Our Favorite Posts from 2022

Monk: 2022 marked the ten year anniversary of the blog and its gone by in a flash. We’re going to take the rest of the year off in order to come out strong in 2023, but before we do we want to 1) wish you all a happy holidays and 2) spotlight one last time some of our favorite original content from 2022.

Without further ado…

Original Content

My summer kicked off with a weekly recap of all 8 episodes of the third season of “BBQ Brawl.” While I was happy to get through those two months mostly unscathed, I also checked out a few other barbecue streaming shows throughout the year featuring notable barbecue personalities like Michael Symon’s “BBQ USA,” “World of Flavor with Big Moe Cason,” and the third season of “BBQuest” which added Hardcore Carnivore’s Jess Pryles as a co-host.

We’ve done some updating of our Lexington rankings sadly due to closures but I already know I need to get back to Lexington to try Cafe 71 Smoke House BBQ, which opened this fall in the old Rick’s Smokehouse space.

I also am trying a new post format with the “best barbecue within an hour of [insert major city here].” I’ve started with Charlotte but will work on posts for both Raleigh as well as the eastern part of the state.

We also went to a few festivals this year! May was a busy month in Charlotte with both the Smoke & Grapes event at the Charlotte Wine & Food Festival as well as the successful first annual Carolina BBQ Festival hosted by Lewis Donald of Sweet Lew’s BBQ.

In November, I went to Charleston for the second annual Holy Smokes Barbecue Festival and had a grand time in the lowcountry.

I can’t wait to see what festivals I’ll make it to in 2023.

Reviews

We’re up to 327 reviews on the site now, and in 2022 we added 23 more. Not quite our most productive year, but still an average of nearly 2 per month.

Rudy got to finally try Noble Smoke in Charlotte in February, and left pretty impressed with a 4.5 hog review.

Speedy loved pretty much everything about the relatively new Bringle’s Smoking Oasis in Nashville, from the space to the bar to of course the food (in particular the beef rib and the brisket). Another 4.5 hog meal.

But from the looks of it, Speedy’s favorite meal of the year was at Prime Barbecue in Knightdale when he was back in North Carolina this summer. He gave it our prestigious 5 hog rating, the first since our most recent Jon G’s Barbecue review from 2021.

I got in on the 4.5 hog action with a couple of joints in the Carolinas: Lawrence Barbecue in Durham and Palmira BBQ in Charleston. At Lawrence, in addition to the fun atmosphere at Boxyard RTP and the Lawrence Barbecue-inspired beer from Trophy Brewing, the pork and brisket were highlights of the meal. At Palmira, I got to chat with owner and pitmaster Hector Garate and both the whole hog barbecue and hash and rice shone through.

And last but not least, I can’t forget my mini whole hog barbecue tour in eastern North Carolina in the spring, where I visited B’s Barbecue, Skylight Inn, and the original location of Sam Jones BBQ.

I did a brief writeup for The Smoke Sheet, which a version of showed up on the site as well.

With that, the 2022 posts are done for the year. But we’ll be back in January with all new content.

Happy Holidays and see you all in 2023!

Linkdown: 12/7/22 – The Rodney Scott and Eric Church Joint Venture Edition

Featured

Monk: Country music star (and NC native) Eric Church has shared the first digital renderings of Chief’s, his upcoming venture with Rodney Scott. Not content to have just a honky tonk joint with great whole hog barbecue, the building will also house a studio for live broadcasts (such as Church’s SiriusXM show).

Chief’s will open in downtown Nashville in 2023.

Native News

More pink barbecue merchandise now available at Clyde Cooper’s in Raleigh

A short profile on Buxton Hall Barbecue‘s executive chef Nick

The Cheef will be at Oskar Blues Brevard’s 10th anniversary party this coming weekend serving tacos and sandwiches

Midwood Smokehouse, Mac’s Speed Shop, and Noble Smoke are options in Charlotte to bypass Christmas cooking

Midwood Smokehouse‘s upcoming Raleigh location will be more Tex-Mex

Non-Native News

Hogs for the Cause announces its 2023 lineup

Barbecue historian Joe Haynes has a new barbecue book out, just in time for the holidays

John Turner’s been making the rounds at your favorite places in Texas:

City Market in Luling

Smitty’s Market in Lockhart

Terry Black’s in Austin

Valentina’s in Austin

Pinkerton’s in Houston

And finally, Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que in Brownsville

Defining east vs central Texas barbecue, Open AI chat bot style

Charlotte Barbecue News from July through September of 2022

Monk: Phar Mill BBQ and Brewing has not only recently joined the Charlotte barbecue landscape within the last year or so but has even opened a second location in Concord (it’s original location is in Harrisburg). They are a joint that is smoking it’s barbecue over wood – on a Jon G’s smoker, nonetheless – and I hope to report back soon.

In the next six months, I’d love to see more upstart barbecue joints in Charlotte plus maybe an established, wood-smoking chain like Sam Jones or Rodney Scott or Home Team join the Charlotte barbecue scene because, you know, a rising tide lifts all boats.

Here’s the notable barbecue news from the past three months.

July

7/12 Spectrum 1 checks in on Barvecue, the wood-smoked, plant-based barbecue from Cornelius

7/12 Jon G’s Barbecue makes Yelp Charlotte’s list of 25 places to eat in Charlotte

7/15 Lewis Donald is no longer involved with Dish and will be focusing his efforts on Sweet Lew’s BBQ and the Carolina Barbecue Festival going forward

August

8/3 HopFly Brewing Company releases Go Time Smoked Pilsner, brewed in collaboration with Jon G’s Barbecue:

We put this recipe together with our friends from the renowned @jongsbbq in Peachland, NC. In addition to our favorite pilsner malt, we filled this beer out with a healthy quantity of wheat smoked by Jon G himself down in Peachland. This beautiful golden lager has a round, malty sweetness complemented nicely with overtones of the BBQ pit. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a slab of smoked brisket, or while you’re at home standing next to the grill. 4.0% ABV

8/3 Jon G’s also makes the News & Observer’s favorite NC barbecue joints

September

9/3 Jon G’s Barbecue shares some photos of their involvement in the wedding of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Afflect in Savannah

9/9 Phar Mill Brewing and BBQ opens its Concord location

9/14 Noble Smoke, Jon G’s, Midwood Smokehouse, and The Smoke Pit are included in this Texas-style barbecue restaurant roundup from Kevin’s BBQ Joints

9/16 Phar Mill Brewing and BBQ announces its new chef, Chef Eric

9/17 Midwood Smokehouse made it to the finals of the News & Observer Barbecue Bracket but ultimately lost to Wilber’s Barbecue

Linkdown: 7/27/22

Native News

Phar Mill Brewing and BBQ in Harrisburg has an opening date for their downtown Concord location

Pitmaster Stuart Henderson from Noble Smoke captured in action

Lawyer Duane Bryant has opened DK Bones Barbeque in High Point in the middle of a food dessert

Lechon Latin BBQ makes Eater Carolinas’ latest Heatmap

Spectrum 1 checks in on Barvecue

Non-Native News

King BBQ from the owners of Jackrabbit Filly will offer “Chinese-style barbecue with a heavy influence of North Carolina”

World of Flavor with Big Moe Cason premiered on National Geographic this past Monday and the first episode takes place in Charleston and features visits to Rodney Scott’s BBQ and Lewis Barbecue as well as Moe cooking at last year’s Holy Smokes BBQ Festival

Congrats to Palmira BBQ on one year

Robert Moss reviews Palmira BBQ for the Charleston Post and Courier

Scotty’s Whole Hog Barbecue, which smokes eastern NC whole hog, is featured in this feature on Minnesota barbecue from Texas Monthly

Adrian Miller checks in on Jones BBQ for what is likely the last time in the Jones sisters era

BBQuest is coming back for a third season

Congrats to Panther City BBQ on their recent Guinness World Record