Monk: Southern Living readers pick their favorite barbecue in each state in the South for the annual “Best in the South” issue. While Robert Moss provides a foreword, please remember that this is a reader chosen list and not his South’s Top 50 Barbecue Joints list. So address your ire at the masses and not Moss’ inbox.
Moss does note that half of the 14 are repeat, with the other half being new to the list. For North Carolina, the reader’s pick this year was Lexington Barbecue but it was not a repeat winner as last year’s choice was Buxton Hall Barbecue.
Check out the Southern Living reader’s pick at the link below.
Steve and Gerri Grady get profiled in the local paper, the Mount Olive Tribune
Monk: The News & Observer presents a video slide show of some great photos of their favorite barbecue joints across the state, from classic whole hog joints to new school places that feature brisket and a Texas influence. Restaurants included:
B’s Barbecue in Greenville
Grady’s Barbecue in Dudley
Jon G’s Barbecue in Peachland
Lawrence Barbecue in Durham
Longleaf Swine in Raleigh
Picnic in Durham
Prime Barbecue in Knightdale
Redneck BBQ Lab in Benson
Description: Barbecue is the hottest trend in food right now. And in tradition-rich North Carolina, a new generation of pitmasters is making new traditions of their own. Here are a few of our favorites. Video by Kevin Keister / The News & Observer.
Monk: Bangkok-based food YouTuber Mark Wiens visits 5 whole hog restaurants in eastern NC in this supersized video. The visits to Skylight Inn (where he meets with Sam Jones) and B’s Barbecue are of particular interest to me as I’ll be making stops there soon.
Description: NORTH CAROLINA, USA – Welcome to North Carolina, one of the capitals of Barbecue, in the world. Today I’m taking you on an ultimate BBQ tour of Eastern North Carolina which is famous for whole hog barbecue! During this food tour we’re going to 5 of the best restaurants in North Carolina, for Eastern style bbq.
The Skylight Inn, Ayden, North Carolina (https://goo.gl/maps/Wj3t9yRDw464Edmp7) – First stop is The Skylight Inn, easily one of the most well known bbq restaurants in North Carolina, in the United States. They do things the right way, whole hog, slow cooked over smoking coals. One of the best things about The Skylight Inn is when the whole hogs are ready they chop them up, with a ratio of meat, fat, and crispy skin, into an insanely juicy chopped bbq tray. It’s truly a life-changing bbq experience.
Bum’s Restaurant (https://goo.gl/maps/yfWPbidoykXLAtGe8) – Just down the road from The Skylight Inn you’ll find Bum’s Restaurant, another long time bbq restaurant. Along with whole hog bbq, they also have plenty of other southern US foods and great sides. They do their bbq quite differently, instead of being chopped its much more shredded.
B’s Barbecue (https://goo.gl/maps/AgiGLpQPSwhdWDgb7) – Greenville, North Carolina – Next we drove out to B’s Barbecue, a local favorite. I had really wanted to try the chicken bbq, but unfortunately they had already sold out. We barely made it in time to get some whole hog, but luckily we did. It was delicious and so were all the sides.
Grady’s Barbecue (https://goo.gl/maps/1tTj9qgL2guawpK48) Dudley, North Carolina – Another amazing and one of the best bbq restaurants to try in North Carolina is in the small town of Dudley. Again, they do things the right way, slow cooked over coals, the entire pig. Along with the pork, their other dishes, including smoked turkey and bbq chicken, and all the sides were outstanding.
Wilber’s Barbecue (https://goo.gl/maps/6SKdDphpu1mEhcUH6) Goldsboro, North Carolina – Finally to complete this North Carolina bbq tour, we’re eating at Wilber’s Barbecue which is a fantastic family restaurant. Their food and service is fantastic. Also, one bonus about the bbq here is that you can order the leftover or picnic bbq ribs, which are delicious and fun to eat.
When you’re in North Carolina, BBQ is something you must eat, it’s a huge part of the local culture, and I hope you can try some of these best Barbecue restaurants!
I covered this on the Facebook page briefly a few weeks back, but Smiley’s Lexington BBQ has officially announced its closing due to the NCDOT widening of Winston Road in Lexington. This widening was first announced in 2018 with a start date in summer 2020 but had likely been delayed due to the pandemic.
While owner Steve Yountz is not ready to retire just yet, per him “right now there is no definite plans on relocating as far as availably and affordability.” Patrons will have until February 26 to dine at the current location of Smiley’s before it closes its doors for good.
Nearby barbecue restaurant Speedy’s is also expected to close as a result of the road widening, however they are more optimistic about reopening in a new location and plan to rebuild and relocate, depending on the compensation they receive from DOT.
While the optimist in me hopes that both restaurants are able to relocate and continue business in due time, I worry that by next month we will be down two more classic NC barbecue joints.
A helpful post from Grady’s
Applications for the Preserve the Pit fellowship are due March 1st
Tim Carman of The Washington Post comes out with his annual barbecue list, with the wrinkle of releasing it in the winter time when some joints are closed
Carman also mourns the loss of pitmaster Corries Hardy
Rodney Scott and Eric Church getting into the honkey tonk game, and bringing whole hog to Broadway at Chief’s
Loro’s second location opens in Houston later this month
J.C. Reid on the evolution of the “Texas Trinity”
Roegels Barbecue opened their Katy location last week
Eater NY critic Robert Sietsema finds Myron Mixon’s Hoboken restaurant to be mixed in quality
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