After a very good meal — a delightful meal, really — at Richard’s on Thursday evening, I got a good night’s sleep back in Mooresville. The next morning I got up and had a well- above-average free breakfast at the Mooresville Fairfield Inn, and wended my way to Albemarle, North Carolina, the county seat of Stanly County. If you want to get to Albemarle, you pretty well have to wend your way, because it isn’t on the way to much of anywhere else. At least for now, it’s just beyond the reach of the rapidly expanding Charlotte suburbs.
So I wended. My goal was the Log Cabin Bar-B-Que there. The Log Cabin is on both the Our State list of 26 Essential NC Barbecue Places and the Campaign for Real Barbecue list of places in North Carolina that still cook the good old way, without gas or electricity, just wood. It’s always reassuring to see a separate smokehouse as you drive around back to park.
The Log Cabin is a welcoming place, with a couple of rocking chairs on the front porch, along with a couple of tables for folks who want to dine outside.
Inside, Log Cabin has wood paneling and a non-excessive number of vintage signs. Service is fast and friendly, and the prices are great. They had a special of four barbecue sandwiches for $10 (normally they’re $3 each.) Think about that next time you order a sandwich wherever you live.
After four meals the day before and a good breakfast that morning, I ordered a small pork plate with red slaw. They also have white slaw, but the waitress said the red slaw was better, and it usually is. It came with three hushpuppies.
The pork was excellent, the best of the trip so far, and, as you know, I’d eaten some really good barbecue at Countryside and Richard’s. The pork was full of flavor, tender and moist with a good solid smoke taste and a lovely pork flavor. It had a medium chop and a nice amount of outside meat. I ate most of it without even thinking of sauce, although the fairly mild vinegar and pepper sauce turned out to be good.
The red slaw, too, was excellent, with a nice vinegar-pepper mix. The three hushpuppies — you can get a roll with the pork plate but the waitress correctly figured I’d want hushpuppies — were larger than usual, and just a touch doughy. Not great, but good.
By now, you’re remembering that I said that three hushpuppies came with my order, and wondering about those four other fried things on my plate. For my second side, I ordered corn dog nuggets. I normally would have ordered green beans, or perhaps macaroni and cheese, but I had seen corn dog nuggets on the menu at Richards, too. I haven’t eaten a corn dog since before you were born, and I can’t say I remembered them with particular fondness, but if you go through life without trying new things, you miss some of life’s great joys. Did you know that some people wander through life without ever eating raw oysters? It’s so sad.
Here’s a close-up of a cross-section of a corn dog nugget —
The Log Cabin corn dog nuggets actually are quite good. They’re not at all over-breaded, and yellow mustard — hot dogs dearly love yellow mustard — makes them shine, metaphorically speaking. I’m glad I ordered them. It may be a while before I order corn nuggets again, but I’m sure I’ll try another batch one of these days. As with, say, chili dogs or crown burgers, you certainly don’t want to eat them every day, or even every week, but some days you just need a chili dog. With mustard and raw onion.
But let’s set corn nuggets aside. You should go to Log Cabin Bar-B-Que for the pork and the slaw. It’s well worth the drive. Go. Give it a try.