Linkdown: 11/29/17

– A tiny new joint in the mountains of NC called The Tin Shed has opened on a farm in the tiny town of Spruce Pines

– RIP Douglas Oliver, longtime pitmaster at Sweatman’s Bar-B-Que

– Dino Philyaw, a former University of Oregon and Carolina Panthers football player originally from Dudley, NC, has brought (among other things) Eastern Carolina barbecue to Eugene

Dino Philyaw cooks all kinds of barbecue but he is partial to the type of vinegar and pepper sauce-based barbecue from eastern North Carolina, where he’s from.

– How our differences show our similarities

Even before I was old enough to be given my first rifle, I was aware of the difference between eastern and western N.C. barbecue. Eastern BBQ, strangely enough, was almost considered a foreign dish. More than one elder statesman from the Piedmont informed me that the sauce was indeed different — it could be “downright bitter!” Adding ketchup to slaw, furthermore, was just what one did. It complemented the sliced or chopped pork shoulder. With my provincial yet well-informed definition of barbecue and sides, I kept chomping away, whenever there was an opportunity to do so.

– A few long-but-not-forgotten barbecue restaurants get a brief mention in this Charlotte Five article on most missed Charlotte restaurants – Old Hickory House, Olde Original BBQ, Ol’ Smokehouse, Rogers Barbecue

– HECK YES:

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Linkdown: 9/13/17

RIP to the original Riverside location of 12 Bones; it is survived by the Arden location and a new Riverside location down the street coming in January 2018

Operation BBQ Relief has been helping out for weeks for Harvey and is now live for Irma

– I’ve never been here but its unfortunate when a joint open this long closes: Lewis’ Barbecue (not to be confused with the Texas joint in Charleston by John Lewis), a 70 year old barbecue restaurant in Clinton has closed

Shots fired at NC barbecue from a San Antonio journalist

Several years ago, a free afternoon during a work-related trip to North Carolina called for an obvious mission: Seek out the finest examples of the barbecue the locals hailed as the world’s best, and gorge accordingly.

But upon completion of this task, which unfortunately involved the ingestion of sad piles of shredded pork doused in a sauce consisting primarily of vinegar, one question lingered over the entire experience.

How can a state love something so much and yet still be so bad at it?

– Per Stacy Franklin, Franklin Barbecue is “hoping to open in the next two weeks” from a Texas BBQ Posse post from 9/7

– More Texas: Goode Co. BBQ in Houston (a joint that helped influence the Charlotte restaurant Midwood Smokehouse) celebrated 40 years of being open recently

– Matthew Odam recently unearthed a series of barbecue reviews from 1978 from recently passed Austin columnist John Kelso

– Always good to refresh the ol’ knowledge tank

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

IMG_9999
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