Checking In: Breakfast Tacos at Juan Luis

If you’re reading this, its unfortunately too late to grab a breakfast taco from the Juan Luis trailer in front of Lewis Barbecue in Charleston.

Before it changed over to “JLs” after August 2, Juan Luis served delicious breakfast tacos with homemade tortillas made in the trailer unlike anything I’ve had. Of course, Charlotte and NC doesn’t have the breakfast taco culture that Austin or the Southwest has.

I had both the migas (crispy corn tortillas strips, avocado, pico de Gallo, eggs, cheese) and the toro (green chile beef, pintos, onions, egg, cheese) on my one and only visit and these tacos were life-changing. Particularly the migas, which I still think about to this day.

After a quick refresh, JLs will serve green chile cheeseburgers, green chile cheese dogs, frozen custard sundaes and margaritas. I imagine it will be worth checking out.

The Juan Luis concept will be transferred to Rancho Lewis, which is coming soon to the former Workshop food hall at 1503 King St in Winter 2022. For me, it will be a must stop next time I’m in Charleston.

Linkdown: 5/12/21

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In one of the latest signs of a return to normalcy, 60 teams participated in last weekend’s 40th Annual BBQ on the Neuse Festival, the world’s largest whole hog competition. Attendance was larger than expected, with upwards of 15,000 attendees (vs an expected 5,000) coming to downtown Kinston to enjoy barbecue, music, and a little rainy weather (at least on Friday night).

In terms of winners, contestant Amy Bell had a good year, winning first overall in product quality and sauce. The rest of the winners here:

Next year’s event will be held on May 6-7.

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Friday Find: How Pitmaster John Lewis Brought Texas Barbecue to South Carolina

John Lewis gives some insight into his process for his brand that he’s brought to the lowcountry of South Carolina. From his famous hot guts smoked in a vertical smoker to his pastrami brisket, ribeyes, and oxtails smoked in his custom offset. He then uses those meats in inventive sandwiches like their version of an Arby’s beef and cheddar or a pastrami brisket reuben as well as his smoked prime rib special and a Tex-mex inspired oxtail dish. Lewis even gets into his love of hatch green chiles and how they are incorporated into a lot of his dishes as well as how makes his own tortillas because there are not tortillerias in SC that meet his standards. Recently, Lewis announced that his Juan Luis concept is taking over the entire food hall space formerly occupied by Workshop.

For more Smoke Point, click here.

Description: Pitmaster John Lewis is known not only for his mouthwatering South Carolina brisket, sausages, and ribs, but also for his dedication to “perfecting” the art of barbecue by customizing his own smokers. He’s also known for getting creative with brining, rubbing, and smoking techniques.

Linkdown: 2/10/21

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Lewis Barbecue officially announces their second restaurant in Greenville, taking over the space previously occupied by Tommy’s Country Ham House. So for folks in the Charlotte area (i.e. me), Lewis’ central Texas-style brisket, hot guts, sausage will be about half the distance you previously had to travel to Charleston. And this is a very good thing. Lewis Barbecue Greenville will open sometime in early 2022.

In addition to the Lewis Barbecue expansion news, it was recently announced that his Juan Luis Tex-Mex concept will take over the former Workshop food hall in Charleston. It was an original food stall tenant at the food hall but recently the trailer had been parked in the courtyard at Lewis Barbecue. Based on these recent moves, Lewis is certainly building the foundation for a food empire in South Carolina.

Native News

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Munchie’s Live BBQ in Orlando was originally started by Chef Alfred Mann, who originally learned from a man named Gene Daniels who cooked NC barbecue

“Under this partnership structure, Mighty Quinn’s licenses Otto’s Tacos name and fulfills orders from it’s kitchen. Customers then receive their digital order from Otto’s Tacos using first- or third-party platforms.”

10 must-read cookbooks by Black authors to buy right now including upcoming barbecue books from Rodney Scott and Adrian Miller, according to the Austin American-Statesman

Texas Monthly interviews Kevin Bludso, who is ready to mentor the next generation of black pitmasters