Off the top, I haven’t tried Dickie Do’s in Haw River or Real Q in Winston-Salem (though I should remedy that), so can’t comment on those. But the rest of the joints on the list I have no qualms with, though while I enjoyed both I was surprised that he liked Clark’s Barbecue in Kernersville and College Barbecue in Salisbury so much.
The qualm that I do have is the lack of inclusion of The Barbecue Center in Lexington, though John acknowledges he may be in the minority here and links to his story for reference on his experience and thinking. Regardless, John Tanner is a well-trusted source on barbecue and NC barbecue in particular, so head on over and check out his list.
The land where BBQ King in Charlotte sits is up for sale for $4.2M
The latest Jon G’s pop-up is today at Vaulted Oak Brewing
Lewis Donald of Sweet Lew’s BBQ is one of the pitmasters at the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival
Leroy’s Taco Shop, the taco concept from Jake Wood of Lawrence Barbecue, opened this past weekend
Houston’s best barbecue restaurants near NRG Stadium for Final Four attendees this weekend
Two big barbecue festivals this weekend: the Houston BBQ Festival and Hogs for the Cause in New Orleans
The history behind Hogs for the Cause, which turns 15 this year
Hurtado Barbecue is bringing brisket birria tacos to Texas Rangers stadium
News you can use: don’t serve a pork butt sitting out accidentally for 12 hours
Robert Sietsema enjoyed Boots and Bones in Jersey City, which features the first pitmaster from Blue Smoke
Name: Truth Barbeque Date: 1/7/22 Address: 110 S Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77007 Order: Brisket, turkey, Carolina whole hog, pork ribs, house sausage link, brussel sprouts, green beans (link) Pricing: $$$
Speedy: I have a tradition whenever I travel. The first thing I do is text Monk, tell him where I’m going and ask, “Where should I grab some ‘cue?” On this day, while I was waiting to board in the Nashville airport, Monk responded almost before I even hit send, “Truth Barbeque.” So it was on.
Monk: While I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Truth yet, it received high praise when I recommended it to a friend of the blog a few years back. Not to mention it was #3 on Texas Monthly’s most recent Top 50 list from 2021. So I knew it was definitely going to be the place for Speedy and co.
Speedy: Our party arrived at exactly 11:00 on a Saturday morning, which is exactly when they open. There was a sizable, but not daunting line out the door. We waited about 30 minutes until it was our turn to order at the cafeteria style counter.
Our group went with a pair of 2 meat plates and added a sausage link so we could try all the meats (save for the beef rib special) and ordered a variety of sides. After getting through the line and taking our pick of tables in the sizable dining room (we chose indoor seating, but outdoor is available), we were ready to eat.
Since this is a Texas joint, we have to start with the brisket. It’s good. Like really good. Peppery, tender, but *maybe* could be slightly more moist. We got the lean cut (we weren’t asked, but others did specify fatty and got that). Was this brisket as good as any I’ve had outside of Texas? Probably. But we’re in Texas, and the standard is different. So I can’t put it in my holy quadrumvirate (Franklin’s, La Barbecue, Pecan Lodge, Killen’s) but it was damn close.
Monk: Damn, the fact that Speedy has been to enough Texas places to even have a quadrumvirate of Texas places of such high esteem is making me question my life choices.
Speedy: The turkey, on the other hand, was the best I’ve had. Peppery, tender, moist, melt in your mouth deliciousness. I’ve gone on record lately expressing that turkey is the lost meat of barbecue, but at a place as highly lauded as Truth BBQ, I didn’t expect it to be my favorite part of the meal. But it was, and that’s not to take anything away from the other meats. It’s a must order, period.
Monk: I too am on the turkey train now and this sounds amazing.
Speedy: The house sausage was also very solid. House-made, this sausage had good snap and nice garlic-y flavor. It had a little bit of grease, but was a solid effort. The pork ribs were also good, although ultimately my least favorite of the meats. The ribs were cooked and seasoned well, and had good flavor, but ultimately didn’t have anything outstanding or unique.
The surprise of the meal was the Carolina whole hog (a Saturday special). Being in Texas, I didn’t expect much here, but when I bit into that hog and closed my eyes, I was transformed back to eastern NC, tasting delicious chopped pork with just the right coating of vinegar-y sauce. This was the best pork I’ve had outside of North Carolina. What a treat!
Monk: I know that Texas places will use whole hog as a differentiator to stand out from the pack, but glad to hear this was a successful version of it at Truth.
Speedy: Of the sides, I enjoyed the brussels most, but they were roasted and mushy instead of crispy (which I prefer). The mixed in brisket helped with the flavor, and I would order them again, but I don’t think I’d go out of my way for the sides. My party ordered the tater tot casserole and gave it high marks, so if you tolerate dairy, that’s probably the order.
One other thing worth talking about is the “Texas gut bomb,” or the tummy ache and sleepiness after any big Texas bbq meal. I did not feel this after Truth BBQ. I’m not sure if this was because of minimal grease, the high volume of turkey I ate, or some other reason, but my stomach was a happy camper all weekend.
Monk: Aww, great to hear about your happy tum tum, Speedy!
Speedy: Overall, as usual, Monk was correct…
Monk: …oh I like the sound of that!
Speedy: Truth BBQ is a truly great barbecue joint and definitely worth a visit. And do yourself a favor and order extra turkey!
Monk: The second annual Carolina BBQ Festival is once again bringing some of the best and brightest pitmasters to the Queen City in early May. Lewis Donald has invited many of the same pitmasters from last year’s festival and added a few new faces: Jake Wood of Lawrence Barbecue, Keith Henning of Black Powder Smokehouse, Michael Letchworth of Sam Jones BBQ, and Tank Jackson of Holy City Hog.
Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 10th. More information here.
Backyard BBQ Pit has received nearly $50,000 from its GoFundMe campaign and even got new kitchen appliances donated by an angel donor; now they are paying it forward to other local small businesses
It’s Brunswick stew season
In sad news, Clyde Cooper’s daughter Joyce recently passed but the occasion brought together is grandchildren and great grandchildren
Sweet’s Turkey BBQ is a Greensboro food truck serving chopped turkey barbecue, a healthier alternative to pork and beef
Midwood Smokehouse‘s Raleigh location has gotten their Oyler
The James Beard semi-finalists were announced last week and pitmasters from Moo’s Craft Barbecue in LA, Heirloom Market BBQ in Atlanta, Tropical Smokehouse in West Palm Beach, Distant Relatives and KG BBQ in Austin, Goldee’s in Fort Worth, Curry Boys BBQ in San Antonio, Gatlin’s BBQ in Houston, and Burnt Bean in Seguin make the list
Charleston’s Swig & Swine BBQ is expanding to Myrtle Beach
Adrian Miller’s field guide to US barbecue
Bill Murray recently enjoyed a beef rib at Heritage Barbecue
30 pitmasters will be in Greenville, SC for Southern Roots: A BBQ Reunion on April 15
Episode 3 of Peacock’s “Poker Face” is brisket-focused and actually gets the specifics mostly right
Monk: Country music star (and NC native) Eric Church has shared the first digital renderings of Chief’s, his upcoming venture with Rodney Scott. Not content to have just a honky tonk joint with great whole hog barbecue, the building will also house a studio for live broadcasts (such as Church’s SiriusXM show).
Chief’s will open in downtown Nashville in 2023.
More pink barbecue merchandise now available at Clyde Cooper’s in Raleigh
A short profile on Buxton Hall Barbecue‘s executive chef Nick
The Cheef will be at Oskar Blues Brevard’s 10th anniversary party this coming weekend serving tacos and sandwiches
Midwood Smokehouse, Mac’s Speed Shop, and Noble Smoke are options in Charlotte to bypass Christmas cooking
Midwood Smokehouse‘s upcoming Raleigh location will be more Tex-Mex
Hogs for the Cause announces its 2023 lineup
Barbecue historian Joe Haynes has a new barbecue book out, just in time for the holidays
John Turner’s been making the rounds at your favorite places in Texas:
City Market in Luling
Smitty’s Market in Lockhart
Terry Black’s in Austin
Valentina’s in Austin
Pinkerton’s in Houston
And finally, Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que in Brownsville
Defining east vs central Texas barbecue, Open AI chat bot style
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