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

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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.

-Monk

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

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Linkdown: 4/9/14

– The first three reviews from Marie, Let’s Eat!’s epic NC barbecue roadtrip last month have been posted: Red Bridges in ShelbyWink’s King in Salisbury, and Lexington #1

– As beef prices rise, more and more Texas pitmasters are turning to pork

– Ranucci’s Big Butt BBQ, Grand Champions of the 2013 Q-City BBQ Competition, is hoping to crowdsource a portion of their new food truck

– Thrillist’s list of best barbecue in Atlanta

– The latest Carolina ‘Cue Restaurant featured in Our State Magazine is Bum’s Restaurant in Ayden

– JJ’s Red Hots is having a Bacon Beer & BBQ dinner on April 24 as part of NC Beer Month

A short article on SC’s Barbecue Trail (via bbqboard)

– Mission BBQ, a military and first responder-focused Baltimore-based chain created by an Under Armour founder, opened earlier this week in Wilmington

– Another (more promising sounding) coastal barbecue restaurant, Southport Smokehouse BBQ, is opening sometime this month:

Natives of Lexington – a town some would argue is North Carolina’s barbecue ground zero – the Hemphills’ restaurant specialized in pork shoulders cooked over hickory logs “imported” from Davidson County. The pits, Elaine Hemphill said, were modeled after those at the famous Lexington Barbecue along Interstate 85 Business.

A trio of restaurateurs, Troy Knight, Jim Sparks and Ryan Salley (who will serve as pitmaster) has taken over the spot and are returning it to its roots. They’ll offer brisket, ribs and pulled pork with both Lexington-style and vinegar sauces cooked over hickory. Salley said he’ll mostly be smoking shoulders, a hallmark of the upstate variety, but would occasionally go whole hog, the more traditional method in the Eastern region.

– Scott’s BBQ is having their annual picnic on April 19 and oh how I wish I could make it back down to Hemingway for it