I drove down to North Carolina to spend a couple of days eating at barbecue places in the North Carolina Piedmont. I had planned to focus on Lexington, NC, but I got hungry, so my first stop was Stamey’s in Greensboro, a long-standing barbecue place listed on both the North Carolina Barbecue Trail and True ‘Cue.
There are two branches of Stamey’s in Greensboro. I picked the one on Gate City Blvd. (the Boulevard formerly known as High Point Road) because I had read that Stamey’s does all the cooking for both locations there. By “all the cooking” I mean all the barbecuing. Stamey’s cooks 15 pound pork shoulders in a brick pit. They cook the meat directly over hickory coals so that when the fat drips onto the coals it will send smoke up to flavor the pork.
Stacey’s is well situated, across the street from the Greensboro Coliseum and the ACC Hall of Champions. The building is pretty new, having replaced the original structure in 1979 — yesterday in barbecue terms.
It’s big and roomy, and attracts the mix of people you like to see in a barbecue place: people in suits and in overalls, old and young, black and white, and a couple of Asian-Americans.
I got the regular chopped pork plate (not the large), which came with slaw and my choice of a roll or hush puppies. Easy choice.
It cost $5.95. And it tasted good. It has a medium chop and a mix of inside and outside meat. The meat is moist and tender and tastes of pork and smoke.
Like other places in the Piedmont, Stamey’s serves red slaw — basically finely chopped or grated cabbage with vinegar-based barbecue sauce. The red comes from ketchup, which is a greater or lesser element in Piedmont barbecue sauces. Actually, the Piedmont places call it “dip” rather than sauce. The slaw at Stamey’s tastes peppery but a little sweet. It tastes good, as do the hushpuppies. That’s a lot of hushpuppies.
I was planning a second lunch, so I skipped dessert. That may have been a mistake. I heard some very enthusiastic comments from customers about the cobbler.
Stacey’s is a good place. The food tastes good, and it’s dirt cheap. I would love, dearly love to have it in Washington. But I kept thinking that there was something missing. You should go there and let me know what you think.
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