Joe’s Old Fashioned Barbecue – Whiteville, NC

Name: Joe’s Old Fashioned Barbecue
Date: 9/24/21
Address: 500 Green Hill Dr, Whiteville, NC 28472
Order: Small barbecue plate (link to menu)
Pricing: $

Monk: I’ve been fortunate to spend a decent amount of time at Ocean Isle Beach, NC over the years. Coming from Charlotte, I’ve probably passed Joe’s Old Fashioned Barbecue in Whiteville (about an hour away from OIB) dozens of times without stopping. That’s in part because from Highway 701 there’s just a sign, as the restaurant itself is tucked away from the road behind a Lowe’s Home Improvement.

On my latest trip to OIB, I decided to finally make the stop at Joe’s Old Fashioned Barbecue. Or is it Joe’s Barbecue Kitchen? Or just plain Joe’s Barbecue as the restaurant sign says? The restaurant seems to go by a few different names, however on their website they state that “Joe’s Barbecue has been family-owned since it was established in 1964…Currently owned and managed by third generation family, Terri Edmund and Carol Ward.” At the time, I did not realize how long this establishment had actually been open.

Nevertheless, I stopped in for a quick lunch, which ended up being the small barbecue plate, curiously referred to as “Ladies’ Size.” C’mon guess, let’s get with the times. Sometimes a fella doesn’t wants to exercise portion control and didn’t want to gorge himself. No need to assign a lack of masculinity there.

Regardless, everything was solid but unspectacular; perfectly acceptable for a Friday lunch with co-workers as seemed to be the case for roughly half of the tables that day. The eastern-style barbecue had the vinegar tang you look for, although it wasn’t overly smoky since they apparently smoke with a gasser with wood added. Mixing it with the cole slaw and some table sauce made for quite the nice bite. And the hush puppies were fresh and delicious and my favorite part of the meal.

I was in and out of Joe’s Old Fashioned Barbecue in a matter of 15-20 minutes, which is exactly what I was looking for on this trip. While I wouldn’t suggest anyone go out of their way for it, should I find myself in a similar situation next time I’m headed to the Brunswick Islands of NC, I just may stop back in.

Ratings:
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Sides – 4 hogs
Overall – 3 hogs

Peg Leg Porker – Nashville, TN (RE-REVIEW)

Name: Peg Leg Porker
Date: 6/18/21
Address: 903 Gleaves St, Nashville, TN 37203
Order: Full rack of ribs, pulled pork, smoked wings, Kool-Aid pickles, cole slaw, smoked green beans, french fries (link to menu)
Pricing: $$

Monk: Peg Leg Porker is a new-school Nashville barbecue institution, even inspiring a little bit of a Martin’s vs Peg Leg rivalry for barbecue enthusiasts in the city. Despite Speedy now living in Nashville, our only other review to date was from nearly 6 years ago a few years before Speedy had even moved to Nashville. While we had briefly stopped in for some wings at the bar last time I was in town 3 years ago, I had not officially had a meal there on the books. I made sure to change that with my most recent visit to Nashville to visit Speedy as well as my real life Bros.

Speedy: Peg Leg is not my favorite barbecue in town (in fact, it comes in at #4), but it certainly is worth a visit for anyone spending any amount of time in Nashville. Located in the trendy Gulch neighborhood, it is easy to get to but gets crowded fast, so we showed up for an early-ish lunch and after a short wait, placed our order at the counter.

Monk: My understanding is that the ribs are the star of the show for Peg Leg, and this full rack did not disappoint. Peg Leg does Memphis-style dry rub ribs and there were perfect bites all around.

Speedy: Agree, Monk. The ribs have always been my favorite part of any meal at Peg Leg, and I do think these are probably best in town – maybe in the state. The generous rub offers plenty of spice and flavor, and no sauce is needed. 

The pork (served unsauced) is pretty consistent in that while flavorful, is always a little dry. There are sauces provided, but I always prefer not having to use extra sauce if not needed, but in this case, it is needed. So while still enjoyable, the pulled pork is a notch below the ribs.

Monk: The smoked then fried wings come with the drumettes, wingettes, and wing tip all attached which from my experience isn’t the norm for a wing at a barbecue restaurant.

Speedy: …Quick interjection: Central BBQ wings are also served this way. Ok, carry on…

Monk: The wings are also finished with a dry rub and were more successful than the pork for me. I had the wings on both of my trips to Peg Leg Porker, and I will probably get them on my next visit, whenever that is.

Speedy: Definitely agree, Monk. Wings and ribs are the pro order. And you know what – I’m just fine with that. The other solid order, which was skipped on this go round, is the yardbird half chicken. It uses the same rub and is equal to the wings. This is a popular item at Peg Leg, and for good reason. But not worth passing over the ribs for.

Monk: Of the sides we ordered, the one I want to call out is the Kool-aid pickles. This is a Delta-region delicacy where Kool-aid mix is literally added to the pickle juice so that the pickles take on the color and flavor (looked to be “red” on this day), resulting in a sweet and sour experience in the form of a crunchy pickle. Just awesome.

I agree with Speedy’s statement above that Peg Leg Porker is definitely worth a visit when in Nashville. Now that I’ve experienced a full meal there, I’ll go with the ribs, wings, and Kool-Aid pickles next time I visit Speedy in Nashville.

Ratings:
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 4 hogs
Ribs – 4 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Wings – 4 hogs
Sides – 3.5 hogs
Overall – 4 hogs

Log Cabin BBQ – Albemarle, NC

Name: Log Cabin BBQ
Address: 2322 US-52, Albemarle, NC 28001
Order: Chopped pork tray with red slaw, hush puppies, Cheerwine (link to menu)
Pricing: $

Monk: Albemarle, NC is a small town of less than 16,000 about an hour east of Charlotte on the Pee Dee River and bordering the Uwharrie National Forest. It’s also home to two well-regarded classic NC barbecue joints, each one stemming from the same family.

Lonnie Doby opened Whispering Pines in 1945 and later married Lavada Galloway. Lavada’s sister Edith and brother Darrell worked at Whispering Pines for some time before Edith and Darrell left to open Darrell’s BBQ in nearby Rockwell. Eventually, Edith purchased the building for Wink’s Barbecue in 1991 with one of her sons and renamed it to Log Cabin Bar-B-Que. We’ll get to Whispering Pines soon, but we’ll start with Log Cabin BBQ this week.

Log Cabin is not just a clever name, and dark wood lines the interior of the restaurant which is more or less your classic NC barbecue restaurant setup with waitress-serviced tables where you pay up front.

What wasn’t clear was whether or not Log Cabin was a classic NC joint that still smoked with wood. True ‘Cue lists Log Cabin as an all wood-smoked joint but The Great NC BBQ Map says its a wood-assisted gasser. Out back is a big enclosed smokehouse, however I wasn’t able to place eyes on their setup to confirm which source had their information right. After some digging, it appears that The Great NC BBQ Map had it right (I believe they called each restaurant to confirm cooking method, so makes sense) and Log Cabin uses what looks to be a Southern Pride rotisserie based on the smoker photos I could find.

Nevertheless, the chopped pork that came out had decent smoke and with some dashes of the table vinegar sauce it really sang.

Log Cabin offers both a red and a white slaw though their red slaw curiously came with bits of diced green peppers, something I hadn’t seen before. The freshly-fried hush puppies came in larger orbs and only 3 per tray but were quite good.

While Log Cabin BBQ may not be carrying on the tradition of wood-smoked North Carolina barbecue, they do serve some great pork. Plus, it’s part of a great story of a family’s barbecue legacy that isn’t too widely known from what I can see.

Ratings:
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 3.5 hogs
Overall – 3.5 hogs

Bobby’s BBQ – Fountain Inn, SC

Name: Bobby’s BBQ
Address: 1301 N Main St, Fountain Inn, SC 29644
Order: 1/2 lb brisket, 1/2 lb pork, 1 original sausage, 1 jalapeno cheddar sausage, corn pudding, mac and cheese, green beans (link to menu)
Pricing: $$

Monk: Octavius “Tay” Nelson and his wife, Sarah opened Bobby’s BBQ in Fountain Inn, SC after Tay spent a few years learning how to smoke from YouTube videos. Yes, really. Tay actually originally grew up in Fountain Inn and Bobby’s is named after both his dad and brother (Bobby Sr and Jr) who both passed away within a few months of each other in the late 00’s. Tay came up with a barbecue seasoning first in 2010 and the restaurant came later in 2018.

The restaurant is central Texas-inspired which as mentioned above, Tay learned from watching different tutorials on YouTube. The Texas of it all is evident if you take a peek into the smoke room and see two huge offset pits with stacks of wood.

As for the barbecue, I found it to be above average but not transcendent. The brisket had good flavor but was not the most neatly sliced by the meat cutter, who hacked and sliced through the end of a brisket.

The pork was dry which is almost to be expected from a Texas-style joint at this point.

On this day, they had two sausages, both an original and a jalapeno cheddar. Of the two, I preferred the jalapeno cheddar, though both were above average.

From a sides perspective, both the mac and cheese and corn pudding shone, and I particularly liked the corn pudding. The green beans were a bit bland and were cooked within an inch of their life.

Bobby’s BBQ is a great story, with food that mostly backs it up as well as a great setting. It’s worth seeking out in the greater Greenville area.

Ratings:
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3 hogs
Brisket – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 2.5 hogs
Sausage – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 3.5 hogs
Overall – 3.5 hogs