Linkdown: 2/15/23 – The Pik-N-Pig Reopens! Edition


Monk: In more good classic NC barbecue news, Pik-N-Pig, the Carthage barbecue joint located at an airfield, has finally reopened as of last Thursday. It had been closed for repairs due to a fire in May 2021.

According to this article from the Sandhill Sentinel, due to the new floor plan the amount of seating has doubled and the kitchen is nearly three times the size of the previous one. There is now a dedicated smokehouse with three smokers to handle the capacity for their pulled pork, smoked chicken, brisket, and wings.

More FAQs on the restaurant reopening.

Native News

Eric Wareheim recently filmed at Jon G’s Barbecue for an upcoming project; Jake Wood of Lawrence Barbecue was also in the house

Speedy’s Barbecue is finally closing due to the Highway 8 widening, but thankfully they are just relocating to Piedmont Drive in Lexington

JD’s Smokehouse gets profiled in Our State Magazine

Cheerwine and Noda Brewing in Charlotte have collaborated on a new beer called Cheerwine Ale

Non-Native News

Been enjoying “Poker Face” on Peacock and episode 3 took place at a fictional east Texas barbecue joint

Daniel Vaughn recently published a story on the history of wagyu beef in America

At Perry’s Pig Pickin’ BBQ, You Can Get Your Barbecue With a Side of Bait and Tackle

Name: Perry’s Pig Pickin’ BBQ
Date: 1/13/23
Address: 6727 Wilgrove Mint Hill Rd, Mint Hill, NC 28227
Order: Barbecue plate with Brunswick stew, mac and cheese, and red slaw
Pricing: $

Monk: It’s not often that there is a completely new-to-me barbecue place in the greater Charlotte area that I’m not at least somewhat familiar with but in late 2020, that was the case with Perry’s Pig Pickin’ BBQ from a Charlotte Ledger story (paywall). And if the last name Perry sounds familiar to local Charlotteans that’s because as the article describes, owner Irvin Perry (who owns and runs it with his wife Melanie) is the only one of four brothers who did not stay in the jewelry business; his brother Ernest is behind Perry’s Diamonds & Estate Jewelry in SouthPark and his other two brothers own jewelry stores in Wilmington and West Jefferson. Irvin went the small superette route and opened up Perry’s Market in the late 70’s. He added the gas pumps later.

The barbecue counter is in the back corner where initially a butcher shop resided when the store first opened in 1977 before being replaced by a deli and then the barbecue counter. There is no on-site seating so you pick your barbecue and sides and they are packed into a to-go box and you are on your way.

Stopping at a nearby park and eating off my back hood (hence the runny stew in the picture above), I found the barbecue to be tender with plenty of tang but not a lot of smoke. The tang would be in large part due to the vinegar sauce squirted onto the sauce at the counter as well as the red vinegar-based slaw. Throw it onto a bun, however, and it made for a good sandwich. According the Charlotte Ledger story linked above the barbecue is “made-on-site” but I did not put my eyes on what exactly does the cooking.

The mac and cheese was not bad but what might bring me back in the future is the Brunswick stew, which I would definitely get again. Just a well executed version of the stew, and I might be inclined to get at least a pint of it next time.

In Perry’s Pig Pickin’ BBQ I was hoping for a hidden gem and while I don’t think I would quite go that far what I found was dependable, above average gas station fare that serves the community for a good price.

Atmosphere/Ambiance – N/A
Pork – 3 hogs
Brunswick Stew – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 2.5 hogs
Overall – 3 hogs

Linkdown: 2/1/23 – The Barbecue in a Bowl Edition


Monk: The second annual Carolina BBQ Festival is once again bringing some of the best and brightest pitmasters to the Queen City in early May. Lewis Donald has invited many of the same pitmasters from last year’s festival and added a few new faces: Jake Wood of Lawrence Barbecue, Keith Henning of Black Powder Smokehouse, Michael Letchworth of Sam Jones BBQ, and Tank Jackson of Holy City Hog.

The full list of pitmasters and chefs:

Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 10th. More information here.

Native News

Backyard BBQ Pit has received nearly $50,000 from its GoFundMe campaign and even got new kitchen appliances donated by an angel donor; now they are paying it forward to other local small businesses

It’s Brunswick stew season

In sad news, Clyde Cooper’s daughter Joyce recently passed but the occasion brought together is grandchildren and great grandchildren

Sweet’s Turkey BBQ is a Greensboro food truck serving chopped turkey barbecue, a healthier alternative to pork and beef

Midwood Smokehouse‘s Raleigh location has gotten their Oyler

Non-Native News

The James Beard semi-finalists were announced last week and pitmasters from Moo’s Craft Barbecue in LA, Heirloom Market BBQ in Atlanta, Tropical Smokehouse in West Palm Beach, Distant Relatives and KG BBQ in Austin, Goldee’s in Fort Worth, Curry Boys BBQ in San Antonio, Gatlin’s BBQ in Houston, and Burnt Bean in Seguin make the list

Charleston’s Swig & Swine BBQ is expanding to Myrtle Beach

Adrian Miller’s field guide to US barbecue

Bill Murray recently enjoyed a beef rib at Heritage Barbecue

30 pitmasters will be in Greenville, SC for Southern Roots: A BBQ Reunion on April 15

Episode 3 of Peacock’s “Poker Face” is brisket-focused and actually gets the specifics mostly right

Bubba’s Barbecue Has Reopened After 2+ Years Closure

Name: Bubba’s Barbecue
Date: 1/5/23
Address: 4400 Sunset Rd, Charlotte, NC 28216
Order: Chopped pork plate with slaw, green beans, hush puppies, and sweet tea (link to menu)
Pricing: $$

Monk: Remembering that Bubba’s Barbecue quietly reopened late last year (with an event quieter reopening in the summer), I recently made my way there for lunch on a weekday. This would be my first meal there in 9 years at the 37 year old restaurant.

After placing my order, I was greeted by a light lunch crowd of 3 other tables between the two large dining rooms. Before I could sit down from getting my drink, my food was brought out and placed on the yellow checked table cloth. While Bubba’s had these same table cloths the last time I visited in 2013, I always think of the recently departed Spoon’s Barbecue, which they of course share a lineage with.

Speaking of which, a quick detour for some Charlotte barbecue history. A barbecue restaurant first opened in 1963 as “Jackson and Spoon’s Barbecue” (later just “Spoon’s Barbecue”) on South Boulevard. In 1987, owner Ralph “Bubba” Miller purchased the restaurant and the original recipes. He later renamed the restaurant to “Bubba’s Barbecue” and a few years later moved it to it’s current location on Sunset Road, where it has been serving Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue since 1994. The Spoon family, meanwhile, opened “Bill Spoon’s Barbecue” on South Boulevard in the previous location for Bubba’s until they closed in fall 2020.

The pork was unfortunately just slightly above average. The texture was a bit stringy and it lacked any noticeable smoke. The branded table vinegar sauce did help, as did the addition of their slaw. This unique mustard-based slaw was another similarity between Bubba’s and Spoon’s.

The hush puppies were fresh but the green beans tasted out of a can.

While Bubba’s Barbecue will not become my go-to lunch barbecue spot, with most classic barbecue restaurants seem to be closing these days, it’s great to have one reopen. Give Bubba’s a try if you are in north Charlotte.

Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Sides – 3 Hogs
Overall – 3 Hogs