Linkdown: 1/30/19

Vote in USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Barbecue in NC

Stamey’s Barbecue with a mini-tweet storm last week; none of which is wrong (click on the tweet below to see the rest):

Sometime it pays to have the fire chief as your pitmaster; a fire broke out in the smokehouse of Skylight Inn last week but Sam Jones was among the firefighters who put the fire out

Rock the Block in downtown Charleston is Saturday, February 23 and benefits Hogs for the Cause; Sam Jones and Justin and Jonathan Fox of Fox Bros BBQ will be in attendance

Conde Nast Travel recently profiled Birmingham and its reinvention and shouted out Rodney Scott’s BBQ, which is opening a store there in 2019

“The city caught my attention because of how pleasant it is,” says Rodney Scott, the James Beard Best Chef Southeast 2018 for his Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston. He’s set to open his next, identical concept in Birmingham first-quarter 2019. “It’s a big city, but it feels like a small town,” he says. “It doesn’t feel like New York or Chicago, but it’s just as important a food city in my opinion.”

WBTV in Charlotte recently featured the “Love Endures” mural by artist Curtis King, which was saved from demolition and now resides behind Sweet Lew’s BBQ

The New York Times’ eating guide for Atlanta for this weekend’s Super Bowl and gives Bryan Furman and B’s Cracklin’ Barbecue a shoutout for being the only whole hog joint in town

Sure, why not?

Linkdown: 7/16/18

– Oh yeah?!? Well, um, no one eats barbecue to be healthy so…

– Bob Garner gets a bit existential in his latest column: What happened to barbecue?

That’s why your traditional view is what I argued in my 1995 first book. It sold a ton of copies in hardback, far more than any of my subsequent books, and nearly all of them were sold in-state.

But, I have to accept that “North Carolina Barbecue: Flavored by Time” is now out of print. We can only visit the memory and greatness of those places at Rocky Mount’s park display commemorating the city’s barbecue heritage.

I could insist on continuing to scribble history books many people won’t buy. Not many among them seem to read history any longer. Doomed to repeat it? I don’t know.

– WRAL’s list of best barbecue in the Triangle dubiously contains two chain restaurants

– Four NC pitmasters, including Adam Hughes of Old Colony Smokehouse in Edenton, will compete on Chopped Grill Masters in an episode airing August 7

– Delish’s 15 best barbecue festivals in the USA includes The Barbecue Festival in Lexington

– Say it ain’t so, Dave. Say it ain’t so.

– The Washington Post food writer Tim Carman managed to find a new angle on a Rodney Scott profile

 

The 10 best NC barbecue joints in Western NC – Honorable Mentions

Monk: Last week I posted my list of the 10 best joints in western North Carolina. Here’s my list of honorable mentions.

Please note: For the purposes of this list, I’m defining “western NC” as west of, but not including, Raleigh. In essence, I am dividing the state geographically by the two styles of barbecue but not limiting this list to purely Lexington-style/Piedmont-style/western-style barbecue joints. Make sense?

Johnson Family Barbecue – Durham (review)

Outside of my usual digging for barbecue joints I had never heard of Johnson Family Barbecue, so it was a pleasant surprise that the barbecue was as good as it was. The makeshift smokehouse shed around back only adds to the charm of the joint, which is connected to a gas station on Wake Forest Highway between Durham and Raleigh/Wake Forest. 5021 Wake Forest Hwy, Durham, NC 27703 johnsonfamilybbq.com

Midwood Smokehouse – Charlotte (review)

As the story goes, if Frank Scibelli can’t get a certain food in Charlotte, he tends to open a restaurant to fill that gap. With Midwood Smokehouse, that gap was wood-smoked barbecue; primarily central Texas brisket and sausage but also but also pan-regional smoked meats such as eastern NC pulled-pork, burnt ends, and ribs. With the latest Park Road location in Charlotte, Midwood Smokehouse is now looking to fill in the gap for wood-smoked whole hog barbecue in Charlotte. various locations midwoodsmokehouse.com

Picnic – Durham (review)

As with Buxton Hall and Old Etowah Smokehouse, Picnic was part of a trend of new whole hog joints outside of eastern NC a few years back. While I found it to be a little on the pricey side, the whole hog was still quite good and worth a return visit whenever I get another chance. 1647 Cole Mill Rd, Durham, NC 27705 picnicdurham.com

The Smoke Pit – Concord, Monroe, Salisbury (review)

What began as a combination butcher shop and barbecue joint has developed into a small chain with locations in Salisbury and as of earlier this year, Monroe. The Smoke Pit does serve pulled pork but is a good bet for the some of the best brisket from a restaurant in the Charlotte-area. various locations thesmokepitnc.com

Smokey Joe’s Barbecue – Lexington (review)

Speedy Lohr’s BBQ – Lexington (review)

Someday, I hope to be able to properly assess all of the 18 or so Lexington barbecue joints and create a comprehensive list. In the meantime, I will say that Smokey Joe’s Barbecue and Speedy Lohr’s BBQ are quite good and in my current top 5 for the small town of approximately 20,000. Smokey Joe’s Barbecue: 1101 S Main St, Lexington, NC 27292 smokeyjoesbbqlexington.com; Speedy Lohr’s: 3664 NC-8, Lexington, NC 27292

Well, what do you think? What joints have I missed the mark on or left off on either this list or the 10 best list entirely? Let me know in the comments below.

Linkdown: 9/13/17

RIP to the original Riverside location of 12 Bones; it is survived by the Arden location and a new Riverside location down the street coming in January 2018

Operation BBQ Relief has been helping out for weeks for Harvey and is now live for Irma

– I’ve never been here but its unfortunate when a joint open this long closes: Lewis’ Barbecue (not to be confused with the Texas joint in Charleston by John Lewis), a 70 year old barbecue restaurant in Clinton has closed

Shots fired at NC barbecue from a San Antonio journalist

Several years ago, a free afternoon during a work-related trip to North Carolina called for an obvious mission: Seek out the finest examples of the barbecue the locals hailed as the world’s best, and gorge accordingly.

But upon completion of this task, which unfortunately involved the ingestion of sad piles of shredded pork doused in a sauce consisting primarily of vinegar, one question lingered over the entire experience.

How can a state love something so much and yet still be so bad at it?

– Per Stacy Franklin, Franklin Barbecue is “hoping to open in the next two weeks” from a Texas BBQ Posse post from 9/7

– More Texas: Goode Co. BBQ in Houston (a joint that helped influence the Charlotte restaurant Midwood Smokehouse) celebrated 40 years of being open recently

– Matthew Odam recently unearthed a series of barbecue reviews from 1978 from recently passed Austin columnist John Kelso

– Always good to refresh the ol’ knowledge tank

Friday Find: Pepsi’s City Tour eats NC barbecue

The Pepsi City Tour is a 3-episode web series, with NC barbecue kicking it all off. They visit B’s Barbecue in Greenville and Stamey’s Barbecue in Greensboro represents the west (or Lexington-style). The video has blatant product placement for Pepsi (duh) but does have some good soundbites from the proprietors of each joint. Check it out above.

In North Carolina you’re either an East Style BBQ or West Style BBQ lover. We asked masters from both sides of the state to show us what makes their hush puppies, pulled pork and slaw the very best.

Linkdown: 11/25/15

– CNN calls the combination of barbecue and  football a “rapturous experience” and calls out places in some rivalry games this coming weekend including Allen & Son, Stamey’s, and Raleigh’s The Pit

– “Dipped” chicken is available at some some barbecue restaurants in NC including Bar-B-Q King in Charlotte and Lancaster’s BBQ in Mooresville and Huntersville

– Missed this a few weeks back but Southern Foodways weighed in on Calvin Trillin’s New Yorker article on NC barbecue

– We’ll lay off him since the Panthers are 10-0 and he only joined the team in week 4, but Jared Allen favors KC barbecue over NC

CM: You played in Kansas City for a while. Let’s talk barbecue.
JA: I know Charlotte’s probably going to hate me for this, hands down I think Kansas City has the best barbecue in the world. They have a variety. You can go to Arthur Bryant’s up there and get kind of the Carolina style, the more vinegar-y, and I’m not huge on the vinegar. Although it is nice because it’s not as smoky, but for some reason when I think I’m going to get barbecue, I plan on being really miserably full at the end of it. You know? [Editor’s note: The Panthers are 9-0. Nobody here can hate you. Unless you talk smack about Price’s.]

The good part out here is that I’m not miserably full. It’s not that heavy; it’s a lighter barbecue. But yeah, barbecue is great.

– In “so what” news, eastern NC barbecue is ruled healthier than its Lexington counterpart

– Making the South Carolina specialty

 

Linkdown: 7/9/14

How well do you know southern barbecue? Take this ten question Garden & Gun Magazine quiz to find out.

– This weekend’s Carolina West RibFest (formerly the Carolina Mountain RibFest) in Asheville will feature Mexican wrestlers and fire breathers in addition to ribs

barbecuerankings hits up Skylight Inn and B’s, Wilber’s, and Grady’s this week

la Barbecue is moving to the GoodLife Food Park in early August and will add a third pit

– Gear Patrol hits up 6 “must-eat” BBQ stops inTexas (via bbqboard)

– A Thrillist list of “6 most important barbecue sauce styles in the country” includes both eastern and western NC (via)

– Despite all its delicious barbecue, NC only managed 11th in this Thrillist list of the 50 states ranked by their food and drink; hey, at least we weren’t Virginia (#32)

“Virginia is for lovers, country ham aficionados and wishing that BBQ you’re eating had come from North Carolina.”

– Kevin Gillespie (of Top Chef fame) borrowed a burn barrel from Rodney Scott and cooked whole hog barbecue this past weekend; he will be opening a barbecue restaurant called Terminus City in Atlanta next Spring

Smoky, smoky mountains: The changing face of North Carolina barbecue

A fairly lengthy article (too long and well researched for just a simple inclusion in a linkdown) on the history of mountain barbecue in western North Carolina and where it may be heading. Definitely worth a read.

-Monk

Smoky, smoky mountains: The changing face of North Carolina barbecue

Linkdown: 5/13/14

– North Carolina is #2 on TripAdvisor’s “Top 10 States for BBQ.” Sure, I guess I can buy that. #1 on the list? Georgia…wait, what?

– Speaking of Georgia, here’s an interview with native son Myron Mixon from Conde Nast Traveler

– Statesville has a place that serves both eastern and western NC barbecue

– Another list of barbecue around the world, entitled “From the Philippines to Australia, a Gorgeous Look at BBQ Around the World”

– Eater’s guide to eating brisket in NYC, including Barbecue Bros fave Mighty Quinn’s

– Unfortunately, you need a subscription to read the whole article on barbecue styles in the Houston area, but there are these two fantastic sentences just before the paywall:

There are a lot of different styles in the United States, but the two barbecue heavyweights are North Carolina and Texas. Barbecue folks in Kansas City and Memphis are going to take umbrage at that statement, but that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

A recap of last week’s Getting Jiggy with the Piggy last weekend in Concord

– The Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, as well as the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship that takes place alongside it, will remain in Raleigh until at least 2018 

– Alton Brown’s favorite barbecue is…North Carolina barbecue (specifically eastern; question and answer is at 2:13 of the linked video). 

Tacos faced barbecue in this final round of Food Network’s “Regional Foods Face-Off” bracket. Spoiler alert: barbecue won.

Congratulations, barbecue! You are the pride of the South. If you think about it, what’s more American than barbecue? It was born and bred in the United States. And even though there are different types of barbecuing methods, preparations and sauces, which are very often hotly contested between states, at the end of the day it’s easy to bring together a crowd of family and friends when there’s a barbecue nearby. And with summer just around the corner, it’s time to pull out those grills and dust off those barbecue pits because grilling season is ahead!

– Not sure how long it’s been up, but the website for Ed Mitchell’s ‘Que is live and you can take a look at the menu here; full plates include both chopped and pulled eastern Carolina whole hog as well as chopped bbq turkey, brisket, ribs, fried chicken, and bbq half-chickens. The original opening was in April, but hopefully we’ll hear more details soon