Linkdown: 7/20/16

– Stephen Colbert is once again poking the NC barbecue bear

“North Carolina, I love you,” Colbert said, “but I’m sorry that barbecue is not as good as South Carolina.”

– Plan accordingly:

– Grant of Marie, Let’s Eat! visits three Memphis-area barbecue joints: Payne’s Bar-B-Q, Jim Neely’s Interstate Bar-B-Q, and Top’s Bar-B-Q

– Charlotte Five weighs in on 5 joints for good barbecue in Lexington, including Lexington Barbecue, The Barbecue Center, Smiley’s, and Speedy’s

– More Charlotte Five content: Mac’s Speed Shop is on this list of 4 meat-focused eateries with great vegetarian options for diner

– UberEats will be delivering Pecan Lodge to Dallas residents today from 11-2 via drones

– The Pik-N-Pig is a NC barbecue joint located at an airport near Carthage

Reader Submission

We received the following submission from someone calling himself “McLovin”:

Me and my wife decided to go have lunch on a Saturday at Smiley’s. First of all the claim that it is good food is a whole lie….I’ve had better. My wife ordered their chicken salad sandwich. It was HORRIBLE nothing special just in a regular burnt sandwich bread and their chicken salad didn’t taste good. we took one bite and told the lady at the cash registered that we did not eat the chicken salad sandwich and was told we had to pay for it anyway. You and I know well that when something does not taste good customer does not pay for it. We felt they were rude and greedy. Since then we have told our experience  to our family and friends to avoid a bad experience. Bottom line is DONT EAT THERE!!!

After spending way too much time trying to figure out why an eight year old is married (age guess based on grammar skills), I decided to reply to our loyal reader McLovin’ to explain our positive review of Smiley’s. It appears that we had a much better experience than the dear reader. I think the main reason behind it is that we aren’t dumb. Seriously – who goes to any restaurant in Lexington and orders a chicken salad sandwich? I can’t stress enough how bad of a decision that was. It really calls into question every other decision your wife ever made (marriage vows included). So yea – if you want chicken salad, don’t go to Smiley’s. If you want great barbecue, then go on over and have yourself a great meal.

As for your assertion that you shouldn’t have to pay for food that doesn’t taste good, there’s a billion dollar health food industry that has something to say about that. So sorry the “greedy” folks at Smiley’s kept the outrageous $4.25 they charged you for your chicken salad sandwich, but next time, man up, order a real meal, and you’ll have a better experience.

Thanks for reading!


N.C. Barbecue Society honors owner of Smiley’s BBQ

Congrats to Steve Yountz of Smiley’s Lexington BBQ.

Steve Yountz, the owner of Smiley’s Lexington BBQ, continues to have a passion for barbecue cooking nearly four decades after he landed his first job at the former Southern BBQ in Lexington.

The 50-year-old Lexington native (who turns 51 Sunday) was recently named as one of the 2012 inductees for the N.C. Barbecue Society’s Wall of Fame. He was one of four people — the only one from Lexington — to be inducted in this past year’s class.

“I’m honored,” Yountz said. “That’s quite a recognition.”



N.C. Barbecue Society honors owner of Smiley’s BBQ

Smiley’s Lexington Barbecue, Inc. – Lexington, NC


Name: Smiley’s Lexington Barbecue Inc.
Date: 10/20/12
Location: 917 Winston Rd., Lexington, NC 27295
Order: Chopped BBQ plate with hush puppies, slaw, fries, and Cheerwine (link to menu)
Bill: $12

Monk: Recently, Speedy and I made a decision to try to visit as many barbecue joints on the NC Historic Barbecue Trail that we could over the next year or so (hopefully one or two with Rudy in tow when he is back in NC for the holidays). So with an engagement party for a friend of the blog held in Greensboro a few Saturdays ago, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check out Smiley’s in Lexington on our way up.

Smiley’s is less than a half mile from Speedy’s in one direction and not too far from Lexington #1 (aka the promised land) in the other, so it’s in pretty good company. And they do things the old school way, cooking barbecue low and slow over a wood pit for several hours (hence why they are on the NC Historic Barbecue Trail in the first place). But oddly enough, on a Saturday night at 6pm it was damned near empty.

Speedy: Pulling in – Smiley’s looks exactly like you’d expect an old school ‘cue joint to look like. One twist I did like – as we pulled into the parking space, a waitress started to come up to the car. Apparently they have curbside to go service – bonus. However, we were there to dine in, so we went inside and sat at a table of our choosing. There’s not much to say about this place other than it looks the part. You could see scenes from Andy Griffith being filmed there. Nothing really stood out, but it was homely.

Rudy: Homely or homey? Because when a girl is described as homely, it’s usually not a good thing. Maybe it is for barbecue though.

Monk: Speedy, Mrs. Monk, and I all ordered the same thing – a chopped BBQ plate with hush puppies, slaw, and fries. Although, to try it out for the first time (and to make me feel more like a local), I ordered it with extra outside brown. And it was very, very good. I enjoyed having the extra bark in the barbecue, and will probably order it this way at the next Lexington joint I visit. One thing for me, however, was I felt like I noticed that the barbecue dip was a little sweeter than the other Lexington-style spots that I have been to. Not a deal breaker or even a bad thing by any means, just something that I think I noticed.

Speedy: I didn’t really notice too much extra sweet, but I do think a lot of these places add sugar to the dip to taste, so I imagine it’s not always the same. Monk may have a more sensitive palate than I do. But I thought the ‘cue was really, really good. The portion was pretty big (probably enough for two meals), the pork and (red!) slaw were great, and it was just a great meal. There is quite a bit of variety of food on the menu, but we paid it no attention – a decision I’d make again and again.

Rudy: You guys tend to get a sampling at most places. Why not here? Sounds like it wasn’t a mistake though, with the chopped BBQ being good.

Speedy: Well, most of the other stuff wasn’t barbecue. The rest of the menu had burgers, sandwiches, chicken tenders, and other diner type food. Frankly, I just don’t have time for that garbage.

Monk: Agreed – definitely made the right call. So, one more notch on our NC Historical Barbecue Trail belt (note: this belt doesn’t actually exist, but it would be cool if it did). We had a solid plate of barbecue at Smiley’s, but it’s hard to imagine we’d choose this over Lexington #1 in the future.

Atmosphere/Ambiance: 3 hogs
Pork – 4 hogs
Sides – 4 hogs
Overall – 4 hogs