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.

Friday Find: “More Than A Flavor: The History of Eastern North Carolina BBQ”

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!

R&R Bar-B-Que – Concord, NC (RE-REVIEW)

Name: R&R Bar- B-Que
Date: 3/1/19
Address: 755 Pitts School Rd NW, Concord, North Carolina 28027
Order: Small Brakeman’s BBQ tray with red slaw and hush puppies, small brisket sandwich (no bread), Cheerwine (link to menu)

Monk: There are really only a handful of “old school” style barbecue joints in the Charlotte area. And by that, I’m not talking about anything with a full-service bar or that doubles as a diner or even open for a certain number of years. When you think about an old-school feel, Bill Spoon’s Barbecue and Bubba’s BBQ are two restaurants that have history and fit the bill. As does R&R Bar-B-Que, a train-themed barbecue restaurant in Concord. Curiously, all three serve eastern NC-style barbecue, as I had noted in my previous review.

On a rainy Friday, I checked out R&R for the second time since my only visit a little over 5 years ago. This time, I liked it a bit more. I speculated that they smoked with some sort of gas or electric smoker not aided by wood (a la an Ole Hickory or Southern Pride), and according to the NC BBQ Map that appears to be the case. No surprise, since there wasn’t any smoke wafting around the parking lot on either of my lunchtime visits. Still, the barbecue that was presented was nicely chopped and moist. A few dashes of the hot vinegar sauce didn’t hurt, either.

The beef brisket, a Tuesday and Friday special, was another story. I ordered only out of morbid curiosity and not because I expected it to be any good. My concerns were validated a couple of bites in so I didn’t feel the need to finish my portion.

R&R does nail their red slaw, a pretty perfect representation of a Lexington vinegar-based slaw. It had the right balance of sweetness to tang and was served properly chilled. The hush puppies tilted more to the savory end of the savory-sweet spectrum but were still solid. Finally, they offer Cheerwine from the fountain, as every proper barbecue joint should (unless they have it in bottles, of course).

So R&R Bar-B-Que is still not essential barbecue, but for Charlotte its not bad and ably fills the niche of an old school barbecue joint.

Ratings:
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 4 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Brisket – 1 hog
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 3 hogs