Sadly, for the second year in a row the Mallard Creek Barbecue has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. The Mallard Creek Barbecue is by far the oldest barbecue tradition in Charlotte, so its a shame that the 91st edition of it will have to wait another year. Assuming that’s the case, I’ll be there but will be missing their slightly controversial version of Brunswick stew come the 4th Thursday of October.
Jon G’s gets the Axios Charlotte bump
“On Barbecue” by John Shelton Reedgets reviewed by Star News Online
Smokeshow BBQ will be smoking Guatemalan Churrasco this Friday at Salty Parrot Brewing in Charlotte
Secondhand Smoke is continuing the Pete’s BBQ tradition in Rock Hill and will be open this Labor Day Weekend; Pete’s BBQ served every Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day weekend for 55 years before closing in 2018
John T Edge explores the vernacular of Fresh Air Bar-B-Que’s architecture
In Houston, barbecue pop-ups are all the rage
Scott’s Bar-B-Q is featured in the first episode of “Backroad Bites” from South Carolina Education TV, which is back for a third season
The BBQ Review checks out The Southern Belly in Columbia, SC
Based on the book of the same name by Jessica B. Harris, “High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America” examines the contributions of African American cooking to today’s modern cuisine. The series is four episodes, each lasting roughly an hour, and while the fourth episode focuses on barbecue I won’t be skipping straight to it. This is definitely a series I want to watch as its presented in its entirety.
“High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America” is available to watch now on Netflix.
This is so cool to see: Jon G’s Barbecue getting the highest of praise from the BBQ Snob himself, Daniel Vaughn; Prime Barbecue and Noble Smoke also get mentions for their brisket
Name: Jon G’s Barbecue Address: 116 Glenn Falls St, Peachland, NC 28133 Order: 1.5 lbs brisket, 0.5 lbs pork, 0.5 lbs bacon burnt ends, 1lb rib, 2 Cheerwine hot links, jalapeno cheese grits, apple crisp (link to menu) Pricing: $$
Speedy: Finally, I was in the Charlotte area on a Saturday and able to make it to the Jon G’s Barbecue brick and mortar location, after Monk’s continual praise and an impressive experience with the food truck a few years back. As a non-NC resident, I am only able to pop in and out of Charlotte a few times a year, and Saturday’s are not always convenient times for a trip over to Peachland, so I have one plea: give the people what they want! More barbecue! But I digress.
Monk: I’m pretty sure Speedy gets it now, but even though they are only open Saturdays it’s not like Garren and Kelly are sitting around the rest of the week between prep, catering gigs, and the food truck. Plus, the Saturday only aspect makes it more of an experience.
Speedy: After loading up from Charlotte around 9:15 AM, we arrived at a small building off highway 74 with a picnic shelter out back around 10:00 and found our place in line for the 11:00 opening. Even an hour early, we were about 10th in line, but we didn’t mind the wait, as we were greeted with a cooler full of (free) Burial beer. A nice touch.
Monk: You know I love free beer and the fact that it’s one of my favorite breweries (NC or otherwise) only adds to it. We each grabbed and beer and joined in on the tailgating atmosphere. This is the one thing I try to convey when convincing anyone to make a trip to Peachland – it’s an experience that’s worth the trip. After all, Saturdays are for the boys!
Speedy: Let’s start with the brisket and not bury the lede. Similar to my experience with Jon G’s food truck a couple years ago, the brisket was fantastic. With apologies to both Jim Noble and John Lewis, this is the best brisket I’ve had in the Carolinas, and rivals Owlbear for the best outside of Texas. The peppery goodness pleased me greatly. I was actually a little worried about the brisket when I saw that Jon G’s uses a rotisserie smoker instead of the Texas standard barrel offset, but it worked out just fine.
For some reason, Jon G’s brisket is still ever so slightly behind my personal Holy Quadrumvirate of brisket (Franklin’s, La Barbecue, Pecan Lodge, Killen’s) but maybe because there’s just something different about eating brisket in Texas.
Monk: Of course that rotisserie smoker is an Oyler from Texas-based J&R Manufacturing, but I get Speedy’s concern when it’s not coming from an army of offset smokers made from old propane tanks (like the original Jon G’s smoker).
I don’t always get the pork at Jon G’s, but that’s not to say they don’t do a good job with it. And on this visit, it was up to par even if it’s not what we were there for.
Speedy: As you loyal readers know, I’m very much a rib man. When I visited the food truck ribs were not on the menu, so I had been salivating thinking about ribs the whole drive over. The dry ribs served at Jon G’s were seasoned well and cooked nearly perfectly. I don’t think I’d change a thing and would consider this a must order meat.
I think they’ve really dialed in their Cheerwine hot link but I know Garren is really high on their newish Cheesy-Tex sausage made with cheese from Brown Creek Creamery in nearby Polkton So I’ll have to try that next time around when I’m not around Speedy, who is unyielding in his lack of tolerance for lactose.
Speedy: The bacon burnt ends were a special of the day. They had great flavor, as expected, but weren’t totally consistent. There were a couple pieces in our order that were a little dry. Overall, I’d still order again, but in a near perfect meal, this was my nit to pick.
Monk: My experience with smoking my own bacon burnt ends is that the variance in cubing leads to some getting overdone while they larger ones cook through. Unavoidable but understandable.
The jalapeno cheddar grits had a little more heat than usual on this visit, which was not unwelcome. Speedy ordered the apple crisp which I’m not sure I’ve ever had from them. It’s a simple but delicious way to end the meal.
Speedy: Like all Texas-style Barbecue, it’s not something I can eat every day, as I was left with a bit of a gut bomb later in the day. So maybe Jon G’s has it right with the Saturday only thing. But overall, Jon G’s Barbecue is ridiculous. One of the best barbecue meals you’ll get anywhere. If you get the chance, don’t just stop by; make a plan to get there early and spend a Saturday morning out there.
In the latest sign that we’re slowly coming out of this pandemic, the BBQ Fest on the Neuse, “home to the largest whole hog cook-off in the world”, returns this May to Kinston, NC. This is on top of Governor Cooper announcing yesterday that as of this Friday restaurants can open at 75% capacity indoors and 100% outdoors. While this doesn’t mean that everything going’s to snap right back to how it was, things are definitely trending upward.
As for the BBQ Fest on the Neuse, the event hopes to be back in downtown Kinston but if they aren’t able to procure that permit they will go to the Lenoir County Fairgrounds. The barbecue competition will have less competitors, there will be less vendors, and the amount of bands and stages will also be smaller. Despite all this, hopes are high for “Kinston-Lenoir County’s signature event.
Says Joe Hargitt, Visit Kinston Chairman: “We want the overall feel to be a coming out party, after COVID, for the city of Kinston.”
Charlotte-based Mac’s Speed Shop eyes growth across the Southeast in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Florida
Jon G’s has a new convert
Houston-based Blood Brothers BBQ, which fuses Asian flavors with central Texas barbecue, will open a location at the upcoming Resorts World casino on the Las Vegas strip in May
Ahead of his upcoming book Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue (out April 27 on UNC Press), Adrian Miller shares a few insights with Daniel Vaughn on his barbecue travels
Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ is on Eater’s list of noteworthy new cookbooks
More on that beer collab between La Barbecue and Zilker Brewing
Get brisket tips from Evan LeRoy; a video is available for Patreon members
Steve Raichlen has some brisket tips of his own over at Barbecue Bible
…and so does Jess Pryles. Must be something in the water.
Tips on fire maintenance
Sounds like my kind of place:
Robert Sietsema tries the brisket sandwich at four new NYC-area barbecue joints: Virgil’s Real Barbecue, John Brown BBQ, Izzy’s BBQ Smokehouse, and Hudson Smokehouse
Rest In Peace to Dorothy King of Everett & Jones Barbeque in Oakland