A couple of the pitmasters for the upcoming Carolina Barbecue Festival in Charlotte on May 22nd: Bryan Furman and Matthew Register
Not to be outdone, the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival has been announcing pitmasters for the Prieto Pitmaster Invitational at its festival, including Brandon Shepard of Shepard Barbecue, Melanie Dunia of The Pit, Ron Simmons of Master Blend Family Farms, and Lewis Donald of Sweet Lew’s BBQ
Noble Smoke’s stall has opened at Optimist Hall as of Monday, 3/14
Jon G’s will be smoking meat for a barbecue and wine event on the last day of the Charlotte Wine & Food Festival
Pretty cool: actor Eric Wareheim made it all the way from LA to Peachland for a Barbecue Saturday last weekend
Blake’s BBQ has its final days in the trailer this week
In Austin for SXSW?
The latest reader-generated list from Southern Living
Monk: In a bit of a break from our regularly scheduled programming, we have a guest post from lead singer Christopher Harold Wells of the San Francisco “psychadelic shoegaze rock band” The Neverlutionaries. Christopher has recently gotten into barbecue but you can tell he definitely has a passion for it – in both eating it as well as smoking it himself. He’s been spending his quarantine time in Raleigh (where he grew up), and reached out to us wanting to share his thoughts.
As you may be aware, Raleigh is about to have a barbecue renaissance, so Christopher will have a lot more places to try out very soon, including the already opened Prime BBQ in Knightdale and Sam Jones BBQ downtown as well as soon-to-be opened joints like Lawrence Barbecue, Wyatt’s Barbecue, Ed Mitchell’s The Preserve, and Longleaf Swine. I’ll be curious what if his list changes later this year, particularly the two non-NC chain restaurants on his list. I definitely hope he checks them out and broadens his horizons when it comes to NC barbecue restaurants.
Christopher: I’ve always been a HUGE fan of BBQ. When I was able to travel/tour, one of my favorite things to do was to check out the different BBQ spots in the places I would visit. I loved the regional variations of it. St. Louis has its mustard vibe (Editor’s Note: Hmm….), Nashville has its twangy tomato vibe, and NC has the vinegar-based tomato thang going which is my favorite of them all.
After I finished freaking out and got my head together after Corona reared its ugly head, I started experimenting with smoking meats with different kinds of woods etc. as a way to relax. It reminds me of my music creation process.
You must begin with quality basic ingredients, then add seasonings to the point where they are just right and of course timing is of the essence in both. The most important ingredient is love. You can tell by the taste if someone loves what they are doing. We all have had an instance where you get your favorite meal somewhere and it tastes different depending on who is preparing it. If the person cooking loves what they do it will be awesome. On the other hand, if the preparer isn’t feeling it (his cooking mission) you can taste that as well. It’s about the passion of cooking and BBQ that makes us want to get better each time and to experience the reward we get when someone takes a bite of your ‘cue, they smile and possibly get goosebumps. Food and music both do that for me…
Now, to my top 5 barbecue spots in Raleigh:
5. Dickey’s Barbecue (Raleigh, NC)
I discovered Dickey’s by accident though I’d seen their catering truck at many events that I attended. Now I get it. Dickeys’ NC style pulled pork is in my top faves for sure. They smoke everything with hickory wood, have great Brunswick Stew and they also feature next level stuffed potatoes and when I say stuffed, I mean stuffed! Loaded with BBQ or literally any way you want them. I never had pulled pork on a potato before and now I am a fan and will continue doing so. They also have classic sides and desserts to round out your meal to perfection! 6552 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27612
4. Ole Time Barbecue (Raleigh, NC)
This cool little spot on the edge of Downtown Raleigh is a NC staple and has been feeding nearby North Carolina State University students and locals for close to 25 years and they are still going strong. Simplicity is the first word that comes to mind, actually, I digress, delicious is a better word to describe this old school spot that has consistently tasty BBQ. OTB also features the classic Southern offering of a “meat and three” vegetable plate fairly priced and seriously filling. They have superb fried chicken as well and yummy slaw which we know can be a BBQ Pork’s sandwiched best friend. They also have sandwiches, chicken pastry and a rocking Brunswick Stew. And did I say affordable? You get your money’s worth here for sure! 6309 Hillsborough St #1148, Raleigh, NC 27606oletimebarbecue.com
(Editor’s Note: This was a favorite of mine and friend of the blog Boomsauce while at NC State in the early 2000’s)
3. City Barbecue and Catering (North Raleigh, NC)
North Raleigh has a BBQ spot that is worth the drive called “City Barbecue” that has the best brisket I have ever eaten. I have recently started trying to smoke brisket and pork shoulder and I’m getting better but still have a long way to go. What they do at the award-winning City Barbecue is damn near magical. Featuring on-site smokers and hickory wood, the brisket almost disintegrates upon contact. It’s just that tender! And the flavor is outstanding. As any brisket lover knows, the secret is in the bark and they dialed in their seasonings like a champ on this one! 9424 Falls of Neuse Rd #108, Raleigh, NC 27615
2. The Pit Authentic Barbecue (Raleigh and Durham, NC)
You may want to make a reservation for this super popular Downtown Raleigh and Durham eatery! Their celebrated cuisine has been featured on Good Morning America, The Morning Show on CBS and even heralded food publication, Bon Appetit. Hey, they even beat Bobby Flay in a rib challenge.. The Pit not only features Pit-smoked free-range whole hog pork to make their classic North Carolina BBQ but they also have authentic Texas-style brisket and other amazing offerings. They proudly feature North Carolina raised pork. Their entire menu is great! I’ve never had anything bad there, and I’m a bit finicky! 328 W Davie St, Raleigh, NC 27601thepit-raleigh.com
1. Clyde Cooper’s BBQ (Raleigh, NC)
Clyde Cooper’s in downtown Raleigh has been open ever since 1938 and believe me, there is definitely a reason that they have been open for 82 years! A no-frills casual eating spot with Pig memorabilia donning their walls, they have it nailed with their beef brisket, ribs, pulled, coarse and chopped North Carolina style BBQ pork. They proudly use their own signature vinegar based sauce, and cook with wood or a combination of wood and gas which helps give the exquisite smoke rings that make it super tender and a flavor that will have you smiling after your first bite! 327 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27601clydecoopersbbq.com/
Thanks to Christopher for his time and be sure to check out The Neverlutionaries’ new album.
Kingsford Charcoal has announced the “Preserve the Pit” Fellowship to celebrate the Black contribution to barbecue and help aspiring pitmasters through a monetary grant and a hands-on mentorship. That mentorship will be provided by several notable barbecue personalities and pitmasters: Kevin Bludso of Bludso’s BBQ in Compton as well as Netflix’s American Barbecue Showdown, Rashad Jones of Big Lee’s BBQ, Bryan Furman of B’s Cracklin’ Barbeque, Devita Davison of the non-profit FoodLab, Amy Mills of 17th Street Barbecue, and Dr. Howard Conyers of PBS’s Nourish.
It’s fantastic to see Kingsford celebrate Black barbecue and put their money where their mouth is with this fellowship investing in the future of it. I look forward to seeing who makes the class of 2021 and what they do with this great opportunity. Applications are due by March 1 and the inaugural class of fellows will be announced in April.
A sneak peak of Lawrence Barbecue’s setup in Boxyard RTP
Ed Mitchell will be appearing on this panel alongside Dr. Howard Conyers and “Black Smoke” Adrian Miller on February 10
Stay with me here: Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall will offer “Chucktown-style” barbecue in South Jersey; the owner Charles Soreth was inspired by his trip to Charleston for his Chucktown BBQ pop-up, but no word on what exactly “Chucktown” style is
Brooklyn barbecue restaurants taking part in NYC’s Restaurant Week To Go
How craft barbecue and craft chocolate intersect at Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue
This week, Adrian Miller, the James Beard Award-winning author and self-proclaimed “Soul Food Scholar” shared the cover art and preorder link for his forthcoming book entitled “Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue.” As I noted in my recent Barbecue Bros Book Club entry for “North Carolina’s Roadside Eateries” by D.G. Martin, while the John T. Edges and Bob Garners of the world have given us so much in terms of exposing us to places we might never have known about otherwise, it’s well past time to get a different perspective.
I am very much looking forward to reading both this book as well as Rodney Scott’s upcoming book to get just that. “Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue” will be out April 22, 2021 on University of North Carolina Press.
“Black Smoke celebrates the significant contributions that African Americans have made to the American barbecue story. You’ll learn how African Americans honed and popularized a cuisine rooted in Native American culinary tradition, and became its most effective ambassadors. I profile fascinating barbecuers from the past two centuries, look at different aspects of African American barbecue culture, and opine about barbecue’s future.”
The BBQ Review (@BbqRate) is a Twitter account I just found out about
John Tanner’s BBQ Blog visits The Pit in Raleigh for a solid meal
John Tanner also recently shared his favorite barbecue sauces
Congrats to Warner Stamey, founder of Stameys Barbecue, on his Barbecue Hall of Fame induction!
Desiree Robinson of Cozy Corner is also a BBQ Hall of Fame inductee
This UPROXX interview with Rodney Scott covers a lot of the basics you may already know
Horn Barbecue has finally opened in Oakland (finally!)
The Drinking Pig by Chef Raheem Sealey is a weekend pop-up in Northeast Miami Dade
Franklin Barbecue has started shipping briskets through Goldbelly
A second location of Pappy’s Smokehouse has opened in the St. Louis area
LeRoy & Lewis has a Patreon account for exclusive content
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