Linkdown: 3/2/16

– This article on barbecue treats from Robert Moss considers the misleading names of Texas Pete, Cheerwine, and burnt ends

– Sam Jones has partnered with Heinz to create a “Carolina Vinegar Style” barbecue sauce

– John Shelton Reed has a new barbecue cookbook coming – appropriately titled “Barbecue”

– He’s also having an event at the new Durham barbecue restaurant Picnic to celebrate the release of his book

– Midwood Smokehouse is havin a ‘cue and wine pairing at their Ballantyne location on March 16

– Only In Your State has 10 More Restaurants That Serve The Best Barbecue in North Carolina and well, it certainly is a list

– Interview with our friend Johnny Fugitt

– Midwood Smokehouse is asking for votes for Charlotte Magazine’s Best of the Best Awards 2016

Linkdown: 12/9/15

– Robert Moss follows the mustard line from SC down through Georgia and into Florida

– If you are looking for a gift for the NC barbecue or beer lover in your life:

– Daniel Vaughn explores the greaseballs of Southwest Texas at Patillo’s Bar-B-Q

-Johnny Fugitt profiles Smokee Mo’s BBQ for St. Louis Magazine

– Marie, Let’s Eat! revisits the 50 year old Hickory Hut BBQ in Dallas, GA

– NPR’s The Salt food blog profiles Sam Jones’ new barbecue joint, Sam Jones BBQ

To understand the significance of Sam Jones BBQ, you have to understand the place in the barbecue firmament. And you have to start with barbecue’s place in the Tar Heel state. Aficionados regard North Carolina not only as a capital of barbecue, but a cradle of the cuisine. It is as central as basketball to the state’s identity.

But so many barbecue joints have replaced wood with gas that some folks feared the impending death of all-wood pit cooking. The North Carolina Barbecue Society estimated a few years ago that only 30 wood-pit barbecue restaurants were left in the state. To diehards, the demise of traditional wood-smoked barbecue in North Carolina would be tantamount to a death in the family. Maybe worse.

Linkdown: 9/30/15

– This year’s 86th Annual Mallard Creek Barbecue will be on Thursday, October 22

– Queen City Q and the Hornets enter into a partnership for the upcoming NBA season

As part of the multi-year agreement, Queen City Q will operate a pair of branded concession stands at Time Warner Cable Arena, one on the lower level and one on the upper level, allowing fans to enjoy some of the area’s best and most popular barbecue while attending events in the building.  Queen City Q products will also be featured on the arena’s suite menus.

– Charlotte Agenda makes one of their bold and click-baity proclamations that “the best barbecue in Charlotte just might be sold by Boy Scouts

-The second Charlotte-area location of Smoke opens in Stonecrest next week

– Steve Raichlen has some barbecue secrets from Ed Mitchell in the HuffPo

– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits the newer, larger Character’s Famouse BBQ in Adairsville, GA – you might recognize its pitmaster Michael Character from BBQ Pitmasters

– NOLA Smokehouse in New Orleans closes this Saturday

– Johnny Fugitt has 7 recipes he must try from the 12 Bones cookbook

– Robert Moss’ list of the south’s best barbecue beverages rightly includes Cheerwine

– Some details on a pre-Barbecue Festival shindig:

-Speaking of Lexington, Brad Livengood of The Lexington Dispatch has some barbecue history regarding pirates I previously had not come across

Pirates loved to party, and there was nothing like a good pig picking to make a party atmosphere. So they devised a process based upon an apparatus made of green wood. It was a rack of sorts, to hold the pig’s carcass as it was being smoked. The rack was placed over a pit filled with charred embers to slowly simmer the meat. They called the process, the boucan. Its practitioners were soon known as boucaneers. The often used synonym for pirate, buccaneer, comes from this method of cooking barbecue. I don’t know if there was hickory wood involved, but it surely was smoked and pit-cooked. So we lovers of barbecue in Davidson County have something in common with Blackbeard and his ilk, and it’s just a short walk down the pages of history from the tastebuds of some cutthroat pirate to our love of a chopped sandwich today.

– Lucky Peach says there are 14 (!?) styles of american barbecue

Linkdown: 9/9/15

-Did you know? Whole hog barbecue has been a NC pastime for over 300 years

-Barbecue traditions from around the world:

– Though Labor Day has come and gone, here’s some history on the holiday and barbecue that goes back to the early 1900’s

1901 marked the first official recognition of Labor Day in North Carolina, and its celebration included barbecue, too. In Raleigh, the city’s union members and their guests gathered at the State Fairgrounds for music, speeches, and a baseball game between the printers and the pressmen-binders unions. It closed with a feast, and the Raleigh News & Observer noted that, “The tables were laden with Brunswick stew, barbecue, salads, breads, and all the little side dishes that tickle the palate.”

– In Charlotte, the Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge’s Gallery Bar has their hands on two Woodford Reserve Personal Selection Bourbons and are launching them with a barbecue dinner this Friday

– Marie, Let’s Eat! revisits Barbecue Street in Kennesaw, GA and finds it to be a much better visit than his previous two trips there, particularly the newly-changed brunswick stew

– Southern Foodways Alliance previews an upcoming Gravy podcast with “Texans and a Barbecue Love Affair”

-There is a Barbecue Presbyterian Church in Sanford, NC – suck it, every other state – and they are having a barbecue dinner later this month

-Johnny Fugitt has 7 things you need to know about barbecue in America in 2015 based on his barbecue travels in 2014

Linkdown: 9/2/15

– The BBC reports on black pitmasters being left out of the barbecue boom

“National press is infatuated with white, male hipster BBQ,” writes Robb Walsh on the blog First We Feast. “Believe it or not, blacks, Latinos, and women are involved in the barbecue biz too.”

– On a related note, Robert Moss’ list of the 15 most influential people in barbecue history

Here, arranged chronologically, is my list of the 15 most influential figures in American barbecue history. By “influential”, I don’t mean the best cooks or the most successful restaurateurs, necessarily. We’re talking about impact and legacy: the people who helped shape the South’s rich barbecue tradition and create and promote the diverse regional styles we enjoy today. It’s a list that cuts across lines of race and class.

– Moss also has the first part in a series for the “Best of Southern BBQ” Awards

– Just saw that Bill Spoon’s now has a barbecue food truck serving the greater Charlotte area

– La Barbecue – #1 in our recently released Austin rankings –  is moving again in order to stay open during nights for patrons of the neighborhood bars

– The Smoking Ho’s recap of the TMBBQ Behind the Pit Dinner at Snow’s BBQ

– Marie, Let’s Eat! continues his Alabama barbecue travels at Bar-B-Q Hut in Heflin and The Rocket in Jacksonville

– This list is from 2012 but worth a revisit since it has been retweeted in the past week

– The Southern Sauce Festival,  which combines the Q-City Charlotte Barbecue Championship and the Charlotte Beerfest, is one of the 10 things you must do in September, according to Charlotte Five

– From friend of the blog Johnny Fugitt, the most underrated barbecue in St. Louis

– More lists: Yahoo’s 50 best barbecue restaurants in the America by state; gotta say, some headscratchers in this one

– IT’S ALL HAPPENING:

-NPR article on how locals are turning 5-hour long lines at Franklin’s into cold hard cash

– The Daily Meal’s list of America’s 35 Best Ribs 2015 was compiled from 40 different “rib experts” and includes The Pit in Raleigh at #34; Louie Mueller takes the top overall spot (check out Rudy’s recent review here)

Linkdown: 8/12/15

– Move over Austin, Is Houston the hottest barbecue market in Texas?

– The Drawn Cutlass has a review of the new Queen City Q location in Matthews

– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits Rib & Loin in Hixson, TN

– This “complete” list of Charlotte food trucks includes several we’ve reviewed – Smoke & Go, OooWee BBQ, Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que – but  of the writing of this post somehow omits the best of the bunch, Boone’s Bar-B-Que Kitchen

– Downtown Charleston is getting its 8th barbecue restaurant soon, Poogan’s Smokehouse

– Speaking of new barbecue joints coming to Charleston, Charleston Magazine has a quick conversation with John Lewis (via)

– Well?

– Johnny Fugitt’s top 25 barbecue restaurants (as detailed in The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America) here

– TMBBQ has their list of a few more influential barbecue pitmasters that just happen to be black in response to this list of all white barbecue pitmasters and personalities

– Speaking of TMBBQ, Texas BBQ Treasure Hunt researches 40 years of lists from the publication

– Charlotte’s South End neighborhood is getting a Korean barbecue restaurant called Seoul Food Meat Market in the coming months, and the description is somewhat reminiscent of Heirloom Market BBQ in Atlanta

Esthetically, it will look like American traditional Southern barbecue ribs: It will look the same but it will taste like Korean food.” So beef ribs will be seasoned as the Korean kalbi and bulgogi, pork ribs like the Korean spicy pork, slaw will be kimchi slaw, and wings will be fried, but in rice bran oil, making them healthier, and crunchier, than most, says Chun.

 

Linkdown: 7/22/15

– Robert Moss examines the different types of pits you might encounter in the southeastern US

– For the home smoker, here are the best smokers under $500

– The Raleigh News & Observer likes The Blistered Pig in Apex

– Johnny Fugitt profiles Smoke House in Newport, RI for Opportunity Lives

– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits Chicken Comer in Columbus, GA

– Burger Mary explains the peach paper that is all the rage for brisket smokers

– Laura Maniec has expanded her Corkbuzz wine studio/restaurant concept to Charlotte (of all places), and even has some wine pairing suggestions for NC barbecue

Okay, last question. What would you pair with classic Southern dishes like pimento cheese and Carolina barbecue — vinegar-based, of course?

Vinegar is typically hard to pair. For a vinegar-based barbecue I would choose something with the acidity to match. A wine from someplace cold, like the Willamette Valley. I think the sweetness and tart flavors of a Pinot Noir and its silkiness would match the fat of the pork. Or something like a really good German Riesling that has sweetness balanced with acidity. It would almost become a glaze to the barbecue.

– Midwood Smokehouse is expected to begin construction this fall on their latest location in Columbia, SC

– If you want to work at the upcoming whole hog Asheville joint Buxton Hall (opening in August), you can apply here; also, the last pop up before the restaurant opening is this Saturday

– Esquire has an excerpt at how to order at a barbecue restaurant from Aaron Franklin’s book

– Last call:

Barbecue Bros Book Club: The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America by Johnny Fugitt

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Not that we’re anywhere close to being qualified enough to evaluate books but more so as a public service announcement we will periodically discuss barbecue and barbecue-related books.

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Monk: From October 2013 to October 2014, barbecue writer Johnny Fugitt ate at 365+ barbecue restaurants across the lower 48 United States and compiled his own rankings into a book, The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America. His rankings were not based on marketing or TV exposure or from compiling previous lists together into one mega list (as many barbecue lists tend to be), but by one man driving across the US in a Subaru judging barbecue through his own palate.

Speedy and I met up with Johnny last year in Charlotte and was able to get a private tour of the commissary kitchen of Boone’s Bar-B-Que Kitchen where they smoke their meat and do their prep work for the food truck. We’ve continued to keep in touch with him via email and Twitter and consider him a friend of the blog. Full disclosure and all that: Johnny was kind enough to provide complimentary signed copies of his book to both Speedy and me. Though Speedy forgot and bought another one from Amazon anyways (never a bad thing to support a writer, however).

Speedy: That’s right, Monk. I was being supportive, not forgetful. Anyway, in terms of the book itself, I really like the way Johnny went about it. There’s so much subjectivity to these lists that Johnny made sure to tell the story behind why he did this in the first place, his methodology, and a little bit about each trip he took. He was very specific about both what he liked and didn’t like at each place.

Monk: As for the list itself, it’s broken up between ranking his top 25 and then the remaining 75 restaurants are unranked and listed by state. While there are some of the usual suspects on the list, there are some glaring omissions that he wasn’t able to get to (Scott’s Bar-B-Que, La Barbecue, or Killen’s Barbecue) or some that folks might scratch their head at (a non-Franklin or La Barbecue Austin pick for #1 overall, a Florida joint in the top 5, etc). But that’s ok, because that was the whole point of the book.

For NC and specifically Charlotte, I was happy to see some of our favorites represented on the list. We covered this in a previous post, but Midwood Smokehouse and Boone’s Bar-B-Que Kitchen were both decently represented in the book – both in terms of the restaurants themselves on the unranked list of 75 but also particular dishes (brisket for Midwood and brunswick stew and sauce for Boone’s). Speedy, what were your thoughts on the list?

Speedy: As I mentioned above, I like the way Johnny went about it, but of course, I don’t agree with the rankings 100%. I think it’s a little Texas heavy and anything that doesn’t have Lexington BBQ in the top 25 (it does make the top 100), doesn’t line up with my taste completely. However, I think that’s the point. What I do like is that anywhere in the continental 48 I go, I know someone has been there before me to figure out if there’s anywhere worth trying. That alone is worth the price of admission.

Monk: Agreed. If I had any minor complaints, I would have liked to have seen full color photos, but I’m assuming that came down to a budget issue. In any case, while I may not agree completely with how the rankings shook out, I can’t fault Johnny’s hustle. Definitely a worthy read.

Linkdown: 7/15/15

– A review of Archibald’s Barbecue in Northport, AL with the choice quote “It’s painful when a giant falters.”

– Bon Apetit interviews Johnny Fugitt about his book, “The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America”

– Daniel Vaughn on the growth of Texas BBQ (as well as barbecue in general); that article also links to this great interactive infographic from the food service marketing research company who provided him data, CHD Expert

– EDIA Maps, Inc (behind The Great NC BBQ Map and the upcoming NC Beer Map) get the Charlotte Agenda interview treatment about creating physical maps in a digital world

But the biggest difference between print and digital is the physicality and the connection to a tangible object. You can’t hang a phone app or website on your wall and stick pins in it to mark all the places you’ve visited. You can stand in front of a map and look and remember and plan and dream. Our maps also create a sense of community, something we had never imagined before making them. We live in a world that oftentimes feels so detached, and maps are visible things you hold in your hands that someone sees, and it sparks a conversation over a commonality. People want to know where you’re going and where you’ve been and what you thought of it. Maps aren’t just guides; they’re memorabilia too – beautiful trip mementos that become part of your home and take you back to an adventure you had or a wonderful time making memories with people you love. They touch something deep within – a nostalgia and a wanderlust.

– Thrillist’s list of best barbecue by region

– Grant tries mutton in the latest barbecue review from Marie, Let’s Eat!

– The Tasting Table with five barbecue myths that need busting

– More on the use of the word “barbecue” and how the word caught on in the northeast in the early part of the century when they really meant “grilling”

Southerners weren’t too keen on this new definition for one of their favorite words. “Many Georgia epicures insist that this is an insult to the honorable name of barbecue,” Rufus Jarman wrote in The Saturday Evening Post in 1954. “You cannot barbecue hamburgers, roasting ears, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, or salami, and it is a shame and a disgrace to mention barbecue in connection with such foolishness.”

– On barbecue and religion in NC by way of Dickie Do’s in Haw River, from the bluegrass blog The Bluegrass Situation

– The Charleston Brown Water Society BBQ Invitational took place this past Sunday and had some famous guests

Pitmasters Sam Jones and Rodney Scott were at Sunday’s second annual Charleston Brown Water Society’s Summer Invitational BBQ, but they weren’t working the pits. No, they both drove multiple hours from their respective homes just to eat and visit. That’s how good the barbecue was.

Teams from Illinois’ 17th Street Barbecue, Tennessee’s Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, and Charleston’s own Home Team BBQ stayed up all night Saturday smoking meat and fighting mosquitos at the Holy City Brewing compound on Dorchester Road. They offered up their labors to more than 300 guests (including Jones and Scott) who lined up the next day in the hot afternoon sun to check in.

– Because why not:

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