Not that we’re anywhere close to being qualified enough to evaluate books but more so as a public service announcement we will periodically discuss barbecue and barbecue-related books.
Monk: Bob Garner’s latest book, published in 2014, isn’t strictly a barbecue book per se. Instead it focuses on various favorite foods and drinks of North Carolina, though naturally barbecue is featured being that it is the state’s most popular food.
The barbecue chapter of the book covers the basics in terms of the history of barbecue in the state and how the two dominant styles of barbecue came to be. Where it does cover some new territory compared with previous barbecue books from Garner is the introduction of different styles of smokers into NC, comparing offset and rotisserie smokers imported from the midwest and Texas to the traditional NC brick barbecue pits with its direct heat method. Instead of an exhaustive list of all barbecue restaurants (which Garner previously covered in his Big Book of Barbecue), he instead showcases just four restaurants – one from the east (Skylight Inn), one from the piedmont (Lexington Barbecue), a new-style joint that serves beer while still smoking over wood (Hillsborough BBQ Company), and a regional chain (Smithfield’s Chicken and BBQ).
The book does contain recipes as well, and I particularly like that the recipe for “charcoal cooked pulled pork” is for a Lexington-style barbecue recipe smoked on a Weber charcoal grill.
The subsequent chapters of the book cover foods often eaten with barbecue like brunswick stew and collards as well as desserts such as banana pudding and peach cobbler. This is smartly done by Garner.
As for other barbecue-related items, the book also has later chapters on barbecue sauces found in stores, Texas Pete hot sauce, as well as soft drinks created in NC. Longtime readers and followers will note how much I love Cheerwine or Sun Drop with barbecue, and of course the history of those are featured.
“Foods That Make You Say Mmm-mmm” lovingly explores the food and drinks of North Carolina in a way that only a native North Carolinian can. It is very much a Bob Garner book – and that’s a very good thing.
– Brett Martin (for GQ) on how Houston got cool
– According to this article (which is about a new Jim Noble fried chicken concept), Noble Smoke is now being targeted to open in March 2019
– You can now vote for the best barbecue joints by state in Southern Living’s “South’s Best 2019” poll
– Texas Monthly on the Barbecue Nation exhibit in Atlanta
– According to this list, The Pit is one of Raleigh’s best soul food restaurants
– Yea…I’m gonna need to try this out soon on my own Weber
– A comparison of the two out-of-state whole hog joints coming to Birmingham in the coming months – Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint and Rodney Scott’s BBQ
– Your move, Texas Pete:
– The brisket bandits in St. Louis have been caught
– Texas Pete, a NC barbecue staple, gets a mention in this Eat Sip Trip article on the origins of hot sauce
Garner Foods of North Carolina was seeking to augment their barbecue sauce line and introduced a red pepper Louisiana-style hot sauce in 1929, which they named Texas Pete, to capitalize on the popularity of cowboy movies at the time. The product is a Carolina staple. According to food author Robert Moss, at the legendary Skylight Inn Barbecue in Ayden, NC, “They douse the pork with vinegar and Texas Pete while it’s still being chopped.”
– The Hub City Hog Fest took place in Spartanburg last weekend, where more than 40 teams from the Carolinas and Georgia participated in the two-day competition
– I checked this place out on a layover to Austin from Charlotte and I will have similarly good things to say when the review posts in a few weeks
– Luella’s Bar-B-Que in Asheville gets featured on Cooking Channel’s “Cheap Eats” episode on Asheville which first airs tonight at 11pm
– WNCT in eastern NC profiles Morris Barbecue, which has only opened on Saturdays in Greene County since the 1950’s, in their latest People and Places segment
– Sam Jones, Ed and Ryan Mitchell, and Rodney Scott (among others) will be back at this year’s Big Apple Barbecue Block Party
– A great article by Keia Mastrianni in the June/July edition of The Local Palate; the print edition is out now
– The Raleigh News & Observer has a new series called “Good ‘Eatin” that takes a weekly visit to local eateries in North Carolina, and it will continue through Labor Day; this week it visits Pattan’s Downtown Grille in downtown Rockingham that has a franken-sauce of east, west, and SC but cooks over wood
– See if you can find Midwood Smokehouse in this cool Charlotte 8-bit art:
– Frank Scibelli – the restaurateur behind Midwood Smokehouse, Midwood Smokeshack, Yafo, and more – has been named a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in the Southeast
– The Daily Reflector out of Greenville, NC has a profile on Parker’s Barbecue in Wilson
– Congrats to Mac’s for winning second in whole hog at this year’s Memphis in May; here’s the deets on the rig they smoked on
– 12 Bones and Buxton Hall Barbecue are on Kathleen Purvis’ list of things to do in Asheville
– TMBBQ on how Texas got a legit Texas barbecue joint
– Some photos from last week’s Cape Fear BBQ Festival in Wilmington
– The story behind Texas Pete, the perfect hot sauce for NC barbecue
– Pulled pork v brisket: who you got? John Lewis of Lewis Barbecue and Aaron Siegel of Home Team BBQ weigh in
AM: Which is better, beef brisket or pulled pork?
Siegel: There is no argument there, really. It’s just a matter of preference, which seems to vary regionally. But even now, regional lines are getting blurred. We’re supposedly a pork town. But we’ve been doing beef brisket with salt and pepper and it’s one of our best selling products. So at the end of the day, it’s a fun argument. But it’s not valid.
Lewis: I think there are things about both that make them stand out. Beef has a stronger flavor than pork. But what pork has is marveling, which gives it a juicier taste. In Texas, there’s an order called the “Holy Trinity,” which includes sausage, beef and pork on the same plate. So I’m really just a fan of it all. It’s all about personal preference.
– The Charleston Post and Courier likes what they eat from Lewis Barbecue
– Buxton Hall recipes online (presumably from the upcoming cookbook): hush puppies at Bon Appétit and chicken bog at Garden & Gun
– The North State Journal previews next month’s Barbecue Revival (paywall)
“Barbecue is sacred to the people of North Carolina,” says Dickson. “If you’re going to do this, you have an obligation to be a good steward of our state cuisine. I can’t think of a better way to do it than this.”
– I may have missed this, but The Pit is servicing barbecue sandwiches at NC State’s Carter-Finley Stadium this football season
– Grant makes an unplanned stop at Countryboy Cafe in Pennington, VA
– Texas Pete is getting a new look
– Finally, I spotted an appearance by NC barbecue on last week’s episode of “Mr. Robot”
– This article on barbecue treats from Robert Moss considers the misleading names of Texas Pete, Cheerwine, and burnt ends
– Sam Jones has partnered with Heinz to create a “Carolina Vinegar Style” barbecue sauce
– John Shelton Reed has a new barbecue cookbook coming – appropriately titled “Barbecue”
– He’s also having an event at the new Durham barbecue restaurant Picnic to celebrate the release of his book
– Midwood Smokehouse is havin a ‘cue and wine pairing at their Ballantyne location on March 16
– Only In Your State has 10 More Restaurants That Serve The Best Barbecue in North Carolina and well, it certainly is a list
– Interview with our friend Johnny Fugitt
– Midwood Smokehouse is asking for votes for Charlotte Magazine’s Best of the Best Awards 2016