Monk: The News & Observer presents a video slide show of some great photos of their favorite barbecue joints across the state, from classic whole hog joints to new school places that feature brisket and a Texas influence. Restaurants included:
B’s Barbecue in Greenville
Grady’s Barbecue in Dudley
Jon G’s Barbecue in Peachland
Lawrence Barbecue in Durham
Longleaf Swine in Raleigh
Picnic in Durham
Prime Barbecue in Knightdale
Redneck BBQ Lab in Benson
Description: Barbecue is the hottest trend in food right now. And in tradition-rich North Carolina, a new generation of pitmasters is making new traditions of their own. Here are a few of our favorites. Video by Kevin Keister / The News & Observer.
A couple of the pitmasters for the upcoming Carolina Barbecue Festival in Charlotte on May 22nd: Bryan Furman and Matthew Register
Not to be outdone, the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival has been announcing pitmasters for the Prieto Pitmaster Invitational at its festival, including Brandon Shepard of Shepard Barbecue, Melanie Dunia of The Pit, Ron Simmons of Master Blend Family Farms, and Lewis Donald of Sweet Lew’s BBQ
Noble Smoke’s stall has opened at Optimist Hall as of Monday, 3/14
Jon G’s will be smoking meat for a barbecue and wine event on the last day of the Charlotte Wine & Food Festival
Pretty cool: actor Eric Wareheim made it all the way from LA to Peachland for a Barbecue Saturday last weekend
Blake’s BBQ has its final days in the trailer this week
In Austin for SXSW?
The latest reader-generated list from Southern Living
North Carolina has lost another classic barbecue joint; Smiley’s Lexington BBQ officially closed this past weekend as a result of the NC DOT widening of Winston Road. Restaurant owner Steve Yountz and his wife, Tena, have no official plans to relocate the restaurant as of now but are not ruling it out either, depending on how much money they get from the state. For now, they are going to take some time to evaluate their options.
The building housing Smiley’s has been a barbecue restaurant for over 70 years and according to Yountz, ““It’s the oldest pit-cooking restaurant in Lexington. We’re still using the original pits.” Before Yountz opened Smiley’s in 2002, it operated as Southern Barbecue from 1963 to 1998 and started as Dan’s in the 1950’s.
This NC DOT project, first announced in 2018 and not set to begin until July 2023, actually has two victims as Speedy’s Barbecue the next block over is also closing due to the road widening.
Through the Preserve the Pit fellowship, Ron Simmons of Master Blend Farms in Kenansville was able to add 56 acres to his family farm and add barbecue catering as a side gig
Big Belly Que in Chapel Hill is pivoting to Italian for the time being
Lechon Latin BBQ is a new-ish, Latin-focused barbecue restaurant at Raleigh’s Triangle Town Center
Noble Smoke’s second location at Optimist Hall opens this Sunday
Congrats to Garren and Kelly from Jon G’s, who 2 years ago on Sunday closed on the former Barbee’s Barbecue location, which they would open in June 2020 just a few months into the pandemic
Texas barbecue James Beard semifinalists
Robert Sietsema’s latest barbecue guide for Eater NY
Juicy Lucia and Di Fara Pizzeria will be located in the former Corner House BBQ on Staten Island
Virgie’s is back
Lewis Barbecue is set to open their Greenville location this summer
Snow’s Barbecue by Robert Jacob Lerma for Huckberry
According to Dave Grohl, salt and pepper is all the rub you need for a great brisket
Aaron Franklin’s Hot Luck Festival is back and has added NC band Superchunk to its music lineup
Here’s a list of the chefs that will be at Hot Luck
Should we call this the Memphis Airport Barbecue Challenge?
Monk: While my hunch is that I had roughly as much barbecue as last year, I suspect the ratio of mediocre barbecue to great barbecue was higher than in past years. There’s always highlights to pick out, but let’s hope next year is a more favorable ratio.
In alphabetical order:
Beef rib, brisket, pork ribs, Cheerwine hot link from Jon G’s Barbecue – Peachland, NC
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