Linkdown: 4/24/19

Stephen Colbert donated $412,000 to NC hurricane aid relief for Hurricane Florence: “We all hope this will help the Carolinas recover from the disastrous weather of last fall”

The next TMBBQ Top 50 won’t be until 2021 but at the halfway point there’s this from Daniel Vaughn; Texas Monthly is now behind a paywall so don’t be surprised if you aren’t able to access

Pinehurst Brewing Co. hired away a former head brewer at Heist Brewery in Charlotte and is smoking pulled pork, brisket, and smoked chicken on site

Rodney Scott in a brief chat explains his philosophy

Ice Cube said, “Today was a good day.” You upped the ante and said, “Every day is a good day.” Can you please expound on that philosophy?
This is my personal belief to start off every day with a positive attitude. You made it through the day before, and now you have another chance to do great things. This applies to both my craft as a pitmaster and for my life as well. It helps me ignore any negativity and overcome the times when things get tough. I think to myself: “This isn’t a bad day. This is just a challenging part of a good day.” It also gives me the confidence to not take my time for granted and embrace learning new things.

Congrats to Midwood Smokehouse on their Charlotte Magazine BOB win

Sam Jones was mistaken for a car thief in Florida earlier this month

Jones Bar-B-Q and its sister pitmasters received the Queer Eye bump earlier this year and its brought business, fame, and love

Downtown Richmond is getting a new barbecue joint on Broad Street called Fatty Smokes


Linkdown: 12/5/18

The “Milestone” Edition: In this week’s linkdown, we have links on a new barbecue restaurant opening,  a big expansion of an existing one, plus Chef Vivian Howard’s favorite eastern NC barbecue restaurants and a milestone birthday for the city of Charlotte.

Congrats to Sweet Lew’s BBQ on finally opening today!

Here’s more on what you can expect at Sweet Lew’s from Charlotte Five and Charlotte Agenda

Kathleen Purvis’ 10 food gifts locally made in Charlotte includes Ogre Sauce barbecue sauce

Ogre Sauce gets a shoutout on Mantry’s 6 best barbecue sauces list 

Tonight at 9pm ET on the Cooking Channel:

Chef Vivian Howard, a NC State grad who just finished her acclaimed PBS show “A Chef’s Life”, grew up in eastern NC and lives there now. You can bet she definitely knows her stuff when it comes to eastern NC barbecue.

Dave Grohl once again confirms that eastern NC style barbecue is his favorite

Sam Jones BBQ and The Redneck BBQ Lab get reviewed by the News and Observer

Speaking of Sam Jones BBQ, restaurant #2 is coming to Raleigh

Richmond’s best barbecue spots according to Richmond Magazine

Jamestown, NC is getting their own yuppie-cue barbecue restaurant in an old filling station next year in Black Powder Smokehouse

Congrats to Charlotte on turning 250 earlier this week!

Linkdown: 10/31/18

– The Barbecue Festival in Lexington continues to grow, and roughly 200,000 people attended last weekend’s festival

– This man is a hero:

– Bay area pitmaster Matt Horn is going to Austin this Friday to collaborate with LeRoy & Lewis

– The New York Times on pork steaks, a spicy barbecue dish found primarily on the border between Kentucky and Tennessee around Tompkinsville, KY


– A small update on the progress at Sweet Lew’s BBQ, which is now targeting to open in November

– Hilton Head, SC’s local paper lists the 6 best barbecue restaurants in Columbia

– North Carolina! C’mon and raise up!

Linkdown: 9/26/18

– Dave Grohl learned to first love barbecue in NC, though I’m curious if he was coming inland from the beach and if so, where:

When Nirvana became popular, the first thing I did is I bought a beach house in North Carolina and spent years up there, and I just ate pulled pork like f—ing crazy from the time I was 22 to about 25 years old,” Grohl said in between temperature checks. When he broke his leg on tour a few years ago and was holed up at home, he really dove into making it himself.

– Vegan barbecue in Charlotte? For shame!

– Pitmaster Matt Horn is bringing central Texas style barbecue to Oakland

– Tim Carman loves ZZQ in Richmond

– The latest on Noble Smoke, though you may find it behind the Charlotte Business Journal paywall if you have visited the site a few times this month

– Triad fall festivals including the Barbecue Festival in Lexington and Whole Hog Barbecue Championship in Raleigh are moving ahead as planned and do not expect to be impacted by the aftermath of Florence

– The N.C. Department of Transportation and Amtrak are offering a 15% discount on train rides to Lexington during the two days of The Barbecue Festival

– Lexington has been ranked one of the smelliest cities in the US according to Expedia

The thick, sweet smoke, tangled with the scent of hickory, wafts through from the barbecue pits in Lexington. Here the air smells of tender meat, falling off the bone, slathered in the town’s very own tomato-based sauce.

– The Smoking Ho on Lewis Barbecue: “If you picked Lewis Barbecue up and placed it anywhere in Texas, it would make the Texas Monthly BBQ Top 10 list. Easily.”

Linkdown: 8/1/18

– House of Swank in Raleigh designed an iconic NC barbecue t-shirt but has recently learned that the design has been ripped off by Tervis tumblers that are being sold at some Bed, Bath, and Beyonds

– Has Lockhart lost some of its luster?

– Savor Virginia has a Richmond barbecue tour

– No, of course Franklin Barbecue is not closing

– Aaron Franklin does, however, have a new cookbook in the works that isn’t about barbecue but is sticking with beef

– The Y’All Sauce Co. out of Winston-Salem is a new line of barbecue sauces inspired by Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi; sauces from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana are in development

– Steve Raichlen remembers Jonathan Gold

– What are your thoughts on the term “pitmaster?”

– Nice find by Twitter user @MatthewTessnear

Q Barbeque – Richmond, VA


Name: Q Barbeque
Date: 11/15/13
Location: 2077 Walmart Way, Midlothian, VA 23113
Order: Three meat plate (pork, brisket, ribs) with two sides (collard greens, hush puppies), Cheerwine (link to menu)
Bill: $20.53

Speedy: So the other weekend, I went up to visit the bro in DC. As I was driving up, I thought this was a great opportunity to stop by Q Barbeque, a small Richmond based chain owned and operated by pitmaster Tuffy Stone. As a big fan of BBQ Pitmasters (and because of Tuffy’s recent win at the Jack Daniels barbecue contest), I was super excited to try it out.

Due to some pre-meal research, I had read about what a Q Barbeque restaurant looks like, but I can’t say that seeing a barbecue restaurant in a strip mall that basically looks like a Chipotle instills much confidence that it will be any good. I will say that Q Barbeque is EXTREMELY clean and organized. After placing your order and paying at the counter, you’re given a number and a cup to get your drink and find a seat.

In order to try as much as possible, I ordered the three meat plate with two sides and got a drink to go with it. When filling my drink, I was pleasantly surprised to find Cheerwine in the fountain – the meal was off to a good start. After a short wait, the food was brought out to my table.

Monk: Nice touch to have Cheerwine available, and in the fountain no less. Definitely unexpected for a joint in Richmond.

Speedy: I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of portion, but the sizes were decent. The three meat plate was too much for one person, but probably not enough for two. The plate came with three rib bones, a small portion of pulled pork, and a small portion of chopped brisket. Along with the sides, a bun and a pickle spear were also included. Everything looked really appetizing – the ribs were cut perfectly and the pork and brisket were both uniform in color and pull/chop. The only thing left to do was dig in.

Monk: Over $20 for one person with no beers seems pricey, but I guess if you get more than a meal’s worth of food it’s not so bad.

Speedy: I agree with that, but there was no reason for me to order that much food for just myself except for the fact that I owe it to the readers to sample everything. Well everything except the chicken. Hopefully none of our readers would even think about ordering chicken here.

I first tried the pork without any of the optional sauce on the table. I was worried that it would be dry, but it really wasn’t at all. It had a bit of smoke flavor, but lacked the tanginess that I like that comes along with a vinegar based dip. Overall though, I was pleased with the flavor. I did add some of the spicy sauce to see what it tasted like, and I didn’t think it really added much.

Next I tried the ribs. They were lightly sauced and cooked almost perfectly. The ribs were tender, but not so much that they fell off the bone. Whatever rub was used was fantastic. I think these ribs were probably the third best that I’ve ever tried – behind only Rendezvous and 12 Bones. The ribs didn’t need any additional sauce at all. In the end, I was disappointed that I only had three bones.

Monk: Wow, that is some high praise.

Speedy: The final meat on my plate was the beef brisket. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no brisket expert, but I have eaten brisket at several places in Texas. And maybe I don’t know what beef brisket is “supposed” to taste like, but I can’t say I’ve ever had better brisket than the portion I had a Q barbeque. It was tender, perfectly seasoned, and required no additional sauce. In fact, I didn’t want to put sauce on for fear of affecting the taste. I just can’t say enough about how good this brisket was. It is literally so good that I will likely play a role in my fly or drive decision next time I head up to DC. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Usually, we just glaze over the sides here, which is appropriate for the hush puppies (which were fine, but not worth talking about). However, the collard greens were superb. They tasted more of pork than greens thanks to the bacon cooked in. I’m sure these collards are terrible for you, but it’s really what barbecue sides should taste like.

My first thought after the meal was to text Monk to tell him how good it was.

Monk: …which I can confirm he did. Thanks for thinking of me, Speedy!

Speedy: My second was that of fear. Q Barbeque looks like a place that would cook with gas (based strictly on appearance), so I was concerned that my credibility would come into question for gushing so much over not true barbecue. However, I drove around the side of the building to check it out as I was leaving and was very pleased to see a large pile of wood, which I’m assuming was for cooking. I definitely tasted a good amount of smoke in my meal, so it tasted wood smoked.

Monk: If this is true (and it sounds like there is no reason to believe otherwise), I am glad to learn that Tuffy isn’t taking any shortcuts. Now, off to plan my next trip up to DC via Richmond…

Speedy: Overall, I was very pleased with my meal at Q Barbeque. I knew Tuffy Stone was a great competition pitmaster, but I’m happy to report that it definitely translates to the restaurant. If you’re in the Richmond area, Q Barbeque is not to be missed.  

Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Brisket – 5 hogs
Ribs – 4.5 hogs
Sides – 4 hogs
Overall – 4.5 hogs









Q Barbeque on Urbanspoon

Linkdown: 11/13/13

A very happy birthday to Mrs. Monk!

– Clyde Cooper’s celebrates 75 years

“Yes, Even Texas Barbecue Needs Sauce” (via)

– BBQ Snob’s impressive BBQ Google Map

– A new Carolina and Texas style barbecue joint called Curly’s Carolina, TX is opening up in Round Rock, TX (via)

– A story about Tuffy Stone’s recent win at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue contest; in related news, Speedy stopped by a Q Barbeque in Richmond last weekend and was a big fan (review forthcoming) (via)

More details on True ‘Cue, aiming for a 2014 launch

Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue – Richmond, VA


[Editor’s note: After our Salt Lick review and now this one, we are only reviewing barbecue restaurants at which we eat from this point in time forward. Sadly, this will force us to revisit some of our favorite spots ever, but that’s just the life of a barbecue blogger…]

Name: Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue
Date: 5/11/2012 
Location: 1119 North Boulevard W, Richmond, VA, 23230
Order: Monk: Pulled pork sandwich, hush puppies, Route 11 chips, Blue Point Hoptical Illusion; Speedy: Pulled pork sandwich, beef rib, cinnamon apples, hush puppies, Buz and Ned’s amber ale (link to menu)  
Bill: Monk: ~$15 (with a beer); Speedy: ~$20

Monk: Inspired by this GQ article and the restaurant’s claim to be “the only real barbecue for 100 miles,” I suggested we make a stop in Richmond on our way to Washington, DC a few weeks back. Thankfully, everyone was game (not that it mattered, since I was driving and we were going regardless). Buz and Ned’s claim to being the “only real barbecue for 100 miles” is actually kind of funny, since it seemed to be specifically sticking it to Bill’s Barbecue, which has been in existence over 60 years longer and which we passed on the way to Buz and Ned’s.

Speedy: It actually became a great joke of the weekend, as we envisioned ourselves going into Bill’s yelling about the fake barbecue, overturning tables and yelling “Buz and Ned said you can GIT OUT” in a real southern twang. Trust me – it was funny in the moment. Anyhoo, the atmosphere at Buz and Ned’s is pretty interesting. There’s quite a bit of indoor seating, but also a small fenced off area out front under a giant tailgate tent with fake grass and a few picnic tables. Since it was a pleasant afternoon, this is where we chose to sit.

Monk: At Buz and Ned’s, you walk up to the window to place your order and then sit down and wait for your name to be called. I ordered the pulled pork sandwich, hush puppies, and “Route 11 chips.” A few minutes later, my name was called and I brought my food out to the covered patio – a nice option on this aforementioned pleasant afternoon. The pulled pork sandwich was covered in a thick, sweet barbecue sauce, which wasn’t quite what I had expected. Still, it had good flavor even if its not the type of barbecue sandwich I would prefer to eat. The hush puppies were actually really good and the best part of the meal. I thought the chips might be house baked chips as opposed to pre-packaged chips, so I made a mistake there by not ordering a classic barbecue side item in the first place.

Speedy: Idiot…

Monk (hanging head in shame): Yea…

Speedy: Like a boss, I ordered two jumbo beef ribs to go with my sandwich and sides. Beef ribs aren’t generally my jam, but you could order these guys by the bone, so I had to try. And when I say jumbo beef ribs, I mean JUMBO BEEF RIBS. These guys were big, slathered in sauce, and delicious. They definitely could have been a bit more tender, but all in all, they were pretty good.

Monk: The ribs sure looked good, but you know, I have a tiny tummy…

Speedy: Yes, Monk, this is well-worn territory. Anyways, the sandwich was a little disappointing, especially since I SPECIFICALLY ASKED IF THE SLAW WAS VINEGAR BASED AND MY SANDWICH STILL HAD SOME NASTY MAYO BASED COLE SLAW ON TOP OF IT. Fortunately, it wasn’t too runny, so I was able to scrape it off and eat the pulled pork with a fork. Like Monk mentioned, the pulled pork itself was pretty good. Not my favorite style of sauce, but tasty none the less. The hush puppies were awesome, and the cinnamon apples were decent. All in all, a solid meal.

Monk: So we both weren’t displeased with our meals, but what’s our overall verdict? Do we consider this “real barbecue” that would cause us to vandalize Bill’s down the street in the name of the almighty Buz and Ned?

Speedy: Yeah, right. And if a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his ass when he hopped.

Monk: Speedy, that was a haiku. Excellent!

Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Brisket – N/A
Sausage – N/A
Ribs (beef) – 3 hogs
Sides –  2.5 hogs
Overall –  3 hogs


Buz and Ned's Real Barbecue on Urbanspoon