My Aunt, Ann Griffin, and my cousin, Sinclair Griffin Lee, both of the Bill’s Griffins, sent me this article, Sunday and Parker’s Brunswick Stew, from the Wilson Times. It celebrates a childhood of going to Parker’s for Sunday dinner after trying unsuccessfully to sit still during church. And it especially celebrates Parker’s Brunswick Stew. The article provides the Parker’s recipe for Brunswick Stew, which differs from the recipe for Brunswick Stew that Nana, aka Selma Shadburn Griffin, included in her cookbook. You may find the Parker’s recipe to be more accessible, depending on whether you can get good barbecue more easily than you can get a hog’s head. Here in DC, alas, hogs’ heads are much easier to find that good pork barbecue.
I really, really like Parker’s for a lot of reasons, but for longtime I was not a fan huge of Brunswick Stew, at Parker’s or anywhere else. I put it a step above South Carolina Hash, but it always seemed bland to my — I like spicy foods. But if you add some barbecue sauce — and I mean honest vinegar-pepper sauce like the great sauce at Parker’s — that gives it authority. Parker’s has great fried chicken, excellent slaw, very good green beans, and pork that is very tasty, even if it is cooked over gas. They also have other-worldly corn sticks — easily the best corn sticks on earth, corn sticks that make hush puppies weep over their own relative inadequacy. Indeed, I suspect that much of the author’s love of Brunswick Stew came from using corn sticks instead of a spoon to scoop it up.
The best time to go to Parker’s is 12:05 p.m. on a Sunday. That puts you in Parker’s before even the most clock-conscious Presbyterians can arrive from church. Everything will be perfectly hot and fresh, especially the corn sticks, which should be (and will be) eaten immediately. And it’s just good to eat among a whole bunch of families eating together.
But then Parker’s is good any time, such as after another successful duck hunting trip by the Raleigh Tanners — Jimbo, Jack and Eli.
Sometimes I think that they go duck hunting just to eat barbecue.
Go to Parker’s. Enjoy.
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