Linkdown: 12/12/18

RIP Allen & Son Barbecue in Chapel Hill

Here’s Our State’s last article on Allen & Son’s from 2017, where you can understand why Keith Allen is ready to retire:

In 1971, when Keith was 19, he quit his butchering job at the A&P, sold his landscaping equipment, and borrowed $3,000 to open a restaurant. He gave it the same name as the one his father owned in Chatham County, where Keith worked the barbecue pit from the age of 10. Ever since, he’s gotten to his Allen & Son at 2:30 a.m. five days a week — splitting every piece of hickory, roasting every shoulder, chopping and seasoning every serving. “Nobody’s hands but mine touch my barbecue,” he likes to boast, “until the customer’s do.”

A recipe for collard chowder from Matthew Register of Southern Smoke BBQ in Garland; his cookbook comes out in May but is available for preorder now

The latest from J.C. Reid explores the barbecue explosion in Houston from a geographic standpoint:

Sweet Lew’s gets some coverage in Charleston Eater for 4 new notable Charlotte openings

In memory of Dale Volberg Reed, who
was wife to John Shelton Reed and with him co-authored the best book on NC barbecue, Holy Smoke: The Big Book of NC Barbecue

I figured Dave Grohl would stop into Buxton Hall while in Asheville last weekend for Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam:

There’s some piggies in the hiway, some piggies in the snow, piggies going faster than they’ve ever gone before

Linkdown: 12/13/17

– Sad news as Midwood Smokeshack has closed in Matthews. However, there is some good news in that the employees will keep their jobs at other Midwood Smokehouse locations and FS Food Groupd will be looking to build a full service Midwood Smokehouse in the Matthews area at some point.

– D.G. Martin’s list of last minute book gifts includes one of my all-time favorite barbecue books which was just re-issued on paperback, “Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue” by John Shelton Reed, Dale Volberg Reed, and William McKinney

– Charlotte Agenda: “Noble Smoke could give Charlotte a true barbecue flagship”

– However, one recently-elected city councilwoman will not be patronizing Noble Smoke when it does open due to his support of HB2 in 2015

– Carolina Smokehouse brings western NC barbecue to Carolina Beach’s boardwalk

– Congrats to B’s Cracklin’ BBQ!

The Barbecue Bros Holiday Gift Guide!

The holidays are upon us, and if you are looking for a last minute gift for a NC barbecue lover in your life, I can personally recommend the following books. But you don’t have to take my word for it.



Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue by John Shelton Reed, Dale Volberg Reed, and William McKinney

My favorite of the three NC barbecue books listed here. A comprehensive and oftentimes funny history of barbecue in North Carolina with tons of extra information packed into the sidebars (think fun facts, photos, and graphics). There are also recipes and profiles of several barbecue pitmasters who are cooking barbecue the right way across the state. If his name sounds familiar, John Shelton Reed recently teamed up with the BBQ Jew to to create True ‘Cue.


Bob Garner’s Book of Barbecue: North Carolina’s Favorite Food by Bob Garner

This book is actually two books in one – North Carolina Barbecue: Flavored by Time and Bob Garner’s Guide to North Carolina Barbecue – and is part NC barbecue primer, part recipe book, and part restaurant reviews. All from “the barbecue man” and UNC-TV barbecue personality himself, Bob Garner.


The Best Tar Heel Barbecue: From Manteo to Murphy by Jim Early

This book is a little dated but is a fairly comprehensive listing of barbecue joints from the Outer Banks to the very western corner of the state, even if a handful of the restaurants have closed by now. Jim Early is the founder of the NC Barbecue Society, so he is also another man who definitely knows what he is talking about when it comes to NC barbecue.

What about you? What are your favorite barbecue-related books (NC or otherwise)? Feel free to respond in the comments. 

Holy Smoke quote

Barbecue in these parts is ever so much more than just the meat; it’s also the preparation, the ritual, the social occasion, the fellowship, the anticipation, the realization, the memory.

John Egerton, taken from Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue by John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed

I finished this recently and highly recommend it if you want to know about the history of barbecue in North Carolina or the difference between eastern and Lexington style barbecue or read testimonials from some of the most revered pit masters in the state or all of the above. If we gave whole hog reviews to books, I would give it 5 whole hogs. Great book.