Linkdown: 9/16/20

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Monk: When I moved to Charlotte in 2005, I was surprised at the lack of barbecue options in town. Though had I been paying attention then as I do now, it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise. Mac’s Speed Shop was a fun option for awhile but eventually fell off a cliff after it jettisoned its original barbecue partner and began to expand too quickly. It wasn’t a few years living in Charlotte until I finally checked out Bill Spoon’s Barbecue on South Boulevard, and while the style of barbecue seemed out of place (eastern NC whole hog in the Piedmont?) it was clear to me that it was Charlotte’s classic barbecue joint.

Unfortunately, as of close of business today after 57 years in business, that will no longer be the case. It was announced on Facebook Monday by current owner Steve Spoon, who in 2006 bought it from his grandfather Bill and began operating the barbecue joint in much the same way he had since he opened it in 1963 (albeit in a different location than their current one on South Boulevard). Screw you 2020, and screw you COVID-19.

Kathleen Purvis summed it up perfectly with this poignant quote that doubles as a warning for us lovers of other classic joints: “If all the hard lessons of 2020’s season of terrible teaches us anything, it’s that: Those places don’t last, can’t last, if we don’t make sure of it.

Charlotte Magazine’s Greg Lacour also pitched in, noting that the restaurant was struggling before COVID and had been operating in takeout only mode for the past few months

Sadly, its taken the restaurant closing for Charlotte to show up again

Native News

Seoul Food Meat Co will open a second location in the Optimist Park neighborhood (not NoDa as noted in their post) as part of an adaptive-reuse project called Lintmen’s

Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ is a small Connecticut chain that will open a Kansas City-style barbecue restaurant in Asheville’s South Slope

Non-Native News

Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston has been getting a big bump from “Chef’s Table: BBQ”

Home Team BBQ’s smoked wings makes the list

The best barbecue options in Virginia, according to Virginia Living

Solinsky’s in the Catskills of New York is serving some “epic brisket”, says Eater NY critic Robert Sietsema

I like this guy’s style

Friday Find: Morris Barbeque on The NC F&B Podcast

Morris Barbeque is a Saturday-only barbecue restaurant in the eastern NC town of Hookerton. It’s Saturay-only because owner William Morris and his daughter Ashley and her husband Ryan work Monday to Friday jobs and do barbecue in their spare time Friday night and Saturday. Interesting fact: they smoke their pigs at 400 degrees in 7-8 hours, which is a much higher temp than I’ve heard of folks smoking at before.

To pick a huge nit, it seems like for most of the conversation, the Morris Barbeque crew are bystanders to the conversation between the hosts and their “special” barbecue guest, who even does an impromptu commercial for his smoker company towards the end of the conversation. When you already have 5 people in a conversation (the two hosts plus the three guests), it seems silly to add another voice into the mix. Particularly when half the time the hosts are doing soliloquies instead of asking questions. Unfortunately, I think that Ashley gets lost in the mix. I hope the NC F&B guys do a lot more asking and a lot less talking next time they have another barbecue guest on the podcast.

Friday Find: Bob Garner Checks Out Whole Hog at Ken’s Grill and NC Bar-B-Q

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.

Linkdown: 1/22/20

Not all heroes wear capes

The Charlotte edition of the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival is moving from Symphony Park to Bank of America Stadium

Noble Smoke and Sweet Lew’s BBQ make Charlotte food blog Scallion Pancake’s list of best Charlotte restaurants

5 barbecue questions for Dave Grohl features this gem:

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.

Khói Barbecue has a unique take on Texas barbecue

John Tanner’s BBQ Blog muses on barbecue and the fine art

Longtime Houston pitmaster Angelica Martinez is featured by J.C. Reid in this Instagram post

Memphis in May 2020 is now less than 100 days away

GULP