Mrs. Monk recently took a weekend trip away to Nashville with some friends and while she was able to escape me for the weekend, she wasn’t so fortunate when it came to barbecue. Mind you, this wasn’t intentional and the only reason she ended up here was because her and her friends happened upon Papa Turney’s Old Fashion BBQ after making a wrong turn on the way to a ropes course outside of Nashville.
While she didn’t offer a full review, here were her ratings:
Atmosphere/ambiance – 2 hogs (they told us to sit but its really counter service)
Pork – 3 hogs
Chopped Brisket – 3 hogs
Sausage – 1 hog (really just a fat hot dog)
Sides – 3 hogs (they were out of collards and the mac and cheese portion was tiny)
Overall – 2.5 hogs
– More on fair food at the NC State Fair (which starts tomorrow) and whoops:
Only one of the dishes I tried was outright bad, and that was the barbecue-and-coleslaw waffle sandwich. It was somehow extraordinarily greasy, even by fair food standards, and the barbecue mostly just tasted like smoke.
– The Polar Pig Cook-Off, formerly held in Mount Pleasant (NC), will be held at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center on November 10 and 11; the event will feature vendor tents, a Kids Zone, a beer garden, live music, and the barbecue competition (including a people’s choice award)
– People Food and Zagat have named Skylight Inn the most popular restaurant in NC
– Filing away for future potential use:
– Daniel Vaughn of TMBBQ explores west Tennessee whole hog and discovers Ramey’s Whole Hog Bar-B-Q in Parsons, about 90 minutes outside of Nashville
– 45 years ago Monday:
Name: Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que
Address: 714 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Order: Bar-B-Que Combo (chopped pork, brisket, and sausage) with jalapeno mac and cheese and coleslaw (link to menu)
Monk: While our last barbecue stop on the Monk family vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee was a bit of a bust for reasons other than barbecue we got another opportunity a couple days later while we were playing tourist in downtown Gatlinburg. Across the street from the aerial tram Ober Gatlinburg (our main plans for the day), just happened to be Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que and made the decision easy for us.
I know from the review of the Pigeon Forge store from Marie, Let’s Eat! that I was to expect fine-but-not-exceptional barbecue and guess what? Grant was right. The pork was perfectly acceptable but Bennett’s seemed to be very proud of their four sauces found on the table. None of them made a huge difference in the again, perfectly acceptable pork.
The brisket was dry and below average while the best of the three meats that day was the sliced sausage. A little of the table mustard sauce accentuated it nicely. This was the favorite meat of both myself and Mrs. Monk.
Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que is part of the locally-owned Johnson Family chain of restaurants that includes pizza, southern, and ice cream with locations in nearby Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. To their credit, they could serve below-average barbecue to tourists simply because they know that they’ll continue to make money regardless but thankfully that’s not the case. While they are a tourist destination that happens to serve halfway decent barbecue, it won’t blow your mind.
For more reviews, check out:
Marie, Let’s Eat
Atmosphere – 2 hogs
Pork – 2.5 hogs
Beef – 2 hogs
Sausage – 3.5 hogs
Sides – 2.5 hogs
Overall – 2.5 hogs
– Way to go, Ace Biscuit & Barbecue: owner Brian Ashworth kicks Nazis out of his restaurant in Charlottesville
– Jamie Foxx made a stop at Stamey’s last week while in town for a Global Entrepreneurs convention at the Greensboro Coliseum across the street
– Carrboro’s got a new upscale yuppie-que joint called CrossTies Barbecue, which is housed in a vintage refurbished railroad car
– As we North Carolinians have known for centuries, barbecue needs acid not sugar
– Tasting Table: American Barbecue Is the Next Big International Food Trend
– Aaron Franklin has no plans to ever open a second location; there just aren’t enough cows
It takes 53 cows per day to keep up with current operations, and these are a special kind of cow. “I even struggle now to get enough [brisket],” he adds. The market is so small that when fast-food chain Arby’s hopped on the brisket trend, it drove up the cost of brisket for Franklin by $2. “We don’t use commodity brisket at all,” he explains. “But once the commodity supply runs out, then people start trying to upgrade, and that’s where we got into trouble.”
– Eater Nashville has a preview of Pat Martin’s new fast food burger and barbecue restaurant, Hugh Baby’s BBQ and Burger Shop opening in late August
– Marie takes over for Grant on their visit to some old favorite joints in Athens, GA
– The “metro Greenville, NC” area (LOL) get’s a shoutout in SI’s Andy Staples and his “America’s Best College Town Meals” column; there are also a few other barbecue spots highlighted for other college towns
If you want to really do it right, spoon some of that pork between two pieces of cornbread. The bread lives somewhere between loaf and cake, and a bite that mixes that bread, that pork and those delectable cracklins is about as close to heaven as we can get here on Earth.
– From Joe Haynes, the author who brought us Virginia Barbecue, comes Brunswick Stew: A Virginia Tradition out in October:
– Grant finds some decent cue but some great fries at Love That BBQ in Knoxville
– Elliott Moss’s favorite spots for hash in his home state of SC
– The supposed golden age of Texas barbecue means “waiting is the price you pay for transcendence”
– In search of great barbecue at last weekend’s Windy City Smokeout
– Aaron Franklin with tips to improve your backyard smoker in Esquire
– Stubb’s (the restaurant) will be changing names after settling a lawsuit with Stubb’s (the sauce)
– From the G&G archives
– The Indy Week: A North Carolina Barbecue Camp Misses the Point About America’s Most Politicized Food
– The latest in the Good Eatin’ series: Southern Smoke BBQ in Garland is open only twice a week and is the rare NC barbecue joint where you will wait in line
– Marie, Let’s Eat! visits three independently-owned locations of the Choo Choo Bar-B-Que chain around Chattanooga, with varying results
– The folks behind The Great NC BBQ Map are back at it again
– Timber Creek Mulch in Sherrills Ford sells high quality wood lump charcoal across the country
“It’s a higher use for this wood – whether it’s being used for charcoal or firewood,” he said. “You can take something that’s in one state and transform it into something else with just a little bit of labor. It’s a useful product – the firewood keeps someone warm and makes them happy. That’s the key component – when you do something like art or charcoal that people are making good food with or even firewood that they’re heating their house with or burning in a fire pit outside – you can look at it and think somebody is enjoying that. I like that – I like making people happy.”
– An Atlanta-based private equity group is purchasing Jim ‘N Nick’s and its 37 restaurants in the southeast
– Has GQ never been to Hometown BBQ?
– A writer for the Virginian-Pilot tools around Greenville, NC and eats barbecue for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
– The legacy of Maurice Bessinger will live on the site of a former Piggie Park location despite a new owner’s wishes, specifically because Bessinger meant for it to
Unfortunately for Daras, he doesn’t own the flagpole-sized plot, though, because Bessinger sold the flag pole and the land it’s sitting on to a Confederate veterans’ group, precisely so he could ensure it would never be taken down.
– Sean Evans of First We Feasts Hot Ones, tries all of the barbecue at the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party
– Food & Wine on the culinary fusion happening in Texas barbecue
– The latest barbecue stops for Marie, Let’s Eat! are both in Chattanooga: Big Jeff Barbecue and Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que
– The runners up to the Texas Magazine Top 50 BBQ list
– The latest in the News & Observer Good Eatin’ series is a look at B’s Barbecue in Greenville
At some point in the late ’80s, the road on the side of the restaurant took on its name, but spelled “B’s Barbeque Road” with a “q.” To little surprise, the sign has gone missing several times. B’s Barbeque Road is the first left turn when coming into Greenville from the west on U.S. 264.
– City Barbeque opens its University location June 19 with a grand opening party on June 24
– The NC Blueberry Festival BBQ Cookoff, part of the Whole Hog Barbecue Series, is this weekend in Burgaw
– Bacon-wrapped bacon:
– Marie, Let’s Eat! finds some decent barbecue in Chattanooga in Big Jeff Barbeque
– Zagat’s and The Huffington Post has 12 pitmasters you need to know as part of their BBQ Nation microsite
– The Chicago Tribune is updating daily in June for 30 days of Chicago barbecue
– Robert Moss will be part of a hash panel in Greenwood, SC on July 7
The making of kettle-cooked hash is a culinary tradition unique to the Palmetto State, according to food and drink writer and culinary historian, Robert F. Moss.
“It’s something you can only get in South Carolina,” Moss said. “It’s one of the great barbecue stews. It’s sort of like a really delicious, thick, slow-simmered meat gravy.
“It really developed in South Carolina as part of fall hog-killing time, as a way to use up all the pieces and parts of the hog,” Moss added.
– SC is home to 4 different barbecue sauces: here’s recipes for each
– Happy belated Bojangles Day, you guys!
– Helen’s Bar-B-Q makes a big impression on Marie, Let’s Eat!
– They also quite liked Papa KayJoe’s BBQ in Centerville, TN though they are currently operating with a different smoker due to a fire
– National Geographic’s list of best barbecue in America runs through a few options in several barbecue locales
– From 2013, Relish Magazine has their own list of the 10 best barbecue restaurant that was clearly tweeted out for Memorial Day
– Honorable mentions for the TMBBQ Top 50 inclues the meats, desserts, and atmosphere that didn’t quite make the list
– Jim N’ Nick’s has opened in Mount Pleasant
– Sauceman’s has expanded both its building and its hours and Charlotte Agenda has the details on that as well as their grand reopening this Friday that will feature two whole hogs
– While the NCAA investigation of UNC reaches its 7th year, there’s at least this: