Monk: Bob visits Ken’s Grill and NC Bar-B-Q in La Grange, which serves his favorite eastern NC whole hog barbecue (only available on Wednesdays and Saturdays) even though it “has never been cooked over wood smoke” and Bob is admittedly a “wood smoked and live coals kind of guy.” Color me a bit skeptical.
Description: Bob Garner visits one of his all-time favorite BBQ spots, Ken’s Grill in La Grange.
Grohl: I’m an East Coast guy. I grew up in Virginia, so my favorite barbecue is North Carolina barbecue. It is whole-hog pork, salted, over hickory wood and when it comes off you pull it, chop it and put a North Carolina vinegar sauce on it which is vinegar, black pepper and hot sauce and that’s it, really. You put that on a white bun with coleslaw and that’s my favorite.
Name: Johnny Roger’s BBQ & Burgers Location: 3709 Concord Parkway South, Concord, NC 28027 Order: Small BBQ Sandwich with red slaw and fries (link to menu) Pricing: $$
Monk: Johnny Rogers BBQ & Burgers opened in May 2018 in a Concord strip mall a few miles north of the speedway. Their menu does a little bit of everything from barbecue to hot dogs to fried chicken sandwiches to burgers to salads. So while “BBQ” is in the name, it seems far from being the sole focus.
…And my barbecue sandwich would indicate as much. I didn’t get any smoke on the coarsely chopped pork, which may have well been from a crock pot. The red slaw topping was fine, but the sandwich absolutely cried out for their Eastern NC barbecue sauce in order to get any semblance of taste.
Johnny Rogers advertises that they are a scratch kitchen and perhaps that’s the case for their bbq beans or mac and cheese or onion rings but if my fries weren’t frozen, I’d be very surprised.
For folks in the area just north of the Concord Motor Speedway, at Johnny Rogers BBQ & Burgers I’d go with the burgers or one of the many other items on the menu.
Despite the incendiary words against Lexington-style barbecue (as well as a few mis-truths about beef and mustard), “More Than a Flavor” is well-produced 25-minute documentary that details the history of eastern NC barbecue (from the Wayne County Government nonetheless!). It even has a nice breakdown of the barbecue family tree for eastern style starting with Arnold Sasser, something which I hadn’t personally seen detailed out before – unlike the Lexington-style tree starting from Sid Weaver and Jess Swicegood I’m so familiar with.
The documentary also details the pork industry that is so big in Wayne County, and which nicely lends to the barbecue history in the area.
Description: Learn about the history of BBQ in Wayne County and across Eastern North Carolina in this documentary, More Than A Flavor!