Monk: Even before the effects of Covid-19 crippled the restaurant industry across the US, it was a pretty eventful first quarter in Charlotte barbecue with some good and some bad. Here’s a rundown of all the news and notable happenings from the first three months of the year.
1/3 Short-lived presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg stopped by Sweet Lew’s BBQ while campaigning in Charlotte
1/20 North State BBQ opened in a former Shane’s Rib Shack near Northlake Mall in north Charlotte
1/22 Jon G’s Barbecue officially announced they will be opening a brick and mortar location later this year
2/4 Peace N’ Hominy Q Shack in Belmont closes after 5+ years when the breast cancer of owner Christine Rienks returned after 12 years in remission
2/27 Jon G’s Barbecue officially announces the location of their forthcoming brick and mortar store in the old Barbee’s Barbecue in Peachland, 35 miles southeast of Charlotte
3/2 Dish, a Plaza-Midwood southern food diner purchased by Sweet Lew’s BBQ owner Lewis Donald in the fall of 2019, reopens with new sandwiches on the menu that includes turkey and pork belly smoked at the Belmont Beauty Myron Mixon smoker down the road at Sweet Lew’s
3/17 North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared that as of 5 p.m. March 17, restaurants must close the dining rooms, but will be able to offer takeout and delivery. All Charlotte restaurants (including barbecue) begin to either close or adjust to takeout or curbside pickup only, with no end in the foreseeable future…
Monk: As of Thursday at 8am, Mecklenburg County is enforcing a Stay at Home order effective until at least April 16. Thankfully, residents are still allowed to go to a restaurant “for take-out, delivery or drive-thru.” As hard as restaurants have already been hit, this will be even more of a blow for those that are trying to stay open through these weird times.
Thusly, if we are able, we should do all we can to support our local barbecue restaurants if we want them to still be around after the Covid-19 pandemic. Here’s a list of our five favorite Charlotte options based on our Charlotte Big Board.
Please note: As everything is pretty much a fluid situation these days, please call ahead or check on social media to ensure that the restaurant is open and serving.
1. Jon G’s Barbecue March 28th is sold out but stay tuned to their Facebook page for future events Link to Facebook page
Episode 106: “How Do You ‘Cue?” (Friday, May 1, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET)
On a tour of eastern North Carolina barbecue joints, Vivian is reminded of traditions that define the area’s version of pork barbecue while being introduced to new techniques. Flipping what she already knows about ‘cue, Vivian sets out to uncover buried histories and learn about the unexpected ways different types of meat are smoked, pit-cooked, wood-fired and eaten. We learn that barbecue – both the food and the verb – cannot be pigeonholed into one definition. Starting from the whole-hog pits in her figurative backyard, Vivian explores the history of Black barbecue entrepreneurship, from the North Carolina families who started turkey barbecue to the women firing up pits in Brownsville and Memphis, Tennessee. Curious about other iterations, Vivian travels to the west coast of Florida, where a storied “Cracker” history at a smoked mullet festival drastically changes her perspective on Southern ‘cue. In Texas, robust barbecue techniques steeped in tradition are being morphed by longtime families doing what they know best. A pair of sisters in tiny San Diego, Texas add a Tejano touch to their barbecue joint menu, and two Japanese Texan brothers with a smokehouse pair brisket and bento boxes.
Dish was purchased by Sweet Lew’s BBQ owner Lewis Donald last fall and reopened this week with sandwiches on the menu that include turkey and pork belly smoked at Sweet Lew’s BBQ
Details on Hogs for the Cause, happening later this month in New Orleans
Prime Barbecue and Cut & Gather are included on Eater Carolinas’ 5 most anticipated restaurants list
Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor went on a mollejas hunt in South Texas
In sad news, Peace N’ Hominy Q Shack in Belmont has officially closed after owner Christine Rienk’s breast cancer returned after 12 years in remission; a GoFundMe has been set up to help with the costs of chemotherapy #cancersucks
Congrats to Chef Jim Noble who was awarded by the NC Restaurant and Lodging Association the Ken Conrad Award for Service to the Community for his work with his restaurant The King’s Kitchen (which donates 100% of its profits to feed the poor) and partners with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Dream Center to provide professional opportunities to Charlotteans who have suffered from “extreme life-challenges” such as poverty, homelessness and the slow, uphill battle of recovering from substance abuse or incarceration