The Dean Dome, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Nancy and I went to the North Carolina-Miami game at the Dean Dome with my brother Jim and my sister-in-law Cantey.  I had never been to a game there and was looking forward to it.  I also was interested to see a catering truck from Bullock’s Bar-B-Que.

Jim tells me that Bullock’s fried chicken is better than their barbecue.  As a practical matter, however, you can only serve chicken fingers and filets at sporting events, and Chick-fil-A had those bases ably covered.  Proper fried chicken contains bones, and you can’t have bones in a sports stadiums or disgruntled fans — and fans always get disgruntled about something  during a game — will throw them.  Ribs are particularly dangerous.

dean dome caterer

I had a pork sandwich with a side of slaw.

dean dome sandwich

It tasted pretty good.  It had no wood smoke taste, of course, but it was moist and had a nice vinegar tang.  Nancy liked hers.  The barbecue threaded the Scylla of dryness and the Charybdis of mushiness, the two perils of steam table barbecue.  The slaw was okay but had an unwelcome touch of oil, which turns out to be particularly dangerous when you’re sitting in a stadium seat and jump up to cheer frequently.  A drop will fall on your trousers unless you’re more careful than a normal human can be at a basketball game.

The game was even better than the sandwich, at least for Tarheel fans.  Carolina beat Miami like a red-headed stepchild.  And the referees obligingly — and inevitably — made their full quota of marginal calls that disgruntled the Carolina fans and justified the decision not to have Bullock’s fried chicken.


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