Kevin’s BBQ Joints sits down with “barbecue man” Wyatt Dickson of Picnic in Durham. I actually went to elementary school with Wyatt back in Fayetteville, NC but haven’t spoken to him in probably 26 years. I’d like to make it back to Picnic again (my only visit was a bit of a mixed bag) but who knows if he’d remember me or not. In any case, another interesting conversation worth your time.
– Oh yeah?!? Well, um, no one eats barbecue to be healthy so…
— WRAL NEWS in NC (@WRAL) July 11, 2018
– Bob Garner gets a bit existential in his latest column: What happened to barbecue?
That’s why your traditional view is what I argued in my 1995 first book. It sold a ton of copies in hardback, far more than any of my subsequent books, and nearly all of them were sold in-state.
But, I have to accept that “North Carolina Barbecue: Flavored by Time” is now out of print. We can only visit the memory and greatness of those places at Rocky Mount’s park display commemorating the city’s barbecue heritage.
I could insist on continuing to scribble history books many people won’t buy. Not many among them seem to read history any longer. Doomed to repeat it? I don’t know.
– WRAL’s list of best barbecue in the Triangle dubiously contains two chain restaurants
– Four NC pitmasters, including Adam Hughes of Old Colony Smokehouse in Edenton, will compete on Chopped Grill Masters in an episode airing August 7
– Delish’s 15 best barbecue festivals in the USA includes The Barbecue Festival in Lexington
– Say it ain’t so, Dave. Say it ain’t so.
– The Washington Post food writer Tim Carman managed to find a new angle on a Rodney Scott profile
The Beard Award winning pitmaster Rodney Scott has become a celebrity in tight-knit barbecue circles. But it has come at a cost. https://t.co/Kql4Nh3EbE
— Tim Carman (@timcarman) July 16, 2018
– I was honored to participate in a barbecue roundtable at the NC State BBQ Camp last weekend (more on that in the coming weeks); here’s a writeup from the alumni magazine from last year’s edition of the camp
— NC State Provost (@NCStateProvost) May 2, 2018
– Chapel Hill author D.G. Martin knows his NC eateries (including barbecue), and Southern Smoke BBQ in Garland is his current favorite NC restaurant
– Forbes says that Bulleit Rye is the best pairing with eastern NC vinegar sauce; check out the other bourbon/whiskey pairings here
– Always save room for dessert
We could always use some banana caramel cake, or a rich chocolate slice with chocolate icing—or carrot cake, if we need some extra vegetables after a heaping platter of barbecue. https://t.co/f1cElwkBKf
— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) May 30, 2018
– Buxton Hall and Picnic have two of the best fried chicken sandwiches in NC
– Robert Moss with a nice primer on barbecue styles
— Robert Moss (@mossr) May 17, 2018
Monk: Last week I posted my list of the 10 best joints in western North Carolina. Here’s my list of honorable mentions.
Please note: For the purposes of this list, I’m defining “western NC” as west of, but not including, Raleigh. In essence, I am dividing the state geographically by the two styles of barbecue but not limiting this list to purely Lexington-style/Piedmont-style/western-style barbecue joints. Make sense?
Johnson Family Barbecue – Durham (review)
Outside of my usual digging for barbecue joints I had never heard of Johnson Family Barbecue, so it was a pleasant surprise that the barbecue was as good as it was. The makeshift smokehouse shed around back only adds to the charm of the joint, which is connected to a gas station on Wake Forest Highway between Durham and Raleigh/Wake Forest. 5021 Wake Forest Hwy, Durham, NC 27703 johnsonfamilybbq.com
Midwood Smokehouse – Charlotte (review)
As the story goes, if Frank Scibelli can’t get a certain food in Charlotte, he tends to open a restaurant to fill that gap. With Midwood Smokehouse, that gap was wood-smoked barbecue; primarily central Texas brisket and sausage but also but also pan-regional smoked meats such as eastern NC pulled-pork, burnt ends, and ribs. With the latest Park Road location in Charlotte, Midwood Smokehouse is now looking to fill in the gap for wood-smoked whole hog barbecue in Charlotte. various locations midwoodsmokehouse.com
Picnic – Durham (review)
As with Buxton Hall and Old Etowah Smokehouse, Picnic was part of a trend of new whole hog joints outside of eastern NC a few years back. While I found it to be a little on the pricey side, the whole hog was still quite good and worth a return visit whenever I get another chance. 1647 Cole Mill Rd, Durham, NC 27705 picnicdurham.com
The Smoke Pit – Concord, Monroe, Salisbury (review)
What began as a combination butcher shop and barbecue joint has developed into a small chain with locations in Salisbury and as of earlier this year, Monroe. The Smoke Pit does serve pulled pork but is a good bet for the some of the best brisket from a restaurant in the Charlotte-area. various locations thesmokepitnc.com
Smokey Joe’s Barbecue – Lexington (review)
Speedy Lohr’s BBQ – Lexington (review)
Someday, I hope to be able to properly assess all of the 18 or so Lexington barbecue joints and create a comprehensive list. In the meantime, I will say that Smokey Joe’s Barbecue and Speedy Lohr’s BBQ are quite good and in my current top 5 for the small town of approximately 20,000. Smokey Joe’s Barbecue: 1101 S Main St, Lexington, NC 27292 smokeyjoesbbqlexington.com; Speedy Lohr’s: 3664 NC-8, Lexington, NC 27292
Well, what do you think? What joints have I missed the mark on or left off on either this list or the 10 best list entirely? Let me know in the comments below.