Four words: Pig. In. A. Pup.
– The Port City Ribfest moves from Wilmington to Carolina Beach this November
– It’s no surprise that barbecue is North Carolina’s iconic dish according to Flavored Nation; Missouri is the only other state they list with barbecue as its iconic dish
– Charleston is one of the best food towns in the south, in part because of their barbecue restaurants
– A Washington Post travelogue to Chapel Hill includes a visit to The Pig for lunch
Gail goes with a nifty riff on North Carolina-style barbecue, a salad topped with tender chunks of Vietnamese pork cheek and crispy, dried shrimp. Ewan has a more traditional heaping plate of Eastern Carolina-style pulled pork with cider-vinegar sauce. On counsel of the affable guy behind the counter, I order a fried Bologna sandwich, which has about as much in common with my childhood memories of this luncheon meat as Spam does with chateaubriand.
– A review of Daddy Bob’s Barbeque, a promising-sounding truck in Raleigh that smokes shoulders over a mix of hickory, apple, and pecan and serves with an eastern vinegar sauce
– A group of Sampsonians will be trying to save Lewis Barbecue, which closed Labor Day weekend
– Art’s Barbecue & Deli gets a short profile in Charlotte Five
– Just a reminder:
— Our State Magazine (@ourstatemag) September 17, 2017
– RIP to the original Riverside location of 12 Bones; it is survived by the Arden location and a new Riverside location down the street coming in January 2018
– Operation BBQ Relief has been helping out for weeks for Harvey and is now live for Irma
– I’ve never been here but its unfortunate when a joint open this long closes: Lewis’ Barbecue (not to be confused with the Texas joint in Charleston by John Lewis), a 70 year old barbecue restaurant in Clinton has closed
– Shots fired at NC barbecue from a San Antonio journalist
Several years ago, a free afternoon during a work-related trip to North Carolina called for an obvious mission: Seek out the finest examples of the barbecue the locals hailed as the world’s best, and gorge accordingly.
But upon completion of this task, which unfortunately involved the ingestion of sad piles of shredded pork doused in a sauce consisting primarily of vinegar, one question lingered over the entire experience.
How can a state love something so much and yet still be so bad at it?
– Per Stacy Franklin, Franklin Barbecue is “hoping to open in the next two weeks” from a Texas BBQ Posse post from 9/7
– More Texas: Goode Co. BBQ in Houston (a joint that helped influence the Charlotte restaurant Midwood Smokehouse) celebrated 40 years of being open recently
– Matthew Odam recently unearthed a series of barbecue reviews from 1978 from recently passed Austin columnist John Kelso
– Always good to refresh the ol’ knowledge tank
— Whole Hog Barbecue (@wholehogbbqnc) September 6, 2017
Name: Okie Dokies Smokehouse
Address: 2375 US Hwy 70, Swannanoa, NC 28778
Order: Big Combo (chopped pork, chopped beef, and ribs) with collards and red slaw (link to menu)
Monk: In the Asheville area, there had been still a couple of places in the surrounding towns that have caught my eye to check out when I’m in the area. I thought a much needed dinner break on the way to Gatlinburg, Tennessee would be a great opportunity to knock one off my list – Okie Dokies Smokehouse in Swannanoa . In the end, we made the stop but it turned out to be an abbreviated one to the small joint off US-70 15 minutes east of Asheville.
As Mrs. Monk and the Monkette got some air, I took the liberty of ordering a Big Combo with three of the meats and two sides to share with the missus. Little did I know, we would eventually be taking that order to go and the meal would be evaluated in the car 30 minutes down the road.
The chopped pork was moist and had some decent wood smoke but didn’t knock my socks off. I will say that I do appreciate that Okie Dokies cooks over wood and that you can taste it in the meat.
Chopped beef is not something you see much in NC – I can think of maybe two other places I’ve been to that serve that style – and let me be clear that we definitely aren’t talking chopped brisket like they do in Central and East Texas. This beef was served pulled and chopped in a similar manner to the pork. While moist enough, I think this meat illustrated why you don’t see it more often in these parts – it just doesn’t do anything exciting for the eater.
The ribs were a bit overdone, pulling away from the bone really easily. The rub and sauce had some decent taste to it though.
There’s not too much to say about the sides except that the hush puppies were freaking excellent.
I wish could say more about the atmosphere and the building itself or even had more photos to share but sometimes life (and in this case, the Monkette) intervenes. If it is any indication, next time through, I would stop in again at Okie Dokies Smokehouse on my way to or from Asheville without hesitation though. I liked what I saw for the most part.
– Per their Instagram, Midwood Smokehouse is donating $1 from each pulled pork sandwich sold this week to Hurricane Harvey relief
– This past week New Bern hosted the first Piggin’ and Grinnin’ Festival for folks to enjoy barbecue and bluegrass
– Currituck BBQ Company is a recommended stop on NC 158
— Our State Magazine (@ourstatemag) August 27, 2017
– The latest accolades for Lexington Barbecue are from food and travel site Rave, which compiles data from Eater, OpenTable, TripAdvisor, and The Daily Meal
– They are doing some inventive things with barbecue at LeRoy & Lewis Barbecue in Austin
– An oldie from last summer
There are those who would argue that if it doesn’t come from a pig, it ain’t true barbecue https://t.co/Sgj4j0Qz13
— Eater (@Eater) September 4, 2017
– Thinking of Houston in the wake of Harvey
Even if you are far from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, there are ways to contribute. https://t.co/GNuzKpKGMj
— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) August 27, 2017
– In drier times (hopefully coming soon), could whole hog barbecue succeed in Houston?
– Glad to hear that the smokers at Franklin Barbecue made it through the smokehouse fire
— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) August 28, 2017
– Art’s Barbecue and Deli and Bar-B-Q King make Charlotte Five’s list of 10 classic Charlotte restaurants you must try
– A barbecue-focused episode of House of Carbs this week talks Texas barbecue and Charleston as a barbecue capital
– Buxton Hall evening pitmaster David Phelps gets a mention in this article on third shift workers in Asheville
After coming in around 10 p.m., he spends the first two hours prepping the next day’s sauces and green beans. As he chops and mixes, Phelps is also building the fire up to the required temperature (225 degrees), in order to cook the two pigs nightly. By sunrise, he generally has around 350 to 400 pounds of pulled pork ready for the day crew.
– Buxton Hall’s also got great fried chicken too
— Buxton Hall Barbecue (@buxtonhall) August 28, 2017
— Jeremy Markovich (@deftlyinane) August 28, 2017
– Ringer’s Danny Chau visits Lewis Barbecue and Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston and sees the future of barbecue
Charleston is now a beacon for where the future of American barbecue is headed: everywhere https://t.co/z7mMG3imwZ
— The Ringer (@ringer) August 23, 2017
– First We Feast: “8 Common BBQ Myths, Debunked”
– Some great photos behind the scenes at the world’s largest free barbecue at the XIT Rodeo and Reunion in Dalhart, TX
– Thoughts and prayers are with the Brooks family as the original owner and father of the current brother owners passed away last week at the age of 90
Brooks Sandwich Shop is closed until Wednesday to honor founder C.T. Brooks. https://t.co/EUAyTfU8CQ
— Kathleen Purvis (@kathleenpurvis) August 21, 2017
– Kathleen Purvis on the cuisine of Charlotte for newcomers:
Take our barbecue style: We’re close to Lexington, N.C., where “barbecue” means a pork shoulder, slowly cooked over wood coals, chopped and mixed with a vinegar-based sauce with a little tomato in it. The origins are probably German, from all the German immigrants who started in Pennsylvania and ended up here. But you’ll also find Eastern North Carolina style, which involves a whole pig and no tomato in the vinegar sauce. That’s descended from an old English style, and we like that too.
Or you can find newer, fancier barbecue that involves Texas brisket or Memphis ribs, and we embrace that because it tastes good. But if you invite someone over for “a barbecue” and serve them grilled hot dogs? They’ll be nice about it, but they won’t be happy. (See “pop,” above.)
– A recently-closed bistro in Durham will reopen as Maverick’s Smokehouse and Taproom, which will have an an international house of barbecue menu
– 2M Smokehouse in San Antonio: the next great Texas barbecue joint?
— Bon Appétit (@bonappetit) August 22, 2017
– David Chang’s last meal on earth (which is more of a transcontinental progressive dinner) includes a stopover in Austin for brisket at Franklin Barbecue
– Way to go, Ace Biscuit & Barbecue: owner Brian Ashworth kicks Nazis out of his restaurant in Charlottesville
– Jamie Foxx made a stop at Stamey’s last week while in town for a Global Entrepreneurs convention at the Greensboro Coliseum across the street
– Carrboro’s got a new upscale yuppie-que joint called CrossTies Barbecue, which is housed in a vintage refurbished railroad car
– As we North Carolinians have known for centuries, barbecue needs acid not sugar
Barbecue has been trending toward sweet, sometimes way too sweet. What it could use is a little acid. https://t.co/IlO73QDDes
— TMBBQ (@tmbbq) August 10, 2017
– Tasting Table: American Barbecue Is the Next Big International Food Trend
– Aaron Franklin has no plans to ever open a second location; there just aren’t enough cows
It takes 53 cows per day to keep up with current operations, and these are a special kind of cow. “I even struggle now to get enough [brisket],” he adds. The market is so small that when fast-food chain Arby’s hopped on the brisket trend, it drove up the cost of brisket for Franklin by $2. “We don’t use commodity brisket at all,” he explains. “But once the commodity supply runs out, then people start trying to upgrade, and that’s where we got into trouble.”
– Eater Nashville has a preview of Pat Martin’s new fast food burger and barbecue restaurant, Hugh Baby’s BBQ and Burger Shop opening in late August
– Marie takes over for Grant on their visit to some old favorite joints in Athens, GA
— Grant Goggans (@MarieLetsEat) August 15, 2017
– The “metro Greenville, NC” area (LOL) get’s a shoutout in SI’s Andy Staples and his “America’s Best College Town Meals” column; there are also a few other barbecue spots highlighted for other college towns
If you want to really do it right, spoon some of that pork between two pieces of cornbread. The bread lives somewhere between loaf and cake, and a bite that mixes that bread, that pork and those delectable cracklins is about as close to heaven as we can get here on Earth.
– Seems like a good time was had by all at Pig & Pedals in Asheboro this past weekend
– Making a mental note to try berliner weisse next time I eat barbecue
I don’t normally drink beer with barbecue, but when I do, it’s a Berliner weisse. https://t.co/wLCvCRwaWm
— Daniel Vaughn (@BBQsnob) August 4, 2017
– A BBQ&A with Mighty Quinn’s pitmaster Hugh Mangum
– At Lexington Barbecue, if you can’t take the heat get yo’ booty out the pit room
— Whole Hog Barbecue (@wholehogbbqnc) August 2, 2017
– One man’s quest to ruin it for everyone else; complaints of air pollution from Little Richard’s BBQ in Winston-Salem:
Someone has been emailing for months officials with the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, the Forsyth County Department of Environmental Assistance and Protection, me, state legislators, Ask SAM and anyone else within electronic earshot about “the plume from the 3 unregulated point source smoke stacks” that sends a “cloud of unmitigated (carbon monoxide) and particulate matter” into the atmosphere.
– Congrats to Rodney Scott’s BBQ, named one of 50 finalists for Bon Apetit’s Best New Restaurants in America 2017
– As expected, the Southeast Tourism Society has named The Barbecue Festival one of the top 20 events in the Southeast for October 2017
– The 4th Annual Pigs & Pedals BBQ cooking competition is in Asheboro this weekend, with a new People’s Choice Competition
– Barbecue the documentary comes to Netflix in August in glorious 4k
— Eater (@Eater) July 23, 2017
– An “American Regional Barbecue Cheat Sheet from Tasting Table” though they don’t quite get the North Carolina section right
– This week’s latest Cheerwine story
— Our State Magazine (@ourstatemag) July 30, 2017