Recently, friend of the blog John Tanner (of John Tanner’s Barbecue Blog) ate his way across the piedmont of North Carolina while making stops on the NC Historic Barbecue Trail in honor of the late Jim Early. Early was the founder of the North Carolina Barbecue Society and driving force behind the NC Historic Barbecue Trail.
Notably, he makes a stop at our friends at Bar-B-Q King in Lincolnton where he delights in the “hollerin’ orders” system and has a great meal. Follow John’s journey below.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s BBQ Bowl Week
Has Texas Brisket Peaked?
Speaking of brisket, Tales from the Pits unveils their top 5 barbecue spots in Texas
Name: Southern Soul Barbeque Address: 2020 Demere Rd, St Simons Island, GA 31522 Order: Three meat platter with pork, brisket, and sausage with Brunswick stew, hush puppies, collards, and potato salad (link to menu) Pricing: $$
Monk: Southern Soul Barbeque is a highly-regarded barbecue joint located in the Golden Isles of Georgia, specifically St. Simon’s Island. In 2018 it tied with Lexington Barbecue in a Southern Living reader’s poll after winning the 2017 poll. On my way back from Spring Break in Amelia Island, I made the family take an hour’s detour to check it out. My expectations were sky high.
Southern Soul is housed in an old gas station and smokes their barbecue in Lang Smoker stick burners, so they immediately check a couple of important boxes. For a first time visitor, parking is a bit of a mess seeing as how it is situated on a traffic circle, but that could also be considered part of the experience.
For our three meat combo I went with with pork, brisket, and sausage. Even though there will almost certainly be a line when you visit during the lunch hours, the line moves quickly and the food came out within just a few minutes. We got a picnic table underneath the awning and I dug in.
Starting off, the pork was on the dry side and a buddy who visited later in the same week noted the same thing. It cried out for one of their excellent sauces.
The brisket was haphazardly cut and was quite fatty with not all the fat rendered completely. While not the prettiest it had actually did have pretty good flavor. A carefully arranged Central Texas tray this was not.
The sausage had good flavor but was also on the dry side. The mustard sauce paired quite well with it.
Each platter comes with Brunswick stew and although you can substitute it for something like fries, I wouldn’t suggest it. This was the best Brunswick stew I’ve ever had, which is a nice tribute to the nearby town of Brunswick that (apparently incorrectly) claims to be the birthplace of the stew. Whatever you do, be sure to get the Brunswick stew.
Our hush puppies came out fresh and were perfectly cooked orbs with a slight hint of sweetness. The collards were somehow both too bland and too spicy; it needed several dashes of vinegar. The potato salad was solid.
Overall, I left a little Southern Soul Barbeque a bit disappointed. I was all set to load up on their well designed merch but after the slightly disappointing meal I opted not to. They’ve got a great reputation, so perhaps I hit them on an off day.
The Campaign for Real Barbecue, (aka True Cue) expands to Virginia and DC, with John Tanner of John Tanner’s Barbecue Blog leading the charge. Founded in 2014, the Campaign already operates in North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Georgia.
Bryan Furman’s next step is a stall inside a Kroger grocery store in Atlanta until he is able to rebuild his restaurant in Atlanta’s westside
John Lewis’s next step is a New Mexican place in Charleston
A murderer’s row of barbecue pitmasters will be in St. Simon’s Island in early October. Participants will include: 17th Street BBQ, The BBQ Ninja, B’s Cracklin’ Barbeque, Blackjack BBQ, Buxton Hall Barbecue, Certified Burgers and Beverage, Chef Kenny Gilbert, DL3 BBQ, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, Frosty’s Griddle & Shake, Holy City Hogs, Home Team BBQ, Mama Jean’s Barbecue, Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, Peg Leg Porker, Pig Beach, Southern Soul Barbeque, Sugarfire Smoke House, Swig & Swine, Taqueria del Sol, Tuffy Stone and Cool Smoke, Woodstack BBQ Tavern, Red Gum BBQ, Pelican Oyster Company, Piedmont Brewing & Kitchen, Poteet Seafood, Potlikker Peanut Company, Sea Island Forge, The Southern Fork Podcast, The Local Palate, Author and Southern Living BBQ Editor Robert Moss, Smokelore Author Jim Auchmutey and Sam Jones Hologram Tour.
The final TerraVita Food and Drink Festival has a good lineup of its own pitmasters the following week in Carrboro: Sam Jones, Matthew Register, and CHristopher Prieto
Food & Wine profiles the next generation of Texas pitmasters
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