Charlotte Barbecue News from the Second Quarter of 2021

Monk: In our first quarter wrap-up, I had optimism as things continued to move in a positive direction with vaccinations and the resulting re-opening of restaurants. That mostly continued, and while Charlotte lost a lot of its classic non-barbecue restaurants (Price’s Chicken Coop, Mr. K’s, Oakhurst Grill, Zack’s Hamburgers, etc), I only tracked one barbecue restaurant that closed during that time: the Tyvola Road location of the Sonny’s BBQ chain.

Charlotte barbecue even got some national attention, both of the good (Texas Monthly BBQ Editor Daniel Vaughn visiting and loving Jon G’s) as well as notorious variety (Charlotte as the #3 best city for barbecue according to

While we may never know about the barbecue joints that weren’t started during the past year, hopefully a corner has been turned (and the Delta variant of COVID doesn’t wreak havoc here like it has in other countries; get vaccinated people!) and the Charlotte barbecue scene can experience new concepts as well as expansion and growth of its existing ones.


4/9 Smoke Show BBQ is a new Texas-style barbecue pop up in the Charlotte area from transplanted Texan chef Brandon Belfer who has worked at fine dining spots The Stanley, Crunkleton, The Asbury, Kindred, and Hello, Sailor

4/12 Charlotte-based Mac’s Speed Shop finds itself coming out of the pandemic in a strong position for growth

4/13 Roddey’s BBQ has changed their lunch hours in Rock Hill to Fridays only

4/19 Jon G’s Barbecue gets in the pit fabrication game

4/26 K&N BBQ makes Axios Charlotte’s list of best food trucks; and they recommend you try the pork and brisket

4/26 Adam Richman (of Man vs Food fame) visits Midwood Smokehouse

4/30 In what was (somewhat embarrassingly) one of the oldest barbecue restaurant’s in Charlotte, the Tyvola Rd. outpost of the Sonny’s BBQ chain closed


5/7 Daniel Vaughn ends his NC barbecue trip at Jon G’s Barbecue, where I was fortunate enough to meet both him and Kathleen Purvis and also share a meal with him

5/12 Charlotte is obviously the number 3 Top City for BBQ in the US. No objection here.

5/19 Jon G’s Barbecue gets the highest of praise from the BBQ Snob himself, Daniel Vaughn; Noble Smoke also gets a mention for their brisket

5/25 Phar Mill BBQ introduces itself to the world and will be using a Jon G’s offset smoker


6/3 Sweet Lew’s Barbeque announces its new food truck

6/3 Noble Smoke announces details on its 2 year anniversary

6/8 Mac’s Hospitality Group, parent company of Mac’s Speed Shop, adds Rare Roots alum Jay Spungin as Director of Operations

6/19 Congrats to Jon G’s Barbecue on one year open

6/26 Charlotte-based EDIA Maps, makers of The Great NC BBQ Map, ends operations

6/29 And the name of the Sweet Lew’s Barbeque food truck is…Sweet Lucille

Linkdown: 6/9/21


Southern Living Magazine, their barbecue editor Robert Moss, Home Team BBQ, and Swig & Swine recently announced the Holy Smokes barbecue festival in Charleston this November. The pitmasters are still to be announced, but expect folks from South Carolina, California, Georgia, New York, North Carolina and Texas are expected to be in attendance. Here’s hoping it becomes a fixture for years to come.

Native News

Congrats to Lyttle Bridges Cabiness of Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge in Shelby for her induction into the Barbecue Hall of Fame

Mac’s Hospitality Group, parent company of Mac’s Speed Shop, adds Rare Roots alum Jay Spungin as Director of Operations

Ayden, NC, home to Skylight Inn and Bum’s Restaurant, chooses barbecue over collards for its future marketing campaign

Lawrence Barbecue finally opened at Boxyard RTP this past Saturday

Help name the new Sweet Lew’s Barbeque food truck

Non-Native News

Franklin Barbecue is reopening on 9/1

Eater: “Why Barbecue Sauce is Essential to Black Barbecue”

Barbecue Bible on “Black Smoke”

Matt Horn is on a roll in Oakland

Killer Q (food truck)

: Killer Q (food truck)
Date: 9/19/15
Order: Pork platter with beans and coleslaw
Price: $9

When it came to food options at the Southern Sauce BBQ Festival back in September I could have gone with a sure thing in Boone’s or safer options from Sauceman’s or Moe’s, but ultimately (potentially foolishly?) went with a truck I had never heard of.

I can’t find too much on Killer Q other than a Facebook page but it appears they are a very new food truck in Charlotte with the food truck only becoming operational in early September shortly before the festival. Since then, they’ve added a BQ smoker to their impressive mobile rig.

Whichever of their smokers they used that weekend, they produced some smokey pork with some decent bark. They also managed not to serve dried out pork, quite a feat during service for a day-long festival. If this was one of their first food truck services, they are off to a pretty damn good start. As for the sides, they  were standard and thankfully did not taste as if they came straight out of a can. They do a version of a barbecue sundae which combines all three and while I did not partake on that day, based on the individual foods I imagine it to be quite tasty.

When it comes to barbecue food trucks, all I ask for is quality smoked meat and sides that aren’t an afterthought. Killer Q manages to check both of those boxes, and can be added to the list of above average barbecue food trucks in Charlotte.


Pork – 3 hogs
Sides – 2.5 hog
Overall – 3 hogs

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Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que (food truck) – Charlotte, NC

: Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que (food truck)
Date: 6/18/15
Order: Smoked chicken platter with slaw, mac and cheese, and a drink (link to menu)
Price: $12.98

We’re clearly on the record of being anti just about any barbecue sauce other than our beloved Lexington-style vinegar sauce (or dip, as we prefer to call it). Thick ketchup-y sauce? Nope. Mustard? Definitely not. A mayo-based white sauce? We (mostly Speedy) don’t prefer a mayo-based slaw and definitely don’t want that stuff anywhere near our pork. The thing is, a white sauce isn’t meant for pork – its really meant for chicken. And at some point I knew I had yet to try it during my barbecue travels. Though the prospects of my first chicken and white sauce coming from a food truck on a 99 degree day could have disastrous results, I figured I’d go for it.

I tried Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que’s Matthews location solo a little over two years ago within a few weeks of it opening and had recently been thinking it would be worth a revisit as it’s not too far from the new casa de Monk. Their food truck in Charlotte began operating just about a month ago and had started making its rounds at the food truck rodeos and local breweries. It operates a limited menu of pork, turkey, and chicken with a handful of sides.

Back to the chicken and white sauce. I had my reservations but they were pretty much erased once I bit into the coarsely pulled chunks of smoked chicken. The white sauce complimented the chicken really well. My one complaint was that I would have liked it to be pulled into smaller chunks. I’m not about to turn my back on my beloved chopped pork, but for a change of pace more of this could be nice.

In terms of sides, the vinaigrette slaw and mac and cheese were just fine. Collards, beans, black-eyed peas, fried green tomatoes, chips, and banana pudding round out the rest of the available sides. More southern than barbecue, but that’s in line with their slogan of “southern soul food revival.”

The Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que food truck has quick service, puts out a solid product, and is worth checking out if you see them around town.

Update: Editor’s note (full disclose – Speedy is acting as editor): This review is the opinion of Monk and Monk only and does not represent the view of the entirety of the Barbecue Bros. At least one of the bros barely even considers chicken barbecue and would never, ever use a mayo based white sauce under any circumstances.


Atmosphere/Ambiance – N/A
Chicken – 3 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 3 hogs

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