Linkdown: 7/6/22

Monk: After a 2 month break to recap season 3 of “BBQ Brawl,” we’re back with a roundup of the latest barbecue news in North Carolina and beyond.


Catching up on some of the NC barbecue posts the past couple of months from Friend of the Blog John Tanner, he was making the rounds in eastern NC during the spring starting with a return trip to Parker’s Barbecue in Wilson where he enjoyed the barbecue but particularly the fried chicken

He then headed to Marty’s BBQ across town and did a head-to-head comparison with his meal at Parker’s

He followed up those meals with another return trip to Grady’s BBQ which, despite John’s near persistent drum beating, is still not a UNESCO world heritage site

John also visited Southport Smokehouse and Leland Smokehouse in the Wilmington-area and came away resolved to eating seafood at the beach in the future

But that was followed by the best pork of his trip (and contender for best in eastern NC according to him) at Stephenson’s Bar-B-Q in Willow Springs

John then swing through the Piedmont and hit up Stamey’s Barbecue in Greensboro which, while he had a fine meal, he was surprised to learn that hush puppies didn’t come with the meal

When news of Richard’s Bar-B-Q in Salisbury closing later this month, he also spun some words reflecting on the pending loss of yet another True ‘Cue joint

Native News

Congrats to Grady’s BBQ on 36 years open

Elliot Moss has parted ways with Buxton Hall Barbecue, according to his Instagram post, but will be staying in Asheville and has another restaurant in the works; as for barbecue: “I’m NOT done with BBQ. My passion for BBQ will live on forever. I’ll be doing some bbq traveling & cooking. Stay tuned”

ICYMI, our latest Lexington (NC) Barbecue Rankings

Linkdown: 12/3/14

How Do You Spell Barbecue? Personally, I go with “barbecue”

Back in the 18th century, there were almost as many ways to spell barbecue as there were people cooking it: barbacue, barbicu, borbecue. In his diary entry for September 18, 1773, George Washington recorded that he attended, “a Barbicue of my own giving at Accotink.”

He may have been the Father of our Country, but Washington’s spelling didn’t stick. By the time of the Civil War, Americans had settled on two primary versions—barbecue and barbeque—and that’s as close as we’ve come to consensus. The North Carolina Barbecue Society has come down on the side of the “c”, but their neighbors in the Palmetto State, home of the South Carolina Barbeque Association, are more prone to go with the “q,” as are the folks out in Missouri in the Kansas City Barbeque Society.

– Southport has a new barbecue restaurant in Terry’s North Carolina Bar-B-Que & Ribs

Zagat: Arrogant Swine brings Carolina ‘Cue to Brooklyn

– Speaking of Arrogant Swine, I haven’t linked to a Tyson Ho blog entry on SeriousEats in a few weeks, but here’s a link to his latest, on changing his menu and taking feedback; if you haven’t read the whole series, do yourself a favor and catch up asap

We’ve already cut two items from the menu: turkey legs and corn pone. There’s a certain amount of market efficiency when it comes to a barbecue menu. Certain items appear everywhere because they’re guaranteed hits: brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and chicken are time-tested and reliable. Sometimes you win big when you go against the grain, but for the most part one would do well to heed the wisdom of crowds.

– The SC Barbecue Trail marketing campaign (specifically the web series) wins some accolades by highlighting the state’s barbecue tradition

– An Army veteran has opened a NC barbecue restaurant in Tampa, Three Brothers BBQ Smokehouse

– Austin writer Matthew Odam picks apart a recent WSJ article on Austin barbecue that just plain got some things wrong

– Marie, Let’s Eat! begins their 12 chapter (!!) circumnavigation of barbecue restaurants in South Carolina and eastern North Carolina with Maurice’s in Columbiasome less than great places around Florence, and Parker’s in Wilson

Southport Smoke House – Southport, NC


Name: Southport Smoke House
Date: 5/22/14
Address: 1102 N Howe St, Southport, NC 28461
Order: Lunch portion pork and brisket, small red slaw, and sweet tea (link to menu)
Price: $14.51

Like Duke’s Old South BBQ in Leland, Southport Smoke House is another joint by the coast that is cooking over wood. Based on what I’ve read online, it looked fairly promising so we took the ferry from Fort Fisher across the Cape Fear River to Southport so I could check it out for myself (Mrs. Monk opted not to have barbecue for the second day in a row – pfft).

On the website for the restaurant, it claims to have “the finest wood smoked bbq this side of Texas” which is just a weird thing to say in North Carolina. But the restaurant definitely does have a Texas bent to it – in addition to pulled pork it has brisket, sausage (labeled as “Kreuz” in the restaurant so possibly shipped in from Lockhart), and ribs on the menu.

Had the sausage not already sold out (at 12:30 on a Thursday, which is kind of impressive), I would have gotten it as well as pork and brisket for my lunch that day. Instead, I stuck with just pork and brisket and although they don’t have a combo plate, the lady who took my order suggested I just get lunch portions of the two meats. Done.

I could taste the hickory wood smoke in the pork, particularly the bark, but it was a tad bit dry. Southport Smoke House has several house sauces available (with a sign promising more to come), so I tried the pork with Lexington (of course), Eastern, and “NC Tangy.” The Lexington sauce came off best for me, with the Eastern coming second, and the NC Tangy barely registering. Whatever the case, although the pork had good smoke it  definitely needed some sauce, whichever one the eater may have preferred.

The brisket was sliced (or chopped if you prefer) to order and had a slight smoke ring as well as a decent tug to it. It also wasn’t completely overdone, so it had that going for it. The restaurant had only been up and running for a little over a month at the point where I visited, but both the brisket and the pork showed a fair amount of promise.

The red slaw was a decent Lexington imitation and not too much more to be said about it. Southport Smoke House doesn’t offer hush puppies, which again is a more Texas way of doing things, and instead each dish came with a couple slices of Sunbeam sliced bread. I think its a shame they don’t offer hush puppies and I’d love to see them on the menu eventually.

Southport Smoke House only opened back on April 18 and I would imagine that they are in some ways still working out the kinks. However, like the pork and brisket, the restaurant itself shows a lot of promise and I’d love to check this place out in another 6 months or year once they really get going. Definitely a joint worth keeping an eye on.


Atmosphere/Ambiance – 3.5 hogs
Pork – 3 hogs
Sides – 3 hogs
Overall – 3 Hogs