Linkdown: 2/9/22

I covered this on the Facebook page briefly a few weeks back, but Smiley’s Lexington BBQ has officially announced its closing due to the NCDOT widening of Winston Road in Lexington. This widening was first announced in 2018 with a start date in summer 2020 but had likely been delayed due to the pandemic.

While owner Steve Yountz is not ready to retire just yet, per him “right now there is no definite plans on relocating as far as availably and affordability.” Patrons will have until February 26 to dine at the current location of Smiley’s before it closes its doors for good.

Nearby barbecue restaurant Speedy’s is also expected to close as a result of the road widening, however they are more optimistic about reopening in a new location and plan to rebuild and relocate, depending on the compensation they receive from DOT.

While the optimist in me hopes that both restaurants are able to relocate and continue business in due time, I worry that by next month we will be down two more classic NC barbecue joints.

Native News

A helpful post from Grady’s

Non-Native News

Applications for the Preserve the Pit fellowship are due March 1st

Tim Carman of The Washington Post comes out with his annual barbecue list, with the wrinkle of releasing it in the winter time when some joints are closed

Carman also mourns the loss of pitmaster Corries Hardy

Rodney Scott and Eric Church getting into the honkey tonk game, and bringing whole hog to Broadway at Chief’s

Loro’s second location opens in Houston later this month

J.C. Reid on the evolution of the “Texas Trinity”

Roegels Barbecue opened their Katy location last week

Eater NY critic Robert Sietsema finds Myron Mixon’s Hoboken restaurant to be mixed in quality

Friday Find: Rodney Scott’s Chicken Perloo with Carolina Gold Rice

Monk: In this video from Munchies, Rodney Scott walks us through how to make chicken perloo with Carolina Gold Rice, one of the recipes from his recent book.

Description: Rodney Scott, award-winning pitmaster and author of “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day: A Cookbook” is making a treasured dish known around the South: perloo made with smoked chicken. Perloo, a dish with roots in Africa that made its way to the US via Charleston, South Carolina, is a hearty one-pot meal that features Carolina Gold rice but is flexible enough to work with any ingredients on hand. Rodney’s recipe comes together in a Dutch oven with stewed tomatoes, chicken stock, celery, green peppers, and leftover smoked chicken. Check out the recipe here: https://www.vice.com/en/article/pkd5z…

Barbecue Bros Book Club: “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ” by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie

Not that we’re 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.

Monk: Two of the most highly anticipated barbecue books of the year came out within a few weeks of each other, with “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ” by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie coming out first on March 16 followed by Adrian Miller’s “Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue” on April 27.

The first half of Rodney’s book is all memoir, recounting his origins in tiny Hemingway, SC working at Scott’s Bar-B-Que the family barbecue restaurant and convenience store. The story of how he got from there to co-owning Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ in Charleston, Birmingham, and Atlanta (with two more Alabama locations planned just this year) is fairly well worn territory if you’ve heard an interview or watched Netflix’s “Chef’s Table: BBQ.” What’s not as familiar or well-known is Scott’s current family dynamic, particularly with his father Roosevelt “Rosie” Scott.

In sometimes painful detail, Scott and Elie describe how the breakdown of their relationship started with some mistrust as a result of Scott’s budding barbecue celebrity. Even though all of his work and travel was on behalf of the family business, false accusations and rumors began to circulate in their small town. And that ultimately led to a severing of his relationship with his father and Scott departing for Charleston and starting his budding barbecue restaurant empire. His current relationship with both his father and mother is nonexistent as of the writing of this book and the press tours he’s done this spring.

The book is written in Scott’s voice, which can surely be attributed to Elie’s help. Scott’s mantra is “Every Day is a Good Day” and that blue skies philosophy is clear when reading his writing. A cookbook written by Scott himself was surely a draw, but adding in an accomplished writer such as Elie only added to the appeal. Lolis wrote a seminal text in “Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country” back in 2005, a book that has been on my radar for quite some time.

The second half of the book is all recipes, starting with how to set up and smoke a whole hog on a cinder block pit in great detail (similar to what Sam Jones and Elliot Moss described in their respective books). From there, it’s all Scott’s menu and point of view, informed by his Pee Dee South Carolina origins.

While Adrian Miller’s “Black Smoke” traced the history and contributions of African Americans to barbecue’s history, Scott’s book actually makes some history of its own, being the first barbecue book by a black pitmaster/chef ever (think about that). “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ” is a must read barbecue book that gives you just as much insight into the man behind the barbecue empire as well as his food.

Friday Find: Rodney Scott and Lolis Elie on The Dave Chang Show

Monk: I don’t think a lot of secrets are actually spilled on this appearance by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Lolie on The Dave Chang show, other than you probably can’t cook Rodney Scott-level barbecue if you aren’t the man himself. The hour goes by quickly and its a great conversation nonetheless from guys who are clearly friends off microphone.

Description: Dave and Chris are joined by legendary pitmaster Rodney Scott and food historian Lolis Elie to discuss the wonderful world of whole-hog barbecue.