The ‘Cue Sheet, Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge, and John Shelton Reed

I’ve mentioned Robert Moss and his weekly barbecue newsletter, The ‘Cue Sheet, many times. I especially enjoyed the current issue (June 14). It features a lovely profile of Little Bridges Cabannis, the woman behind Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge, one of the great barbecue places. She married “Red” Bridges and they started the first Bridges barbecue in 1946, and she was the driving force behind the business, especially after Red passed on in 1966. It’s now being run by the third generation of the family, who are the loveliest people you want to meet.

Although the formal name is still Bridges Barbecue Lodge — see the sign — Bridges is

universally known as Red Bridges to distinguish it from Alston Bridges Barbecue, also in Shelby, where they cook the meat with gas or electricity — I’m not sure which, and really don’t care. The idea of being in Shelby and not eating at Red Bridges is absurd. I had one of the most enjoyable meals of my life there, back when I first reviewed it here, and have loved it ever since. You really should try it.

The big news, though, is that John Shelton Reed has published a book, On Barbecue, which you can and definitely should order here. Dr. Reed, also known as the Godfather, is the co-founder of the Campaign for Real Barbecue, of which I am a minion, and the author of numerous books on the South and barbecue and food. He’s very smart (MIT, Columbia), he was Scott Griffin’s favorite professor at Chapel Hill, and he’s a mensch. And he knows how to write. I am eagerly awaiting a copy of his book.

There’s a lot more news in The ‘Cue Sheet, in this and every issue. You really should sign up. It’s free, informative, and always interesting. And order your copy of On Barbecue.

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