Bill Spoon’s Barbecue – Charlotte, NC (RE-REVIEW)

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Name
: Bill Spoon’s Barbecue
Date: 7/14/17
Address: 5524 South Boulevard  Charlotte, NC 28217
Order: Large chopped pork plate with slaw, baked beans, hush puppies, and sweet tea (link to menu)
Price: $13

Monk: As I was compiling the latest Charlotte Big Board update in March, I noticed a disturbing lack of NC-centric barbecue joints on the list. Four of the top 5 are Texas-style joints (Jon G’s Barbecue, Midwood Smokehouse and Smokeshack, and The Smoke Pit), and Boone’s doesn’t adhere to either eastern or Lexington-style tradition. Clearly, it was time to revisit some NC joints around town.

First on my list (once I got around to it a few months later) was Bill Spoon’s Barbecue, a whole hog eastern NC joint that is not all that inconvenient for me but which I tend to overlook. The last time we checked in was in 2015 and Speedy focused on the ribs which were a new menu item at the time. I considered the ribs but between the fact that the two-meat combo is a bit pricey and that Speedy wasn’t blown away by them last time, I steered clear and stuck with the large pork combo.

Looking back at old reviews, I think we underrated the pork at Spoon’s just a little bit. The chopped pork was tangy, flavorful, and moist. As I recalled, it was good on its own but was enhanced nicely by the table vinegar sauce. I gotta say, it was a nice change of pace to only get pork for once instead of getting all of the meats and having tons of leftovers.

The hush puppy basket was late in arriving, coming after our plates had come. But that likely saved me from overeating on the delicious, slightly-sweet cornmeal pups. I have come to appreciate the mustard-based slaw, even if it will never be my favorite style. And the beans were fine.

Me and the Monkettes got some naner pudding to go and if I’m being truthful, it was half the reason why I wanted to revisit Spoon’s. Just ridiculously good.

I left the meal full and satisfied, with a thought in my head. Bill Spoon’s Barbecue has been around for 54 years and will (hopefully) be there for many more, but on a Friday night the dining room hovered between 25-50% occupied. If I have anything to do with it, we need to make Bill Spoon’s more of a thing.

For more reviews, check out:
Marie, Let’s Eat! (2009)
Marie, Let’s Eat! (2016)
Big Wayner’s BBQ (2011)
Our original review in 2012
Speedy’s review in 2015

Ratings:
Atmosphere – 4 hogs
Pork – 4 hogs
Sides – 4 hogs
Overall – 4 hogs

Bill Spoon's Barbecue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Friday Find: Pepsi’s City Tour eats NC barbecue

The Pepsi City Tour is a 3-episode web series, with NC barbecue kicking it all off. They visit B’s Barbecue in Greenville and Stamey’s Barbecue in Greensboro represents the west (or Lexington-style). The video has blatant product placement for Pepsi (duh) but does have some good soundbites from the proprietors of each joint. Check it out above.

In North Carolina you’re either an East Style BBQ or West Style BBQ lover. We asked masters from both sides of the state to show us what makes their hush puppies, pulled pork and slaw the very best.

Linkdown: 8/17/16

– WOW: Picnic is hosting a three-day “bbq revival” and bringing in Elliot Moss of Buxton Hall, Sam Jones of Skylight Inn and Sam Jones BBQ, Bryan Furman of B’s Cracklin BBQ, Tyson Ho of Arrogant Swine, John Lewis of Lewis BBQ plus a lot more

– Speaking of Buxton Hall Barbecue, they have been named the #9 best new restaurant in America 2016

– Grant visits Zombie Pig BBQ in Columbus, his last new Georgia barbecue restaurant for awhile

– First We Feast gets another esteemed panel of experts to discuss “The Most Influential BBQ in America”; Barbecue Bros faves Stamey’s and Scott’s makes the list from the Carolinas

– Daniel Vaughn revisits Fox Bros Bar-B-Q after a few years and comes away impressed

– Question #1: Why are there two styles of NC Barbecue?

– Question #2: How would you describe SC barbecue?

Adding one more layer of complexity, he said that a third (or fifth, depending on who’s counting) sauce should be included: “rust gravy,” a ketchup-and-mustard blend found statewide, especially at the Dukes Bar-B-Que restaurants.

– Charlotte Agenda reports that Mac’s Speed Shop is opening a downtown Matthews location, just around the corner from Moe’s Barbeque

– Tim Kaine spent his Monday night eating barbecue at Buxton Hall and jamming with a bluegrass band nextdoor at Catawba Brewery

– So you can eat barbecue and lose weight; The Smoking Ho offers proof

Linkdown: 4/19/16

Eastern NC barbecue is coming to Etowah in Western NC from one of the guys behind the Bling Pig Supper Club in Asheville

– Whereas Elliott Moss was the first to bring whole hog barbecue to the area so here’s a profile from Food Republic

– The final stops for Grant on his barbecue tour of (mostly North) Carolina barbecue joints: a Lexington Barbecue redux, Richard’s in Salisbury, and Mike & Jeff’s BBQ Diner in Greenville

– B’s BBQ and Lexington Barbecue make this list of 25 Restaurants You Have To Visit In North Carolina Before You Die

– The BBQ on the Bluff competition is this weekend in Fair Bluff, NC

– Would NC uniting under a mustard-based barbecue sauce lead to the immediate repeal of HB#2? Charlotte Magazine thinks so in this tongue-in-cheek article

– Some are even getting their own Heinz barbecue sauce…

Linkdown: 11/25/15

– CNN calls the combination of barbecue and  football a “rapturous experience” and calls out places in some rivalry games this coming weekend including Allen & Son, Stamey’s, and Raleigh’s The Pit

– “Dipped” chicken is available at some some barbecue restaurants in NC including Bar-B-Q King in Charlotte and Lancaster’s BBQ in Mooresville and Huntersville

– Missed this a few weeks back but Southern Foodways weighed in on Calvin Trillin’s New Yorker article on NC barbecue

– We’ll lay off him since the Panthers are 10-0 and he only joined the team in week 4, but Jared Allen favors KC barbecue over NC

CM: You played in Kansas City for a while. Let’s talk barbecue.
JA: I know Charlotte’s probably going to hate me for this, hands down I think Kansas City has the best barbecue in the world. They have a variety. You can go to Arthur Bryant’s up there and get kind of the Carolina style, the more vinegar-y, and I’m not huge on the vinegar. Although it is nice because it’s not as smoky, but for some reason when I think I’m going to get barbecue, I plan on being really miserably full at the end of it. You know? [Editor’s note: The Panthers are 9-0. Nobody here can hate you. Unless you talk smack about Price’s.]

The good part out here is that I’m not miserably full. It’s not that heavy; it’s a lighter barbecue. But yeah, barbecue is great.

– In “so what” news, eastern NC barbecue is ruled healthier than its Lexington counterpart

– Making the South Carolina specialty

 

Linkdown: 8/5/15

– Food and Wine has must-see spots to check out in Charlotte if you only have a day, and Midwood Smokehouse makes the list

6 p.m.: Midwood Smokehouse. No trip to the South is complete without a stop for BBQ and Midwood Smokehouse is easily the best joint in Charlotte. People swear by the pulled pork and ribs, but I can’t get over the brisket and burnt ends. Temper your animalistic cravings, though – this is just a stop for hors d’oeuvres.

– Follow the SC Trail to Fort Mill BBQ Co.

– ICYMI, Queen City Q’s second location is now open in Matthews

– 10 joints in NC that will “leave your mouth watering”; three Triad joints make the list as does two Triangle joints

– Vote for the NC barbecue trail in the 10 Best’s Best Food Trail poll

– Baltimore City Paper’s BBQ issue is online and it includes an article on how pit beef became a symbol of barbecue

– Remember the salmonella outbreak at Lexington’s Tarheel Q? Well, they now face a wrongful death lawsuit as a result of it

– The Fayetteville Observer has 5 eastern joints where NC is an art

– A classic SC joint goes Texas with brisket

– From Ricky Scott (as opposed to Rodney)

Friday Find: High on the Hog videos

In case you missed the link in our 12/17 Linkdown, this is the trailer for “High on the Hog” and an additional video on the packing process. “High on the Hog” was a multi-part story of “the journey of silky pork from NC farms to the world’s biggest metropolis.” The whole feature is highly recommended if you are interested in better understanding eastern NC’s place in the global economy when it comes to pork.

Monk

Linkdown: 7/9/14

How well do you know southern barbecue? Take this ten question Garden & Gun Magazine quiz to find out.

– This weekend’s Carolina West RibFest (formerly the Carolina Mountain RibFest) in Asheville will feature Mexican wrestlers and fire breathers in addition to ribs

barbecuerankings hits up Skylight Inn and B’s, Wilber’s, and Grady’s this week

la Barbecue is moving to the GoodLife Food Park in early August and will add a third pit

– Gear Patrol hits up 6 “must-eat” BBQ stops inTexas (via bbqboard)

– A Thrillist list of “6 most important barbecue sauce styles in the country” includes both eastern and western NC (via)

– Despite all its delicious barbecue, NC only managed 11th in this Thrillist list of the 50 states ranked by their food and drink; hey, at least we weren’t Virginia (#32)

“Virginia is for lovers, country ham aficionados and wishing that BBQ you’re eating had come from North Carolina.”

– Kevin Gillespie (of Top Chef fame) borrowed a burn barrel from Rodney Scott and cooked whole hog barbecue this past weekend; he will be opening a barbecue restaurant called Terminus City in Atlanta next Spring

Linkdown: 5/13/14

– North Carolina is #2 on TripAdvisor’s “Top 10 States for BBQ.” Sure, I guess I can buy that. #1 on the list? Georgia…wait, what?

– Speaking of Georgia, here’s an interview with native son Myron Mixon from Conde Nast Traveler

– Statesville has a place that serves both eastern and western NC barbecue

– Another list of barbecue around the world, entitled “From the Philippines to Australia, a Gorgeous Look at BBQ Around the World”

– Eater’s guide to eating brisket in NYC, including Barbecue Bros fave Mighty Quinn’s

– Unfortunately, you need a subscription to read the whole article on barbecue styles in the Houston area, but there are these two fantastic sentences just before the paywall:

There are a lot of different styles in the United States, but the two barbecue heavyweights are North Carolina and Texas. Barbecue folks in Kansas City and Memphis are going to take umbrage at that statement, but that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

A recap of last week’s Getting Jiggy with the Piggy last weekend in Concord

– The Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, as well as the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship that takes place alongside it, will remain in Raleigh until at least 2018 

– Alton Brown’s favorite barbecue is…North Carolina barbecue (specifically eastern; question and answer is at 2:13 of the linked video). 

Tacos faced barbecue in this final round of Food Network’s “Regional Foods Face-Off” bracket. Spoiler alert: barbecue won.

Congratulations, barbecue! You are the pride of the South. If you think about it, what’s more American than barbecue? It was born and bred in the United States. And even though there are different types of barbecuing methods, preparations and sauces, which are very often hotly contested between states, at the end of the day it’s easy to bring together a crowd of family and friends when there’s a barbecue nearby. And with summer just around the corner, it’s time to pull out those grills and dust off those barbecue pits because grilling season is ahead!

– Not sure how long it’s been up, but the website for Ed Mitchell’s ‘Que is live and you can take a look at the menu here; full plates include both chopped and pulled eastern Carolina whole hog as well as chopped bbq turkey, brisket, ribs, fried chicken, and bbq half-chickens. The original opening was in April, but hopefully we’ll hear more details soon

Linkdown: 4/2/14

The NC ‘Cuegrass Festival will take place April 26 in Raleigh outside of The Pit

The latest update on The Great NC BBQ Map includes the fact that the map will eventually be able for purchase outside of the Kickstarter campaign; sign up on the mailing list to know exactly when

– Restaurateurs from Denver, NC will start selling eastern-style barbecue next month at a stand in downtown Belmont

– An update on the latest barbecue restaurants in the Triangle, including Ed Mitchell’s ‘Que which is set to open April 9

– Rocky Top BBQ Co. out of Monroe, NC will be representing NC in the upcoming season of BBQ Pitmasters, which starts April 12 (via bbqboard)

– Could Charlotte’s best barbecue come from a food truck? Restaurant Traffic seems to think so, specifically from Boone’s Bar-B-Que:

– BBQ is taking on Fried Chicken while Cheerwine is against Sweet Tea in this Southern Food Bracket (aka Mason-Dixon Madness)

– The latest brewdog at JJ’s Red Hots in Charlotte is a “BeerBQ” dog by Triple C Brewing

You reallllly don’t want to miss this one. Triple C brought in the big guns with ‘BeerBQ’. It starts with a big ass pork butt smoked and shredded to perfection. Then topped with a Smoked Amber BBQ sauce and finished with battered and deep fried onion pieces.  That is all. This one really doesn’t need any further explanation.

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