Friday Find: How Pitmaster John Lewis Brought Texas Barbecue to South Carolina

John Lewis gives some insight into his process for his brand that he’s brought to the lowcountry of South Carolina. From his famous hot guts smoked in a vertical smoker to his pastrami brisket, ribeyes, and oxtails smoked in his custom offset. He then uses those meats in inventive sandwiches like their version of an Arby’s beef and cheddar or a pastrami brisket reuben as well as his smoked prime rib special and a Tex-mex inspired oxtail dish. Lewis even gets into his love of hatch green chiles and how they are incorporated into a lot of his dishes as well as how makes his own tortillas because there are not tortillerias in SC that meet his standards. Recently, Lewis announced that his Juan Luis concept is taking over the entire food hall space formerly occupied by Workshop.

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Description: Pitmaster John Lewis is known not only for his mouthwatering South Carolina brisket, sausages, and ribs, but also for his dedication to “perfecting” the art of barbecue by customizing his own smokers. He’s also known for getting creative with brining, rubbing, and smoking techniques.

Linkdown: 2/10/21

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Lewis Barbecue officially announces their second restaurant in Greenville, taking over the space previously occupied by Tommy’s Country Ham House. So for folks in the Charlotte area (i.e. me), Lewis’ central Texas-style brisket, hot guts, sausage will be about half the distance you previously had to travel to Charleston. And this is a very good thing. Lewis Barbecue Greenville will open sometime in early 2022.

In addition to the Lewis Barbecue expansion news, it was recently announced that his Juan Luis Tex-Mex concept will take over the former Workshop food hall in Charleston. It was an original food stall tenant at the food hall but recently the trailer had been parked in the courtyard at Lewis Barbecue. Based on these recent moves, Lewis is certainly building the foundation for a food empire in South Carolina.

Native News

A sneak peak inside the recently opened Sam Jones BBQ in Raleigh

Spectrum News’ Eating Local series kicks off with a stop at Bar-B-Q Center, where if you haven’t yet been you are doing it wrong according to their employees

Non-Native News

Munchie’s Live BBQ in Orlando was originally started by Chef Alfred Mann, who originally learned from a man named Gene Daniels who cooked NC barbecue

“Under this partnership structure, Mighty Quinn’s licenses Otto’s Tacos name and fulfills orders from it’s kitchen. Customers then receive their digital order from Otto’s Tacos using first- or third-party platforms.”

10 must-read cookbooks by Black authors to buy right now including upcoming barbecue books from Rodney Scott and Adrian Miller, according to the Austin American-Statesman

Texas Monthly interviews Kevin Bludso, who is ready to mentor the next generation of black pitmasters

Linkdown: 1/20/21

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Lewis Donald’s goal for Sweet Lew’s BBQ has always been more than just crafting great barbecue. He is wanting to give back to the community, whether that’s hiring workers from the Belmont neighborhood where his restaurant is located, hosting back-to-school carnivals with free haircuts at the restaurant, and now hiring a barbecue apprentice from the local culinary school at Central Piedmont Community College. Watch the video at the link below to learn more about Keywon and how he was introduced to Lewis. I’m looking forward to seeing big things from Keywon in the future.

Native News

While the Ed Mitchell’s The Preserve restaurant is still delayed, starting this Friday they will be offering a takeout/pickup service running out of the Carolina Ale House off Falls of Neuse

Non-Native News

Steven Raichlen of Barbecue Bible links to his piece from last summer on the contributions of Black pitmasters to the world of barbecue

Evan LeRoy of LeRoy & Lewis reflects on questions you should ask yourself before you open a food truck

The story behind Estrada’s Texas Barbeque

Ruthie’s All Day is a True ‘Cue certified joint in Arlington that John Tanner recently tried for brunch but vows to return for a regular visit

Burnt BBQ & Tacos in Plano is the latest example of a pivot to barbecue

One more tribute to Mike Mills

Linkdown: 12/15/20

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In his latest issue of The Cue Sheet, Robert Moss examines the ten best college cities or towns to attend according to nearby barbecue options. While my alma mater NC State is mentioned as a future possibility once the planned restaurants like Sam Jones BBQ, Wyatt’s Barbecue, and Longleaf Swine open their doors in 2021 (not to mention Prime BBQ in Knightdale that opened this year and the upcoming Ed Mitchell’s The Preserve), several NC towns make the list. Not on the list either is Chapel Hill, primarily due to the loss of Allen & Son last year.

East Carolina University in Greenville has B’s Barbecue, Sam Jones Barbecue and the two Ayden joints nearby (Skylight and Bum’s) and comes in at #9. Surprisingly, Catawba College in Salisbury, NC makes the list just ahead of Greenville due to a couple of joints in town (College Barbecue and Richard’s) plus its proximity to Lexington and its myriad options for barbecue.

That’s it for NC on this list but both Columbia and Charleston appear further down from our neighbors to the south. I won’t spoil the rest of the list, but if you think hard enough you can probably guess which university and city takes the #1 spot on the list.

Native News

The Great NC BBQ Map poster is 50% off through today

The Pinehurst Barbecue Festival is planned for September 3-5, 2021

The Bar-B-Q King is one of many COVID-friendly food options in Charlotte for walk-up or drive-thru (or in this case, drive-in)

In NC, barbecue sauce makes a great gift writes Spectrum News

OooWee BBQ has smoked meat by the pound available in take-and-bake meals

Primal BBQ is set to open in Wilmington later this month and will serve a little bit of everything

Longleaf Swine is one barbecue restaurant offering to-go meals in Raleigh

Wish I could attend this socially-distanced pig pickin’ in Durham this weekend

Chicken bog long sleeve tees from Buxton Hall released just in time for last minute Christmas shopping

Non-Native News

In perhaps the least surprising news of the week, Tim Carman found better options than the McRib in DC

Even though Pat Mahomes went to college in Texas, he prefers Kansas City barbecue

This smothered tater tots collaboration between Fox Bros Bar-B-Q and Nina and Rafi looks amazing

An American pitmaster living in Hong Kong names the US barbecue restaurants he dreams of going back to some day, including Rodney Scott’s BBQ, Cozy Corner, Franklin Barbecue, and Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

Pork n’ Pine Santa delivers pulled pork sammies in Baltimore