Linkdown: 6/29/16

– Lewis Barbecue finally opened in Charleston yesterday, and here’s a look at the four custom-built smokers that were built in Texas and shipped to SC

– Destination BBQ attended the friends and family event and posted on the experience, which is “unlike what those of us born and raised in SC are accustomed to in a BBQ restaurant”

– Charlotte Five discovers the greatness of The Smoke Pit that we’ve known about for a few months, calling it “worth the wait”

Showing up to The Smoke Pit on Saturday means many guests will be standing in a line that starts at the register and trails out the door where people wait patiently to move forward. Some guests say that on one Saturday, they stood in a line that wrapped around the building. With so many daily visitors, certain items may run out and are then placed on a sign below the menu, which some visitors peer at from the line.

– This Sunday, the Plaza Midwood Pig Pickn’ will be held at the Moo & Brew parking lot

– After Grant’s wholehearted defense of Georgia BBQ last week, Robert Moss weighs in as well

– Speaking of which, Grant makes the rounds to Paradise Country Bar-B-Que in Milledgeville and Andy’s BBQ in Eatonton, which he finds to be “every bit as good” as Allen & Son Barbeque in Chapel Hill (they happen to use a similar vinegar and pepper sauce)

– Destination BBQ continues their SC BBQ roadtrip series with I-20, which passes through three of the four barbecue regions in the state; side note – these entries are incredibly thorough and well worth a read if you haven’t checked them out yet

– From last week, Daniel Vaughn draws parallels between Hawaii’s kalua pig and Texas barbacoa

-Jim Shahin of the Washington Post breaks down the latest barbecue books, including the reprinting of Robb Walsh’s Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook

– The Barbecue Center in Lexington has a new sign to replace the previous one of 55 years

The Barbecue Bros Holiday 2015 Gift Guide

Here’s some gift ideas for the barbecue lover in your life. The bolded items are the ones I can personally recommend. Feel free to add or suggest any other gift ideas in the comments below and I’ll update the post through the holidays.

Monk

Books


Apparel

Other

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See our 2014 gift guide here
See our 2013 gift guide here

Barbecue Bros Book Club: Barbecue Crossroads by Robb Walsh and O. Rufus Lovett

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Not that I’m anywhere close to being qualified enough to evaluate books but more so as a public service announcement we will periodically discuss barbecue and barbecue-related books.

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Barbecue Crossroads: Notes & Recipes from a Southern Odyssey, written by multi James Beard Award-winning author Robb Walsh (who I had the pleasure of meeting earlier this year) with photographs by O. Rufus Lovett, is exactly the type of book I’d love to research and write some  day. The two take a roadtrip from Texas to the Carolinas and back, discovering and investigating the traditions and regional styles of barbecue in the American South. Its a travelogue that doesn’t just focus on the restaurants the two visit but also the community barbecues that don’t often get covered in the typical barbecue book. It also contains recipes and some of the most vivid color photography of barbecue culture – seriously, with enough practice in maybe a few decades I’ll be able to take photos half as good as Lovett.

Texas, Memphis, and North Carolina are well represented in the book but Grant of Marie, Let’s Eat! was a little miffed that they only devoted 5 pages to Georgia barbecue due to a perceived lack of effort or trying. This did not bother me as much as it did him, but then again thats easy to say for someone from North Carolina. Who knows what the reasons may be, but I can understand that time and resources are limited and they may have wanted to focus in predestined locations known. In any case, I really enjoyed this book and blew right through it in a matter of  a few days and would recommend it to any barbecue blogger.

Monk

Linkdown: 3/4/15

– The last chapter documenting Marie, Let’s Eat!’s jaunt through the Charlotte area back in January finds them at Black’s Barbecue, among other Gastonia-area places; they also check out Anna’s BBQ in Atlanta in a newer post

– The weather may be 70 degrees now, but this yo-yo weather could strike at any moment so here’s last week’s Charlotte Weekly Yelp which ran down chili options around town, including Queen City Q

–  The Great NC BBQ Map has 5 barbecue road trips that doesn’t include just the usual suspects, which I appreciate

– While John Lewis is off in Charleston starting his namesake barbecue joint, a new head pitmaster has been named at La Barbecue

– That salad’s got nuttin’ on Western Kentucky’s chipped mutton, and Robert Moss investigates

– Alabama has kicked off their own statewide barbecue marketing campaign, dubbed the Year of Alabama BBQ

– A short post on NYC barbecue

A few weekends ago, the city celebrated the smoky flesh at the annual—and free—Hudson River Park Blues BBQ Festival, featuring NYC’s three top pits, Mighty Quinn’s, Delaney and Dinosaur, with dining music provided by five authentic blues outfits. If this is the South’s long-term strategy to take the North, it seems to be working.

– Regarding Louie Mueller Barbecue, Burger Mary has some great photos and says “If you only have time to visit one traditional, iconic and outstanding barbecue joint in Texas, Louie Mueller Barbecue should be it.”

The most underrated barbecue in Memphis, according to First We Feast

– Vote for your favorite Charlotte-area barbecue restaurants in Charlotte Magazine’s Best of the Best Awards

– ICYMI, our photos and recap of last week’s barbecue dinner at Midwood Smokehouse:

Photo Gallery: Crossroads ‘Cue Supper with Robb Walsh at Midwood Smokehouse

This past Wednesday night, I had the good fortune of attending another barbecue dinner at Midwood Smokehouse (who previously hosted Skylight Inn’s Sam Jones in November 2013), this time with special guest James Beard Award-winning author Robb Walsh. Just like last time around NoDa Brewing (and their head brew master Chad) was in the house, pairing each course with one of their beers. And as it turns out, Ed Mitchell happened to be there too! Now, I was planning to go to this event as soon as I got word of the event but then lucky for me, a marketing coordinator for Midwood reached out to the Barbecue Bros and offers a free press pass. Done and done.

The theme of the night was Tex-Mex, a subject of which Robb Walsh certainly is no stranger – his books include The Tex-Mex Grill and
Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook, The Tex-Mex Cookbook, Nuevo Tex-Mex, and…well, you get the idea. And as I would come to find out over the course of the night, Walsh is no stranger to owner Frank Scibelli – he has consulted on both Midwood Smokehouse as well as his Tex-Mex concept Paco’s Taco’s & Tequila. Seeing as how I have yet to make it back out to Texas in several years (a fact which Speedy and Rudy like to hold over my head), the prospect of a Tex-Mex style barbecue menu intrigued me.

The first course paired tortilla chips with three salsas (one of which was a revelation, unfortunately I can’t recall exactly which one), Frito Pie (a delight which I hadn’t yet experienced in all my years), and campechana (basically, a Tex-Mex shrimp cocktail) with NoDa’s CAVU blonde ale. I must say, if there weren’t two more courses coming, I could have eaten just Frito Pie all night long. Damn, it was that good.

Beef rib and barbacoa served with tortillas highlighted the second course with NoDa’s Black IPA, Midnight Madness. The beef rib was served both on and off the bone, and I came dangerously close to taking the entire bone for myself before realizing that oops, I should actually be sharing with the table instead of being a greedy freaking gus. But man, that thing was smoked to perfection and I’d be curious to see whether Midwood would ever offer it as a special – Frank Scibelli seemed to be taking an informal poll as to whether folks would ever buy it or not, so we shall see.

Finally, we ended the night with a duo of mini pies and Jam Session Pale Ale. Thankfully, the pies were indeed mini and I didn’t have to stuff myself with a big dessert (plus another beer) after the big meal. All in all, the food in each course was new and interesting and fantastic.

For the Sam Jones dinner, I recall them having four courses and I felt like we were constantly rushing to finish the food in each course and chugging beer. This time around, the three courses provided a nice balance between eating and drinking and actually being able to breathe between courses, converse with our table neighbors, and finish beers. So, whether done on purpose or just happenstance, well done by Midwood on the change.

After dinner, I was able to speak briefly with Ed Mitchell and his son/business partner Ryan. I mentioned how much I loved his barbecue and was looking forward to what they would do next. After a period of time they will be making an announcement on what they’ll be doing next, but in the meantime it sounds like he might be doing some things with Frank at Midwood. Logistically, they would have to figure out how Midwood’s Texas-manufactured offset smoker would jive with Mitchell’s brand of eastern NC whole hog barbecue cooked over direct coals, but the prospect of Ed Mitchell smoking barbecue in Charlotte is just too exciting for me to handle.

I also got a chance to briefly speak with Midwood’s Pitmaster Matt Berry and relayed to him and Frank the nice post from our meetup with Marie, Let’s Eat! posted earlier this week. Really nice guys, those two. I gotta say, I love these barbecue dinners (which benefit the Southern Foodways Alliance) and hope Midwood continues to have them when the right occasion presents itself. As long as they keep doing them you will find me there, press pass or not.

Monk

Linkdown: 2/4/15

– This NY Times article on the sisterhood of women chefs in NC is great, though I don’t really get the following line on “barbecue kids” – is this a euphemism for “hipsters”?

Ms. [Nathalie] Dupree, who lives in Charleston, put it a little more bluntly. “North Carolina has always been a place where food was very important, but the men were always more interested in the macho-boy stuff that attracts the barbecue kids these days,” she said. “So the women were free to make all the rest of the food.”

– Tyson Ho checks in with his latest blog entry for Serious Eats on how he picks and scavenges for equipment and other goods when another restaurant closes

– This post on how to help your local bbq joints was written with Texas joints in mind due to beef’s historically high prices, but can apply to local joints wherever you happen to be

– “Barbecue sandwich” is one of 16 sandwiches in Our State Magazine’s Southern Sandwich Tournament; here is their travel guide to each sandwich

– Destination BBQ’s blog has a map that helps make finding SC BBQ easier

– Home Team BBQ is opening a downtown Charleston location by Labor Day 2015

– From last summer, 5 questions with Bethanie Schemel of KC Barbecue Tours in Taste Trekkers (our list is here btw)

– Queen City Q is celebrating 3 years of being open next week with the special release of Susie Q Smoked IPA from Birdsong Brewing, named after the owner of the restaurant

– Speaking of beer and barbecue, NoDa Brewing and Midwood Smokehouse are coming together for a Texas-themed “Crossroads Cue Supper” with James Beard-winning author Robb Walsh; Speedy and I attended a similar event a little over 1.5 years ago with Sam Jones of Skylight Inn

– This week, Marie, Let’s Eat! checks out Porkie’s Original BBQ, a north Alabama joint in central Florida

– Last weekend, a barbecue was held to help benefit a local Charlotte firefighter battling cancer

– Two competitions have been posted on the NC BBQ Association website, one of them being the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival in Charlotte in May (our photos from last year)

– Scott’s Bar-B-Que is one of Thrillist’s best 13 restaurants in the south

Scott’s Bar-B-Que

Hemingway, SC
If you’ve never driven to the middle of the countryside or just a teensy town whose closest large city is the #1 destination for 19-year-old Spring Breakers along the Carolina coasts, just for a lunch of smokey pulled pork, you’re lazy, but also it’s time to take a trip to Scott’s. The Variety Store and ‘cue spot has been operating since’72, and it’s truly a family affair with son Rodney as the pitmaster that brought them to national fame. Order a 1/2lb of pork, slow-smoked and well-seasoned overnight, get your sauce spicy — you finally took this pilgrimage, so make the best of it — ask for crispy, fresh-fried pork rinds like you’re a regular in the know, and, then, whatever you do, remember to get at least 2lbs of pork and a gallon of sauce to go. Because, sadly, you aren’t a regular, but you’ll want to eat like you are as long as possible.

– Via TMBBQ, Live Oak Barbecue in Austin has closed; Rudy tried it about a little over a year ago and was not a fan

– Finally, if you feel so inclined we’d be honored if you would vote us for Best Local Blog under “Media – Best Local” in Charlotte Magazine’s annual Best of the Best Awards