Short Sugar’s Pit Bar-B-Q – Reidsville, NC

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Name: Short Sugar’s Pit Bar-B-Q
Date: 2/16/16
Address: 1328 South Scales Street, Reidsville, NC
Order: Chopped tray with fries and hushpuppies, Cheerwine (link to menu)
Price: ~$11

Speedy: A work trip recently brought me to Reidsville, NC, and since I don’t really happen through this small NC town too often, it seemed like a great opportunity to visit another spot on the NC Historic Barbecue Trail – Short Sugar’s.

Monk: One of the first goals for this blog (other than finding the best barbecue in Charlotte) was to visit each joint on the NC Historic Barbecue Trail. But we’ve been a little lax lately, having visited only one joint in 2015. While there are a few that are a bit east and may end up requiring a dedicated trip, there’s definitely a couple within easy driving distance. Maybe we’ll hit another this year and double our 2015 output!

Speedy: Short Sugar’s is advertised as a drive-in, but in reality, it’s more like an old school diner. There are plenty of tables inside, as well as a lunch counter, and patrons are invited to seat themselves upon entry. Like a typical diner, the menu is fairly diverse, but there is a small section devoted to the barbecue. My order was easy – the barbecue tray with hushpuppies and slaw. When I found out from the waitress that they served white slaw, I quickly subbed in fries instead.

The food came out fairly quickly and I was ready to dig in. It didn’t take me long to figure out why Short Sugars has a sweetener in its name. The barbecue was covered in a dip that was heavy on the brown sugar. While good, it was just a little too sweet for my taste. The meat was chopped fine and very tender, and I still enjoyed my portion. Other than the sweetness, I had two complaints – I didn’t seem to get any outside brown in my portion (I didn’t ask for any), and my ‘cue was a little lukewarm. I imagine it has been chopped a couple hours ago and not placed in a heat lamp. All that being said, I still enjoyed the pork.

The hushpuppies were really good. They also had a sweetness to them, but one that’s more appropriate for the side than it is for the main course. The fries were typical crinkle cut fries, so nothing exciting there.

I have certain expectations whenever I hit up a joint on the historic NC barbecue trail. While Short Sugar’s wasn’t the worst trail joint I’ve hit (and overall I did enjoy the meal), I was slightly disappointed. If I ever find myself in Reidsville again, I wouldn’t be opposed to stopping again, but I won’t be going out of my way to do so.

Ratings:
Atmosphere – 3 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 3 hogs
Short Sugar’s Pit Bar-B-Q Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Short Sugar’s

Linkdown: 4/16/14

– The Charlotte Observer has a list of various road trips for Spring (including one for beer), and here is a 10-stop NC barbecue tour which includes some not-so-obvious choices

– Speaking of road trips, the latest reviews from Marie, Let’s Eat!’s NC barbecue roadtrip: The Barbecue Center in Lexington, Allen & Son Barbeque in Chapel Hill, Hursey’s in Burlington, and Short Sugar’s in Reidsville

– Bar-B-Q King in Charlotte is included as part of the history of Wilkinson Boulevard from the March 2014 issue of Charlotte Magazine

Few places are more familiar on Wilkinson than Bar-B-Q King. Follow the curved arrow of its sign, and most days you’ll see a lot full of cars. Behind the counter, a static buzz fills the room as co-owner Gus Karapanos flips on the speaker system.

“Same one we’ve had for 40 years,” he says. “People love to hear it.”  The sign, too, has been the same since Karapanos’s uncles opened the place back in 1959. Except for a few days after Hurricane Hugo knocked it down in 1989, that sign and the billboard–sized, ice-cream-eating Inuit at Dairy Queen next door have remained constants in a changing neighborhood. 

– Ed Mitchell, Sam Jones, and Rodney Scott are the pitmasters from the Carolinas in this year’s Big Apple Barbecue Block party in June

– I think I’ve seen a version of this list before, but in case you missed it Lexington comes in at #4 in this list of 10 best barbecue cities (h/t Rudy)

4. Lexington, North Carolina

Pork is the game in Lexington, a small town just an hour’s drive northeast of Charlotte, where a regional favorite is the wood-smoked pork shoulder, coarsely chopped and topped by a mostly vinegar based sauce -0 those who know their way around a Lexington grill often order it with some outside brown, which means more flavorful extra bark from the meat) and sometimes extra dip, which is just the word for the thinner sauce. Another Lexington trademark is red slaw, coleslaw that’s swapped out the mayo for BBQ sauce. There’s a lot to the Lexington scene, which is why the city throws the annual Barbecue Festival to celebrate it. For the regular season, Lexington Barbecue #1, established in 1962 and better known by locals as the Honeymonk, is the quintessential Lexington joint, widely hailed as the best in the business, always happy to help a diner out with a big plate of pork and some Cheerwine.

– Speaking of Lexington, this year’s BBQ Capital Cook-Off is April 25-26

– The Charlotte Smokeoff at Unknown Brewing is this Saturday in Charlotte: