, Business Insider/Food Insider, and the Nexstar-owned news stations like High Point’s Fox 8.

In any case, I urge you to support Jeremy and NC Rabbit Hole for not only this but lots of other fascinating, NC-focused stories.

Native News

The last bit on Texas Pete (for now), an Our State Magazine story on its history from 2017

Mac’s Speed Shop’s latest location in Concord will also feature live music

A short video on Cook Out from Food Insider

The Barbecue Festival is coming up on October 22

Non-Native News

John Mueller’s barbecue joint at the Granary didn’t come to fruition before he passed, but his friend Jeff Ancira is keeping his memory alive with BBQ at the Granary

Heirloom Market is still found on Eater Atlanta’s 38 Essential Restaurants lis

The Houston Chronicle Top 100 List features several barbecue restaurants, including Brett’s BBQ Shop

Voting Ends later today in this poll from City Limits Barbeque