Name: Rock Store Bar-B-Q Location: 3116 Old Monroe Rd, Stallings, NC Order: Sandwich combo – pulled pork sandwich, red slaw, cornbread Pricing: $
Monk: After spending most of my energy the past two year on the Lexington Big Board, I figured it was time to start revisiting some Charlotte joints where it’s been awhile. Case in point: my second visit to Rock Store Bar-B-Q was nearly 9 years after my first. On that visit, I wondered if this might become a regular lunch spot for me due to its proximity to my client at the time. Spoiler alert: it didn’t.
Prices have gone up slightly but my sandwich combo was still a reasonable $7.25 including tax compared to $6 in 2012. Much the same as my last visit, I found that the pork was tender while not having much smoke to it. Through the Great NC BBQ Map, it has been confirmed that they smoke in a gasser with wood added in, which is obviously a little different than the “wood smoked” they advertise on their sign. The sandwich absolutely needed red slaw and their vinegar sauce plus a few dashes of Texas Pete. Once that was done, it was very satisfying.
I chose corn bread as my side and they instantly pulled out a foiled brick from some sort of warming container. Which brings me to one point in regards to the speed of fulfilling the order. Once I placed my order, they pulled out a pre-made sandwich wrapped in foil, a small plastic container of red slaw, and this brick of corn bread within a matter of seconds. Everything was the right temperature and I was eating within a minute or so of ordering, so I don’t really have any complaints but this is obviously a different approach than most places.
As for the corn bread it was definitely on the sweeter side and I like that it was warm. The red slaw was their spin on a barbecue slaw and the cabbage was chopped a little coarser than I’d prefer but it did the trick to complement the chopped pork.
I was happy with my second visit to the Stallings Rock Store Bar-B-Q. It’s not a destination barbecue joint but for a quick and cheap lunch it does a good job. They seem to be doing steady business as well as they were churning out the lunch orders while I was there. I can see them getting a slight bump on the Charlotte Big Board.
Monk: This Thanksgiving, consider leaving the cooking to the professionals at these Charlotte-area barbecue joints. You also get the added benefit of supporting a local business while you take it easy because let’s face it, we should all take it easy when we can. See below for information.
Big Tiny’s BBQ – Mooresville, NC
The Dixie Pig – Rock Hill, SC
Farmhouse BBQ – Gastonia, NC
The Improper Pig – Charlotte, Fort Mill
Jon G’s Barbecue – Peachland, NC
Mac’s Speed Shop
OooWee BBQ – Pineville
The Q Shack
RayNathan’s – Gastonia, NC
Rock Store BBQ – Stallings
The Smoke Pit – Concord, Gastonia, Monroe, Salisbury
Name: Rock Store Bar-B-Q Date: 8/10/12 Location: 7032 Brighton Park, Mint Hill, NC 28227 Order: BBQ Pork and Brisket combo plate, hush puppies, beans, sweet tea (link to menu) Bill: $9.75
Trying to take feedback from Speedy to heart, on this visit to the Mint Hill location of Rock Store Bar-B-Q (click here for the review of the original Stallings location) I ordered a combo platter of both BBQ pork and brisket. I still haven’t had the ribs at either place, so while I made some effort, I fear that it will all be in vain in the eyes of both Speedy and Rudy.
As opposed to the original location, a stand-alone historic gas station structure, the Mint Hill restaurant is located at the end of a strip mall in what looks to have been a former Jersey Mike’s (I tend to have a keen eye for Jersey Mike’s since Speedy and I worked at one in high school for several years).
As you walk up to the front door to this location, you are greeted by a decal that states “Wood Smoked Daily” before you actually do get a whiff of smoke when you enter the door. I still wasn’t able to determine if this is due to the use of a stick burning smoker or an electric or gas burner with wood chips. However, I remain skeptical of there being a stick burner in a strip mall, so I am still working off the gas or electric smoker theory.
Nevertheless, I walked up and ordered a BBQ pork combo plate, adding brisket with my two sides being hush puppies and beans. Unfortunately, the pork was as dry as the sandwich at the original location so again, sauce was a must. A healthy dose of their tangy Stallings Secret sauce worked best with the pork, but I did notice a pool of grease collecting at the bottom of the styrofoam plate. Not the most appetizing visual for lunch.
As I suspected from my visit to the other location, the brisket here is actually coarsely chopped in the same manner as the pork. And it is just as dry. To my surprise, I found that the Carolina Gold mustard-based sauce actually worked best with the brisket but overall it was pretty unremarkable. However, thankfully there was no pool of grease here.
The hush puppies were a nice surprise, as they weren’t available at the original location. They were big and fluffy and the best part of the meal. The BBQ beans were passable but I didn’t eat too much of them, focusing on the meat and hush puppies.
So while this time around I did get more than my usual portions in the interests of the Barbecue Bros and left with a full belly. Unfortunately it was a belly full of average-at-best barbecue.