Linkdown: 1/24/18

– Three Charlotte barbecue restaurants make this fries list, including The Improper Pig’s sweet potato waffle fries, Midwood Smokehouse’s pimento cheese fries, and Seoul Food Meat Co.’s kimchi fries


– Bob Garner’s latest for The Daily Reflector waxes poetic on The Angus Barn in Raleigh

– For these cold we’ve been experiencing the past few weeks, Midwood Smokehouse has seven new soups for the soul including the loaded baked potato with pulled pork and brisket and a brunswick stew

– Men’s site The Manual has a podcast on barbecue and booze

Finally, the conversation turns toward what the panel was all waiting for: booze pairings. Slaughter suggests (and the guys all agreed) the best booze pairing for barbecue is a definitely a whisk(e)y with a smokey, peaty flavor. Scotch is possibly the most appropriate since it calls back to the smokiness of the meat. The group also touches on wine pairings, emphasizing that a bolder, heavier, red wine is best, such as a Zinfandel or a Napa Cabernet.


– Bib’s Downtown in Winston-Salem contributed some comfort food recipes for the local Fox affiliate

– Keanu voice: Whoa.

Linkdown: 5/25/16

– Another writeup on Rien Fertel’s latest book, The One True Barbecue, with the tagline “Get to Ayden before it’s too late”…now too late for what, I’m not quite sure

– Speaking of Ayden, this past weekend it became home to the Kings of Q BBQ Cook-off and Festival

– Three questions with The Improper Pig, who started a food truck just in time for the summer

– A very interesting read on how Daniel Vaughn helped Tuffy Stone’s Cool Smoke competition team lose at this month’s Memphis in May

– Vaughn also weighs in with an appreciation of The Salt Lick, which sometimes gets unfairly maligned as “overrated”

– The Wall Street Journal profiles Melissa Cookston, “the most decorated woman in competitive barbecue” (h/t)

– Grant’s latest Georgia barbecue stops: The Butt Hutt in Athens, Tucker’s Bar-B-Q in Macon, Hudson’s BBQ in Roberta, and Piggie Park in Thomaston

– Catching up with Robert Moss’ latest entries for The Daily South: a writeup on The One True Barbecue and the end of a Savannah BBQ legend; here’s an excerpt from the first linked article on whole hog:

Whether the whole hog tradition is dying out or evolving into a new form is left unsettled. By the end of the story, Chris Siler at Siler’s Old Time has switched to pork shoulders after it got too hard to procure whole hogs, and Ricky Parker is gone, dead from liver disease at only 51. At the same time, a new generation of cooks from other walks of life, like Tyson Ho at Arrogant Swine in Brooklyn, NY, and Elliot Moss at Buxton Hall in Asheville, NC, have made the “journey into the madness of whole-hog fanaticism.”

– Always worth revisiting the basics

Linkdown: 9/18/13

– Another week, another top 10 barbecue list, albeit one that doesn’t include a NC joint but instead features a California restaurant that cooks “Carolina pulled pork” 

Queen City Q is one of 9,000 restaurants participating in No Kid Hungry; read details here

– Here’s what it’s like to be a barbecue judge (via)

– Catawba County EMS is holding its annual barbecue and chili cook-off, “Butts-N-Beans,” on October 5 in Vale

– Dickey’s Barbecue opens its Ballantyne location in Charlotte this Saturday (fart noise)

– A Wake Forest man is hoping to get his barbecue sauce made through a Lifetime reality competition called “Supermarket Superstar”

– Watch The Salt Lick this Wednesday:

Linkdown: 8/28/13

 In case you missed it, here is Food & Wine’s list of “Best BBQ Cities” which includes Western NC (Lexington and surrounding area) as well as Eastern NC (Raleigh and surrounding area)

In Lexington proper, off Highway 29-70, no-frills Lexington Barbecue has pitmasters who expertly smoke pork shoulder and little else; in Greensboro, Stamey’s Old Fashioned Barbecue makes the best sandwich in town, topped with a pleasantly vinegary slaw and served on paper plates.

– So there’s this: Dallas, TX-based barbecue chain Dickey’s is opening their first Charlotte area restaurant and 15th overall in NC

– How much barbecue can Wells Fargo finance?” They have expanded into agricultural lending in eastern NC by adding a team of agricultural lenders in cities like Greenville, Goldsboro, Kinston, Rocky Mount and several others

– The Wine & Swine festival in Corolla makes Our State magazine’s 5 Things Every North Carolinian Should Do In September list

– Speaking of wine, Our State magazine has a wine pairing guide that focuses on the two styles of NC barbecue

– Jester King Brewery and The Salt Lick have collaborated on a pecan wood smoked saison beer called “Censored,” so named because the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission wouldn’t allow them to use The Salt Lick’s name due to some weird restriction which is too bad since the original logo was kind of bad ass:

(image via)

– And finally, with football season about to start, Queen City Q just announced its food truck plans for the season

The Salt Lick BBQ – Driftwood, TX

Name: The Salt Lick
Date: 5/5/2012 
Location: 18300 FM 1826, Driftwood TX
Order: Family Style, all you can eat beef brisket, sausage, pork ribs, potato salad, cole slaw, beans, and bread (link to menu)
Bill: ~$25 per person

Rudy: With Memorial Day upon us, let’s get one thing straight: barbecue is not a thing you host (i.e. “We’re having people over for a barbecue”) –  that is a cookout. Barbecue is smoked meat. Growing up in North Carolina I always thought that only meant smoked pork. However, moving to Texas has taught me that BBQ also stands for beef brisket. And it is beautiful.   

Speedy: I think we all agree that barbecue is a noun, not a verb, and I’ll even agree that it can include brisket, ribs, sausage, or even chicken and turkey for the lady-folk, but we all know that chopped pork is the king of smoked meats. But we were in the heart of Texas, so I was willing to put aside my pre-conceived barbecue notions and sample some Texas ‘cue.

Monk: With that in mind, I was so very pumped that we were going to be able to make the 35 minute drive outside of Austin to Driftwood, which is truly in the middle of nowhere. Once you finally get there, the ranch itself is pretty impressive. In addition to the restaurant itself, which contains indoor and outdoor seating, the Salt Lick Cellar sells wine and champagne and there is also a banquet hall for events or weddings. Speaking of alcohol, that brings me to one of the best parts of The Salt Lick experience – it is BYOB. Just load up a cooler with all of the Lone Stars it can fit and have a seat while you wait for a table. Waits can potentially be long, though it only took our group about 20 minutes on a Saturday for lunch to get called. There was even a live band playing to entertain while you wait. Not a bad way to kill time while you prepare yourself for what’s to come.

Speedy: The first thing you notice when being walked to the table is the barbecue pit. It’s a circular stone pit with a wood fire and brisket, ribs, and sausage piled high on the grill. It is literally the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. We were seated at picnic tables and our incredible experience was about to begin.

Rudy: And incredible it was.  The menu allows you to pick and choose a meat or two a la carte, or for $19.95 you can pick the all you can eat option, which includes brisket, ribs, sausage, and 2 sides.  

Monk: Since we’re serious about our barbecue…

Speedy: …and because we’re men…

Monk: …we went with the all you can eat option, ordering baked beans and slaw to go along with our meal.

Speedy: The food came out relatively quickly, with the sides, bread, and a plate piled high with the meat. Clearly, this wasn’t going to be enough, so we ordered a second plate immediately and started digging in.

Rudy: I really enjoyed the sausage.  It had lots of flavor and did not have a hard consistency like it had been mass produced.  

Monk: I’m relatively new to Texas-style barbecue sausage, but I agree with Rudy that it had a lot of flavor. There are a few local places in Charlotte that try this style, and I’m becoming a fan the more and more I have it. This, obviously, was better than what we can get in Charlotte.

Rudy: The brisket was also very good, and could have been eaten without needing sauce, except for our 2nd (of 3) plate.  That brisket was very fatty.  However the brisket was still juicy and delicious overall.  

Speedy: Honestly, I was a little disappointed in the brisket. The good brisket we got was very good, but the second plate was really disappointing. I know brisket is really difficult to cook, but I was hoping for a bit more consistency between the briskets. Don’t get me wrong – it was still good – I just knew that second plate could be so much better. I do want to mention the sauce here. Provided to us was a spicy BBQ sauce that mixed really well this the brisket. I actually thought the sauce was so good that I found myself sopping up the leftovers on my plate with bread and eating that.

Monk: True that on the sauce. I had more bread than I reasonably should have just by doing exactly what Speedy just described. As for the ribs, they were very solid, with the tender texture you would expect from a reputable barbecue joint.

Rudy: My only complaint was the side dishes.  They put almost no effort into them and they were very disappointing.  But this is a Barbecue Blog and not a side dish blog, so we’ll move on.  

Speedy: Overall, we had a really great time. Big ups to Rudy for showing us his ‘hood and taking us to this great place.

Monk: Word. I’m not sure that I even ate anything the rest of the day – partly because I have a tiny stomach and partly because the food was just that good.

Rudy: The Salt Lick may not be the best barbecue in Texas, but it’s not too far off. The atmosphere itself puts it up there with the elites.  It was a great way to show Speedy and Monk that barbecue doesn’t just come from pigs.  

Atmosphere/Ambiance – 5 hogs

Brisket – 3 hogs
Sausage – 4 hogs
Ribs – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 1 hog
Overall – 4 hogs


The Salt Lick Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon