Friday Find: Raleigh Magazine Spills the Sauce on the BBQ Scene

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Monk: Gina Stephens and Melissa Howsam of Raleigh Magazine take stock of the current Raleigh barbecue scene and heap praise on Durham’s Lawrence Barbecue and Jake Wood. They also discuss an epic barbecue road trip documented by the magazine and end the episode with a speed round.

Description: 2020 was supposed to be the year of BBQ in Raleigh—but, pandemic. 2021 brought supply chain issues, building and permitting delays, etc. Finally, in 2022, we are going hog wild as we are likely to see more cue shack openings than any year in recent history. Pig out with Publisher Gina Stephens and Editor-in-Chief Melissa Howsam as they chat what’s cookin’ (think: the long-anticipated The Preserve BBQ by LM Restaurants), a bingeworthy BBQ road trip and BBQ wars (tomato? vinegar?!).

Lawrence Barbecue – Durham, NC

Name: Lawrence Barbecue
Date: 7/23/22
Address: 900 Park Offices Dr Suite 120, Durham, NC 27703
Order: 3 meat sampler with pork, brisket, and ribs, deviled egg potato salad (link to menu)
Pricing: $$

Monk: Jake Wood and Lawrence Barbecue burst onto the Triangle barbecue scene a couple years ago and has come out strong. Originally slated to be one of the many barbecue restaurants announced to open during 2020 as part of Raleigh’s big year of barbecue, it eventually opened in June 2021 and has since been named by Robert Moss one of Southern Living’s best new barbecue joints and best barbecue in Durham by Durham Magazine.

Lawrence Barbecue opened as part of Boxyard RTP, a shipping container park that has retail stores as well as a tap room for Fullsteam Brewing. Wood was originally going to smoke whole hogs but plans changed and he now has three Lang reverse-flow smokers where he smokes pork butts, Texas-style brisket, ribs, chicken, turkey, and wings.

On this visit I got a three meat sampler of 1/3 pound each of pulled pork, Texas-style brisket, and sticky ribs along with the deviled egg potato salad. While I get why it didn’t make sense logistically to smoke whole hogs, at least Jake Wood and team are executing their pork butts nicely. Not really Lexington-style even though they are smoking butts, the pork had lots of bark chopped in and adding their OG vinegar sauce really set it off.

The Texas-style brisket was well smoked and had a great bark that had a little something something else in it – maybe giving it a tangy hint in addition to the usual salt and pepper bark. The brisket was trimmed perfectly and had a nice thin layer of fat in the two slices of fatty I got. Another nice touch were the two burnt ends that were also included.

The sampler came with two bones of spares for their “sticky ribs” and they were smoked perfectly. Sticky and sweet, the bites were clean and flavorful.

I only got one side – deviled egg potato salad – but I’ve been told all are legit and inventive. I can see that based on this twist on a classic potato salad. And they even have their own beer they’ve collaborated on with Trophy Brewing named Leisure Land Lager (“leisure” is big in the world of Jake Wood).

With Lawrence Barbecue, the Research Triangle Park has legit barbecue that competes with the best in the state as well as the southeast. Next time I go, I’ll go on a cooler day (although the covered area has a huge fan, temps were near 100 that day) and will get some oysters in addition to all of the delicious barbecue.

Ratings:
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 4.5 hogs
Brisket – 4.5 hogs
Ribs – 4 hogs
Sides – 4 hogs
Overall – 4.5 Hogs

Friday Find: WRAL Out & About Checks Out Lawrence Barbecue

Monk: WRAL’s Out and About visits Lawrence Barbecue in Research Triangle Park, where Chef Jake wood and team serve barbecue from all different regions plus fresh oysters from the NC coast and “reimagined” barbecue sides. They recently celebrated their one year anniversary of opening, and I hope to check out next time I’m in the area

Description: Located in Boxyard RTP (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) Lawernce BBQ brings the family reunion to your table.

Linkdown: 11/10/21

The Local Palate and writer Jenn Rice detail a pretty action-packed eastern North Carolina barbecue itinerary. The usual suspects are on the list including Barbecue Bros faves Wilber’s Barbecue and Southern Smoke BBQ, but there are plenty of ones I haven’t tried yet. Bookmarking for next Spring.

Native News

A new live-fire cooking restaurant called Cinder is opening in Charlotte from Husk veteran Duke Kroger (who identifies as a pitmaster in his Twitter profile)

Mac’s Speed Shop is closing its Cornelius restaurant but opening a new one in Mooresville

Jon G’s was featured in the Fall 2021 Issue of QC Exclusive

ICYMI last month, Boxyard RTP and Lawrence Barbecue are one of the 12 hottest restaurants in the Triangle

The Smoking Ho takes on North Carolina starting with Buxton Hall #CarHOlinaBBQTrip

Lewis Donald and Sweet Lew’s BBQ raised funds to help the family of a young girl who tragically took her own life at the age of 11

Non-Native News

Heim Barbecue’s Dallas location will be closed for a few weeks after a fire but its Fort Worth locations remain open

Last week’s Georgia barbecue-focused The Smoke Sheet

The SmoKing of Meats is Joe Musungi, who blends Filipino and Texas barbecue

Are barbecue lines a thing of the past?

New-ish barbecue joint Palmira BBQ is one of the stalls at Port of Call