Linkdown: 5/23/18

– Congrats to our neighbors from Memphis in May, The Shed, on their Grand Championship win

– In case you hadn’t heard, Dave Grohl was all up in some Memphis in May this past weekend, particularly at our neighbor’s booth

– Pete’s BBQ in Rock Hill, which has served barbecue during four holidays of the year, is shutting down after 55 years of service after this Memorial Day Weekend; congrats to the 98-year-old Pete Wheele’s on his retirement!

– Raleigh is a favorite away game for this Pittsburgh Penguins blogger in part due to the barbecue

– Eat Raleigh has a short blurb on Sam Jones BBQ at the Thrive NC festival earlier in May

– Is Charleston barbecue slowly taking over the southeast? Both Home Team BBQ (Columbia) and Rodney Scott’s BBQ (Birmingham) announced expansions last week

– All Swig & Swine Charleston-area locations will have $4 sandwiches on May 30 to celebrate 4 years; proceeds will go to Hogs for the Cause

– This NC travel guide from a British paper mentions barbecue (particularly Sam Jones BBQ) as as reason why North Carolina should be your next adventure

– This looks very, very promising

– RIP Mama Dip

 

The Dixie Pig – Rock Hill, SC

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Name
: The Dixie Pig
Location: 2007 Celanese Rd, Rock Hill, SC 29732
Date: 7/20/15
Order: Pork platter with hash and red slaw, half rack of ribs
Price: Monk: $27

We’ve long ago established that we don’t trust Yelp reviews when it comes to to barbecue. However, when I come across a new joint I do admit that I sometimes use the site as a reference. After my experience at The Dixie Pig in Rock Hill, SC (4.7 stars on the site), I think I have written off Yelp even more so in terms of barbecue credibility.

On a Monday shortly after 12 noon, I walked into a small restaurant with a full lunch crowd. If the locals are packing a place in, well that’s usually a good sign. I took a spot at the bar and before long all tables and spots at the bar were filled. It turned out to be downhill from there, but I will say that the service at the bar was good at least.

I asked for the pork with the sauce on the side in the event that it came out drenched in the stuff as other plates seemed to be. The meat appeared to have been held under a heat lamp for a while prior to serving. Plus there was no bark or smoke. I peeked into the kitchen from the bar and saw a Southern Pride gas smoker in the back. You can usually coax some smoke out of a Southern Pride with some wood chunks during the process, but it was as if they hadn’t even tried that. I simply couldn’t finish my serving.

I added a half rack of ribs to my order since there was no combo platters available. The meat fell off the bone when I picked up a rib which could be indicative of boiling of ribs before cooking them. Either way, they were way overcooked and were just about on par with the pork, which is to say not so good.

Sides were a mixed bag. The red slaw lacked tang and had a weird sweetness to them (likely due to excess ketchup but that alone may not have accounted for the taste). I’m no hash and rice expert, but at least this version seemed to be ok. That and the two hush puppies that came with the platter were by far the best part of the meal.

I can only imagine why this place was so packed and had a line of folks waiting to be seated by the time I left. Smokeless, dry pork and ribs with the consistency of boiled ribs: that’s what you are in for if you stop into The Dixie Pig in Rock Hill. What a disappointing meal.

Monk

Ratings:
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3 hogs
Pork – 1.5 hogs
Ribs – 1.5 hogs
Sides – 2 hogs
Overall – 2 hogs
Click to add a blog post for Dixie Pig on Zomato

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Linkdown: 4/15/15

– San Francisco gets (presumably) its first Lexington-style barbecue joint, Rusty’s Southern

Prior to the restaurant’s opening, the Olsons and Rubio did restaurant recon by visiting various barbecue joints in the Carolinas, including Wayne Monk’s famous, Beard Award-winning Lexington Barbecue in Lexington, NC. They were so impressed with Monk’s barbecue that this is the style they decided to emulate.

– 150 years ago, Raleigh did not burn. Why? Barbecue.

Union Gen. William T. Sherman stormed back into Raleigh on Monday, 150 years from the day the city was captured at the Civil War’s end, but there were a few differences this time.

Unlike the situation on April 13, 1865, this Sherman had to wait for permission to enter the North Carolina Executive Mansion. But just as he did then, Sherman reassured Raleighites that he had no intention of burning the city, a fate some Confederate cities had suffered during his drive through Georgia and the Carolinas.

“Raleigh, I didn’t burn it,” said Sherman, played by actor Ira David Wood III. “You want to know why? Barbecue.”

– Speaking of Raleigh:

– The Come-See-Me Festival in Rock Hill features the 8th annual Barbecue Cook-Off

– Barbecue beef and brisket has started to invade the Cape Fear region in eastern NC

– In DC, three Republican congressmen filed with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday an “Americans for BBQ” fundraising committee.

– Things are continuing to shape up at the Ballantyne Midwood Smokehouse

Bat’s BBQ – Rock Hill, SC

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Name: Bat’s BBQ
Date: 7/26/2012
Location: 1912 Mount Gallant Road, Rock Hill, SC
Order: Sampler platter with pulled pork, smoked sausage, and cajun beef brisket. Hush puppies and sweet potato fries. (link to menu)
Bill: $16.00

Speedy: I recently started doing some work just outside of Rock Hill, SC, which of course means more opportunities to eat barbecue! First on the menu was Bat’s BBQ, which was just off highway I-77 in Rock Hill. Bat’s BBQ is a pretty new establishment – just opened in 2009, and it looks that way. It’s a corner plot in a shopping center with a small indoor dining room and a few tables outside. You go order at the counter and the food is brought to you once it’s ready. The atmosphere is OK, but it’s not exactly your typical ‘cue joint. Honestly, there’s really nothing to rave about in terms of atmosphere.

Even though it was lunch time, I ordered the sampler platter in order to taste the biggest variety of meats as possible. Unlike Monk, I am truly committed to the cause.

Monk: Hey now…don’t confuse my small tummy with a lack of commitment to the cause.

Speedy: None of the sides really caught my eye, so I ended up getting hush puppies and sweet potato fries, as there was no barbecue slaw, collards, okra, or any of the other traditional sides that I’m partial to.

Monk: I see that the menu also has “Mexi-Q”…so would be fair to say that Bat’s BBQ isn’t aiming for traditional barbecue?

Speedy: That’s probably fair, though it advertised itself as having a “cajun spin.” I didn’t really see the cajun-ness, though.

The food came out quickly, and to be honest, I was a little disappointed with the portion size – which is rare for ‘cue joints. It was definitely plenty to eat, but would not have been enough for two people, which I thought it should’ve been based on the price.

Rudy: Here in Texas they charge by the pound, so you know exactly what you are getting as opposed to the varying serving sizes.  I’m definitely a fan of quality over quantity though.

Speedy: I quickly dug in to taste all of the meats, first without sauce, and then with along with the various sauces provided. The pork was dry and a little bland and I definitely wouldn’t recommend eating it without adding sauce to it. The tenderness also left a little to be desired, as a couple pieces were a bit rubbery, so the meet could probably have stayed in the smoker a bit long. I had a few chunks that were also not sufficiently pulled, which is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. This is also a reason why I prefer pork chopped to pulled.

The brisket was considerably better. It was cooked well, tender, and had decent flavor. It also wasn’t nearly as dry as the pork. The brisket was also pulled, which was really surprising, as I’ve only seen it sliced (which I prefer) or chopped. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised with the taste and tenderness that was there. This was definitely the best part of the meal.

Monk: Pulled brisket? I’m curious to see if Rudy has seen this before or if this might be considered heresy in Texas.

Rudy: I have never seen that before.  You will see chopped beef listed on the menu some places, but every time I have ordered brisket or even seen it, it has been sliced.  A quick Google search proved that it is true, but I can’t say I would be a fan of this.

Speedy: The sausage was decent, though I’m fairly certain it was not made in house. I’m certainly a sausage novice, but I’ve been ordering it more frequently lately at ‘cue restaurants. This sausage isn’t at the top of my list of favorites, but I wasn’t upset that I ordered it.

I only tried that cajun sweet and the rub sauce (as well as a Texas Pete style hot sauce they called fang sauce). The sauces were decent, but nothing I felt I really had to have again.

I was glad that Bat’s BBQ served hush puppies, and they were actually pretty good, but like I said, I wasn’t thrilled with the other choices of sides.

I did get a sneak peak at the smoker in the kitchen (see photo below), and they look to be electric, though they could be gas I suppose. I’ve defended electric smokers before, as they can put out good meats, but if you really want to be a top quality ‘cue joint, it just doesn’t cut it.

Monk: Glad to hear you have come around on this.

Rudy:  I also was against this until you said that most places use them.  But having a true smoker increases the rankings in my book.

Speedy: All in all, I think this will probably be my only trip to Bat’s BBQ. There was just nothing there that excited me about the restaurant, and I wasn’t that impressed with anything I tried. The meal was fine, but when you’re eating ‘cue, fine is not what you’re looking for.

Ratings:
Atmosphere/Ambiance – 1.5 hogs
Pork – 2 hogs
Brisket – 3 hogs
Sausage – 2.5 hogs
Sides – 2.5 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs

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