B’s Barbecue is good. It is real good.
Having completed the brief in my redistricting case, and still upset over the travesty of the Pitmasters “Carolina” pork sandwich, I decided to take a quick trip to Eastern North Carolina to get some real barbecue and to try some places off my usual route to the beach. (We always stop for lunch at Parker’s and then a second lunch at Wilber’s.)
B’s was stop number 1 and it was so good that I recommend East Carolina University, which is expanding closer and closer to B’s, to anyone looking for a good place to go to college. It looks like a good barbecue place and it smells like one.
There is seating inside and a separate carry-out window next to some outdoor picnic tables. You can get carry-out inside as well as outside and there’s a good bit of jockeying to guess which line will move faster,
(That isn’t a whiskey bottle on the table. That’s their sauce.) There were about 12-15 people in each line in a light rain when I arrived at 11:20 a.m., but the lines thinned some when it started pouring. Once inside, you see the hardest working people in all barbecue, rushing to prepare plates and sandwiches for customers in and out, all to the rhythm of cleavers chopping pork. It was beautiful.
Atmosphere isn’t everything, though. The key is the food, and B’s has very good pit-cooked pork and what may be the best barbecued chicken in the world.
The pork has a medium chop, a good grill flavor, and good texture. It is moist and delicious. The sauce is vinegar and red pepper flakes. I prefer the vinegar/powdered cayenne sauce at Wilber’s, but this is a good, solid barbecue sauce. The chicken is everything that slow-cooked chicken should be – smoky and tender with a delicious skin. It occurred to me that some of Miss Myra’s white sauce would go well with it but it certainly did not need any. Delicious. The cole slaw was ok, but the corn sticks were very, very good – almost as good as Parker’s. All for $10.
Outside a couple of young boys – maybe 10 years old – were selling boil’ peanuts. I bought a couple of bags and asked them what they were raising money for and they looked at me curiously and said, “Ourselves”. A woman told me that their divorced parents simply could not afford to pay for a field trip to Kings Dominion, so they scrounged up enough money to buy raw peanuts and then spent the necessary hours — maybe a full day — washing, boiling, cooling and bagging them; and then sat in the meager shelter that the eaves at B’s offered from the rain for more hours until they had sold every bag. In my neighborhood kids sit in the shade and sell brownies baked or bought by their mothers to raise money for far away causes while their parents stand nearby and watch over them. It’s good to get outside the Beltway and see America.