Monk: Southern Living readers pick their favorite barbecue in each state in the South for the annual “Best in the South” issue. While Robert Moss provides a foreword, please remember that this is a reader chosen list and not his South’s Top 50 Barbecue Joints list. So address your ire at the masses and not Moss’ inbox.
Moss does note that half of the 14 are repeat, with the other half being new to the list. For North Carolina, the reader’s pick this year was Lexington Barbecue but it was not a repeat winner as last year’s choice was Buxton Hall Barbecue.
Check out the Southern Living reader’s pick at the link below.
Steve and Gerri Grady get profiled in the local paper, the Mount Olive Tribune
Name: Longleaf Swine Date: 1/21/23 Address: 300 E Edenton St, Raleigh, NC 27601 Order: Whole hog, brisket, pimento mac and cheese, esquites, slaw, cornbread (link) Pricing: $$
Monk: Of the 2020 Raleigh Barbecue Boom, while not all announced restaurants have actually opened as of this writing (notably Ed Mitchell’s Preserve and Wyatt’s Barbecue), Longleaf Swine joined the land of the living last fall after years of construction delays and even a location change. And in my mind, it’s a top tier barbecue restaurant not only in Raleigh but possibly in all of NC.
After years of playing Instagram tag, I finally made it to Longleaf Swine earlier this year on a sunny but brisk winter afternoon. While the restaurant itself is on the small side, Longleaf Swine has plenty of outdoor patio space and heaters to spare. The building formerly hosted a Cuban restaurant in the Oakwood neighborhood just outside of downtown Raleigh, not far from the location of the Transfer Co food hall where they initially planned to open before this location became available. After years of construction delays due to supply chain issues, they finally opened this past November. On weekends, order on your phone via a table QR and the foot is brought out in no time.
In particular, the meat that I was most interested was their whole hog barbecue, which turned out to be fantastic. A simple mound of barbecue chopped with both lean and fatty cuts of the pig mixed in together. By far the star of the show, and in this city, its right up there with Sam Jones Barbecue.
The brisket was above average with a nice peppery crust but could have used perhaps a little more trimming of the fat cap. Also – you can’t specify fatty versus lean on the online ordering system, so you might not have an option unless you do counter service during the week. I would have liked to try the fatty end of the meat but still, very flavorful.
My sides were the pimiento mac and cheese topped with pork cracklins, esquites (a Mexican corn salad), and a mayo-based eastern NC-style slaw. There are no hush puppies so I went with cornbread. All sides were well executed and in particular I liked the esquites.
For the non-meat eaters, Mrs. Monk swears by the collard green melt sandwich, which is a grilled muenster cheese sandwich with apple slices, collards, and crispy tobacco onions on slices of locally made sourdough.
After my meal, I got a tour from Adam, who along with his business partner Marc are both co-owners (and NC State graduates to boot). At Longleaf, they are a True Cue joint smoking over wood on an Oyler rotisserie smoker, which seems to be the popular smoker for restaurants these days. Longleaf Swine sees themselves as a barbecue joint during the day before switching over to more of a neighborhood sandwich and burger joint at night (though you can still get barbecue while it’s available).
But you don’t have to take just my word for it. For more on Longleaf Swine, John Tanner’s Barbecue Blog has recently posted not one but two reviews and was also a big fan. Longleaf Swine is open five days a week (closed Monday and Tuesday) and is a fantastic addition to the Raleigh barbecue scene.
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.
Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 10th. More information here.
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
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
North Carolina’s oldest barbecue restaurant will celebrate its 85th anniversary on February 11. That’s right, 85 years! Clyde Cooper’s Barbecue has seemingly been invigorated by the “BBQ Karen” controversy from late last year and will take its newfound energy into its 86th year in existence. A big congrats to them!
Eater has released an updated restaurant list for the Triangle
A construction update of the Raleigh location of Midwood Smokehouse
Ray Nathan’s recently celebrated their 4th anniversary earlier this month
Meet Cece of Lincolnton’s Bar-B-Q King
Jon G’s has rolled out a separate “Carolina chopped barbecue” service out of their trailer at Barbecue Saturdays in Peachland
Have you tried the foil boat method?
Hill East Burgers in DC cold smokes their burgers with brisket trimmings for their take on smoked smash burgers
John Lewis’s Rancho Lewis makes the Charleston Hot List from Eater Carolinas
Brett’s Barbecue Shop opened their Katy location this recently and it sure seems the city embraced them
Adrian Miller dropping some Colorado barbecue knowledge
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