Linkdown: 3/8/17

– As part of its Project 543 (named for the 543 miles between Manteo on the coast and Murphy in the mountains), Visit NC has a short profile on Lexington though it curiously says you can “go whole hog” in a city where they smoke pork shoulders

– Pitt County (around Greenville, NC) is working on lining up barbecue joints for a beer and barbecue trail

– Mississippi barbecue isn’t just Memphis’s lesser cousin

“Gas station barbecue is a phenomenon in the South and especially Mississippi,” Hatten said. “It’s servicing a population of the state that otherwise probably wouldn’t have lunch because they have to get back to work … a family-run joint is the archetype in the state.”

– The News & Observer editorial board: Bill Ellis was an inspiration to employees, all

Now here’s a story every North Carolina school child should learn. It is that of a kid who grew up on a Wayne County tobacco farm in the Great Depression, dropped out of school in the eighth grade to help support his family, worked at a variety of jobs and at 29, bought himself a hot dog stand.

– Marie, Let’s Eat! tries the brisket at potentially the best barbecue joint in Chattanooga’s, Shuford’s Smokehouse

– Daniel Vaughn on smoking barbecue in west Texas, where there are no trees

– Euphoria Greenville’s launch event in April will feature Elliott Moss

– Well this looks dang good

– More on Wofford College’s barbecue course held last January

– Barbecue is worth seeing at SXSW; also here’s an interview with director Matthew Salleh

-From an News and Observer sports writer at this week’s ACC Tournament in Brooklyn:

Linkdown: 7/27/16

– JJR’s BBQ at Bank of America Stadium has gotten the upgrade treatment as part of the latest round of renovations at the stadium

– The Southern Foodways Alliance has an oral history interview with Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor of Heirloom Market BBQ

– Several barbecue sammies on Esquire’s “Where to Get the Best Sandwich in Every State”, including a barbecue sandwich from Stamey’s in Greensboro

– “One of the reasons the project took longer than expected to complete was the discovery of a barbecue pit from the first brick and mortar barbecue restaurant in Lexington. Greene said the pits were hidden behind a closet in the former conference room, but when workers discovered what they were city officials knew they had to preserve that heritage, even at the cost of delaying the project.”

– Grant’s latest stop is Bluegrass Barbeque in Moody, AL which was the last stop on his Memphis trip

– TMBBQ visits Lewis Barbecue in Charleston and John Lewis proclaims “I live here, and I’m staying here”

– Sports Channel 8 makes the case for ECU to the Big 12 based on barbecue

Often times, I hear the Greenville television market getting knocked when conference expansion conversations happen. And yes, it’s not that large. But considering the Big 12 is a Texas-based league, I don’t think we’re looking at this the right way. Instead of looking at ECU’s market in terms of television size, let’s view it strictly in terms of BBQ quality. Texas has the brisket, I get that and I love it. But Greenville has B’s and Skylight Inn and Parker’s and many other great choices. Whether you like slaw on your pork or not — I personally choose to go without it — ECU’s BBQ scene stacks up with anybody in the country.

– Tough decisions:

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: 2/24/16

– Are black-owned barbecue joints dying?

– Tourism is booming in SC thanks in large part to barbecue

While multiple factors have boosted recent tourism growth in South Carolina, including a recovering economy and lower gas prices, Parrish said the influence of SCPRT’s DiSCover marketing campaign, which included promotion of the official South Carolina Barbecue Trail, also motivated travel.

– Over at Marie, Let’s Eat!, Grant visits two Georgia barbecue joints, Southern Soul in Saint Simons Island and Sandfly BBQ in Savannah

– Moore’s Old Tyme BBQ in New Bern is switching owners but thankfully still planning to cook with wood

– TMBBQ goes deep on the Mel-Man Sandwich, an East Texas specialty

– A couple more stories from Our State’s barbecue issue; B’s Barbecue

– …and Sam Jones’ new barbecue joint

Linkdown: 1/20/16

– The continuing trend of American barbecue’s growing popularity abroad

But it’s not just Paris. Barbecue, that onetime fiercely regional American food, has gone global. American-style barbecue restaurants have opened in Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, London, Vienna, Mexico City, even Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Last year, Wayne Mueller, the third-generation owner of Louie Mueller Barbecue, went on a State Department-sponsored world tour, during which he cooked barbecue and discussed its culture and history at the Milan Expo in Italy.

Yet another 10 best BBQ restaurants in America list, though this one includes a couple of unique ones like  Henry’s Smokehouse in Greenville (our review here) and Fox Brothers in Atlanta

Understanding the barbecue ratings game and whether you can judge a barbecue restaurant on the same scale as a French restaurant

– Garden & Gun examines the sauces of the teams that played in last week’s National Championship Game

– Grant visits the new Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant outpost in Chattanooga

– Big Wayner’s got a Five for Friday full of barbecue links

– Two of the 10 most anticipated Charlotte restaurant openings according to Charlotte Agenda have barbecue in their DNA: Kid Cashew (a Mediterranean smokehouse) and Seoul Food Meat Co (Korean flavors with American meats)

– An upcoming Atlanta joint hopes to help define what Georgia barbecue means

Bucky’s Bar-B-Q – Greenville, SC

IMG_4362
Name
: Bucky’s Bar-B-Q
Date: 12/28/15
Address: 1700 Roper Mountain Road, Greenville, SC‎
Order: Monk: pork plate; Speedy: St. Louis rib dinner (link to menu)
Price: Monk: $7.95; Speedy: $13.95

Monk: In the midst of a heck of an undefeated season for the Carolina Panthers, as season ticket holders, Speedy, Mrs. Monk, and I headed down to the ATL to support our team. While our trip actually in Atlanta was a bit whirlwind in nature (and unfortunately included a Panthers L), it at least afforded us a chance to grab barbecue on the way back to NC. Consulting the SC Barbecue Association’s 100 Mile BBQ site, I picked the Roper Mountain Road location of the four Bucky’s Bar-B-Q locations in Greenville.

On a side note: after researching potential joints to hit on the way home, I am officially declaring the stretch of I-85 between Greenville, SC and the NC/SC border to be a barbecue wasteland. Try barbecue restaurants in that part of that state at your peril.

Speedy: Bucky’s has an old school joint feel, with mismatched tables, barbecue paraphernalia on the walls, and a counter to place your order. The menu isn’t very diverse, but in barbecue, sometimes less is more, so Monk and I made sure to order two of the three meats (skipping chicken, obvi).

Monk: Obvi. One nice touch at Bucky’s that I hadn’t seen in many (possibly any thus far) cafeteria-style barbecue restaurants was the chopping of the pork butt in front of you as your order. The pork served from this freshly chopped butt was decently smokey and moist. I tried the table sauces but found that the meat held up on his own and didn’t need it.

Speedy: The ribs were big, meaty, and well seasoned. You could get a nice bite and you didn’t really need to add sauce. They were also cooked membrane off, which is a nice bonus.

Monk: Finally, membrane off! I feel like this is a common complaint at just about every joint we visit where we try ribs.

Speedy: Overall, they tasted like a good rib is supposed to taste, but there wasn’t really anything that made them stand out. Just a solid effort overall.

Monk: The green beans tasted straight out of the can while the mayo slaw was also nothing special. I tasted some of Mrs. Monk’s mac and cheese and it was slightly better. Based on the sides I tasted this day, the focus on Bucky’s is mainly on the meat. Which at a barbecue joint, I guess there could be worse things.

Speedy: That kind of sums up my thoughts, Monk – it was a pretty good meal overall, but not one I’ll be making special trips to replicate.

Ratings:
Atmosphere – 3 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Ribs – 3 hogs
Sides – 2.5 hogs
Overall – 3 hogs
Bucky's Bar BQ Express Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

IMG_4365 IMG_4366 IMG_4367

Linkdown: 11/18/15

– Congrats to Sam Jones on the opening of his new barbecue joint in Greenville, NC last week and continuing the tradition of wood-cooked barbecue

A decade back, those of us who make a living writing about and documenting barbecue were worried. Honest, wood-cooked barbecue was imperiled, we said. Pitmasters who dedicated their lives to firing pits and flipping hogs were atavistic, we worried, wheezing their way toward foregone retirement.

I’m pleased to report that we seers of ‘cue were wrong. We lacked vision. We lacked heart. Evidence of our errors of belief is seemingly everywhere. Traditional barbecue is now in renaissance.

More on Sam Jones and his role as fire chief in Ayden from the Southern Foodways Alliance and Chicago Tribune writer Kevin Pang

– Food Republic has a guide on where to eat in Columbia, SC that includes a couple of barbecue joints including Hite’s BBQ, True BBQ, and Big Boy’s Original Smokehouse

– Pork ribs in Mississippi changed Adam Perry Lang’s life

– Charlotte Agenda thinks Midwood Smokehouse has one of the best non-traditional tacos in the city

– On so-called “nouveau ‘cue” and the supersizing of barbecue

– Thanksgiving is coming, so here’s a homemade mac and cheese recipe from Midwood Smokehouse

Henry’s Smokehouse – Greenville, SC

IMG_2767
Name
: Henry’s Smokehouse
Date: 9/26/15
Address: 1842 Woodruff Rd, Greenville, SC 29607
Order: Pulled pork and rib combo, fries (link to menu)
Price: $10

Speedy: Long ago, in my pre-Barbecue Bros days, I used to do quite a bit of work in Greenville, SC – a very fine city. One of my go-to lunch spots was Henry’s Smokehouse on Wade Hampton Blvd. Despite being a classic SC joint, I remembered it fondly, so when I stumbled upon the Woodruff Road location, I knew I had to try it.

Monk: Like Speedy, I too had spent a fair amount of my pre-Barbecue Bros days in Greenville but sadly had not checked out Henry’s. I’m sure I was never very far from either location, since I spent a lot of time on or near both Wade Hampton and Woodruff Road.

Speedy: This location looks quite different than the Wade Hampton locale. And by that I mean it looks clean and modern. Maybe that takes away some of the mystique for some but overall, I liked this location better.

I remember loving Henry’s ribs while not being too enamored with the pork, but a $10 combo meal made the choice to get both pretty easy. And because I didn’t feel like even pretending to be healthy, I just went with a double portion of fries.

Well, turns out the pork was even better than I remembered. Tender with nice spots bits of brown thrown in, I did add a little bit of sauce for flavor (they have both mustard and a spicy vinegar/tomato sauce; I obviously went with the latter). I was definitely glad I ordered it again, and would recommend it. It’s not the best I’ve ever had but it was good, especially for South Carolina (burn).

Monk: …sick burn. So the pork was dry with optional table sauces? How does the spicy vinegar tomato compare to a NC sauce?

Speedy: Not dry really – I just wanted a little more flavor. And the sauce is a little spicier and sweeter, but lacks the tang that I like.

The ribs were what I thought they were, which is a good thing. Meaty and perfectly seasoned. My only complaint is that this batch was a tad overdone, but not so much as to ruin them – the bone did not fall out. They’re served wet, but not overly sauced. Henry’s is definitely a great place for ribs.

Monk: Speedy, Mrs. Monk, and I almost went to Henry’s on our way back from Atlanta a few months ago before ultimately deciding not to. Based on Speedy’s review, I hope to make it to either location next time.

Speedy: Overall, Henry’s Smokehouse is a solid old-timey joint. You pretty much know what you’re getting coming in and I’d recommend it to anyone passing through.

Ratings:
Atmosphere – 3 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Ribs – 3.5 hogs
Sides – N/A
Overall – 3.5 hogs
Henry's Smokehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Linkdown: 6/17/15

– Of course barbecue gets a prominent mention in this Eater feature “Destination North Carolina: A Southern Food Road Trip Extravaganza”

“From Brunswick Stew to Barbecue” is a new cookbook exhibit at UNC’s Wilson Library

– Dispelling some myths around the name and origin, here’s the real history of hush puppies

– Who won at the NC Barbecue Championships this past weekend in Tryon? Also, the big economic impact of the festival on the small mountain town of Tryon

– Shortly after being named to Southern Living’s Top 50 Barbecue Joints, B’s Cracklin Barbecue in Savannah burned to the ground; thankfully neighbors have pitched in to help rebuild

– John Lewis of La Barbecue gets profiled in Garden & Gun Magazine as well as four other “keepers of the flame” – the Monk family (of Lexington Barbecue) and Tyson Ho are also profiled

– La Barbecue, meanwhile, is no longer moving to a permanent space on South Congress in Austin and is instead expanding to dinner

– More coverage from Southern Living’s Top 50 BBQ Joints list from Greenville Online

– Apparently few places in Fayetteville serve chopped barbecue

– A short article on the 12 Bones Smokehouse cookbook

– A couple of barbecue-related gifts for dad on this coming Father’s Day

– Speaking of which, last day to order to get a Great NC BBQ Map in time

Linkdown: 5/27/15

– TripAdvisor has come out with their annual huh? list of best barbecue states and places

– The Greenville (SC) Barbecue Tour will launch June 6 and run every Saturday

– Texas BBQ Treasure Hunt has some thoughts (for and against) about Aaron Franklin winning a James Beard Award

– Speaking of Franklin, you can watch the first episode of his new PBS show online

– India gets a barbecue food truck

– Sean Brock’s most under-the-radar eating experience in Nashville is Mary’s Old Fashioned Pit Barbecue

– TMBBQ’s thoughts on The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America

– Food Republic has a list of barbecue festivals across the country over the next few months

– Marie, Let’s Eat! continues his tour of Alabama barbecue: Betty’s Bar-B-Q in Anniston, AL and Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q in Bessemer, AL

– As a follow up from the AP Stylebook, Our State Magazine’s editor’s thoughts on “barbecue” as a noun rather than a verb

– A couple of good recent barbecue articles from Our State Magazine