Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q – Charlotte, NC

Name: Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q
Date: 1/21/19
Address: 13840 Steele Creek Rd Charlotte, NC 28278
Order: 2 meat combo with Carolina-style pork and brisket, collards and coleslaw (link to menu)

Monk: Sometimes you don’t get to stake out the perfect barbecue run on your day off. No complaints here, but with the Monkette in tow for the MLK Holiday, I didn’t feel I should make a run to somewhere 1-2 hours away like I had done in years past (Bar-B-Q King (Lincolnton) and Big Tiny’s BBQ (Mooresville) in 2017 and Speedy Lohr’s and Smokey Joe’s (Lexington) in 2018). After a chilly morning hike at the McDowell Preserve on Lake Wylie, none of the potential Gastonia or Belmont options were open or made sense so we went to a Jim ‘N Nick’s about 10 minutes back towards our house. Because while this wouldn’t have been my first choice, what am I gonna do, not have barbecue?

Jim ‘N Nick’s is a well-regarded regional Southeast chain, and in my only prior visit to one of their stores (in Concord, where I made almost the exact same order without planning to) I mostly enjoyed my visit, minus the pickle toppings. Fast forward a little over 5 years, how would another visit to JNN (albeit to a different location) fare compared to some of the other chain options that have since opened in Charlotte?

As for my meat options, the Carolina-style pork means eastern NC pork as indicated by the visible red pepper flakes in the sauce the meat is chopped in. Despite those pepper flakes, the pork wasn’t overly spicy but was tender.

The brisket was another story. It arrived lukewarm and the fat in the brisket slices wasn’t completely rendered. Or perhaps more likely, reheated from the prior day. To make things worse, JNN insists on pre-saucing their brisket. All in all, it was a bit of a mess.

The good news is that customers always get a basket of cheese biscuits up front, and of course I ate 3.5 of the 4 we were given. I could taste that both the coleslaw and the collards were fresh and scratch-made, even if nothing about either were particularly memorable.

In what could be a future post about chain options in the Charlotte area, Jim ‘N Nick’s would have fared a little better prior to this visit. I do appreciate that they are a chain that does assist the smoking process with actual wood (albeit in a Southern Pride gasser), as indicated by the cords of wood just off the side of the building near the smokehouse. However, the execution was lacking on this visit at this location.

Ratings:
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 2 hogs
Pork – 2.5 hogs
Brisket – 2 hogs
Sides – 2.5 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs

Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Linkdown: 2/7/18

– Not sure why this resurfaced recently (it originally posted in 2006) but a NC-born editor now living in Johnson City, TN implores “Never trust politicians who don’t eat barbecue”

– A Virginia barbecue movie is coming to Facebook

– Joe Haynes, featured in the movie above, has some thoughts on the word barbecue and *surprise surprise* he claims it traces back to Virginia

– J.C. Reid on the look of modern barbecue

– Food and Wine thinks Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q is a southern chain that should be everywhere

– Welcome back Big Wayner to the world of barbecue blogging, and he comes back with a recap of his 2017

– Philadelphia Deli in Charlotte, which is in a building that a long time ago housed Harrill’s Bar-B-Q, is closing this Friday after an ugly legal dispute

– A great story

 

Linkdown: 7/12/17

– The Indy Week: A North Carolina Barbecue Camp Misses the Point About America’s Most Politicized Food

– The latest in the Good Eatin’ series: Southern Smoke BBQ in Garland is open only twice a week and is the rare NC barbecue joint where you will wait in line

– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits three independently-owned locations of the Choo Choo Bar-B-Que chain around Chattanooga, with varying results

– The folks behind The Great NC BBQ Map are back at it again

Timber Creek Mulch in Sherrills Ford sells high quality wood lump charcoal across the country

“It’s a higher use for this wood – whether it’s being used for charcoal or firewood,” he said. “You can take something that’s in one state and transform it into something else with just a little bit of labor. It’s a useful product – the firewood keeps someone warm and makes them happy. That’s the key component – when you do something like art or charcoal that people are making good food with or even firewood that they’re heating their house with or burning in a fire pit outside – you can look at it and think somebody is enjoying that. I like that – I like making people happy.”

– An Atlanta-based private equity group is purchasing Jim ‘N Nick’s and its 37 restaurants in the southeast

– Has GQ never been to Hometown BBQ?

Linkdown: 5/31/17

– Helen’s Bar-B-Q makes a big impression on Marie, Let’s Eat!

– They also quite liked Papa KayJoe’s BBQ in Centerville, TN though they are currently operating with a different smoker due to a fire

– National Geographic’s list of best barbecue in America runs through a few options in several barbecue locales

– From 2013, Relish Magazine has their own list of the 10 best barbecue restaurant that was clearly tweeted out for Memorial Day

– Honorable mentions for the TMBBQ Top 50 inclues the meats, desserts, and atmosphere that didn’t quite make the list

– Jim N’ Nick’s has opened in Mount Pleasant

– Sauceman’s has expanded both its building and its hours and Charlotte Agenda has the details on that as well as their grand reopening this Friday that will feature two whole hogs

– While the NCAA investigation of UNC reaches its 7th year, there’s at least this: