Longleaf Swine, Raleigh, North Carolina, Part 1

Our Post-Christmas vacation to Florida was interrupted by COVID and that led to the Ride through Hell. Nancy and I regrouped each in our own way. Nancy chose a staycation at a hotel downtown with Liza, Ella, and Lily. I chose a Thursday-Monday barbecue eating trip to North Carolina. My first stop was a family lunch at Longleaf Swine.

It opened fairly recently, close by downtown in a sleek space formerly occupied by a good Cuban/Venezualan restaurant.

Longleaf Swine is one of a host of new barbecue places that were to put Raleigh in the front rank of barbecue cities. Sam Jones has opened a branch there, which I rated even higher than his very good Winterville location, and there’s a Texas-oriented place I suppose I’ll get to eventually.

I ate twice at Longleaf Swine on the trip. I’ll post separately on the two visits, as they brought out different aspects of the restaurant.

The first visit was with my older brother Jim, his sons Jimbo and Henry, and his grandsons Jack and Townsend. You’ve met all of them except Townsend, who was about to leave to return to LSU. It was a first visit to Longleaf Swine for all of us. We looked over the menu, available on the wall and in print, and ordered.

Longleaf Swine cooks whole hog barbecue, which is what we all ordered. Seating indoors was limited, but there’s plenty of seating outside with heaters that the staff is happy to fire up for customers.

We had a view of Gringo a Go Go, a Mexican restaurants across the street festooned with artificial cacti. I commented on it and learned that the US-born owner earlier had owned a restaurant in Mexico. A drug cartel had decided that they wanted the spot, came into the place, and said simply, “Gringo go. Go.” He took the hint and left for Raleigh.

We all studied the menu and got in line to order at the counter. Everyone except me ordered the standard half pound of pork ($11). I ordered a mere sandwich (also $11), which I thought would have only about a third or two fifths of a pound of meat. I was, after all, looking forward to three more barbecue stops that day. Here’s my sandwich, which came with slaw and the collards ($4) and cornbread ($2) I also ordered.

Here’s a typical plate, and the separate orders of slaw ($3), fries ($4), and roasted sweet potatoes with goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, and agave ($5).

Well cooked whole hog barbecue is proof of a benevolent Providence, and this was a very good example of that delicacy. The meat was tender, moist, and graced with wood smoke. The slaw that came on my sandwich was fresh, not overdressed, and added freshness and texture to the sandwich, which came on a toasted bun. The collards were delicious, and the cornbread was an above average example of cornbread (in the tainted with sugar category). It served to soak up all of the potlikker.

I initially thought that Longleaf Swine dis not offer a vinegar-pepper sauce. Actually, their sauce is a vinegar pepper sauce that they strain. The meat had been tossed in such a sauce, but the Longleaf Swine Tangy Sauce contained — and I’m guessing here — both mustard and tomato. The tangy sauce was indeed tangy, and tasted good There was a Carolina Gold Sauce, an execrable Sweet BBQ Sauce, and apparently pepper-free vinegar.

I tasted a few of the fries, ostensibly as vehicles to sample the sauces, and a few more to sample the fries. I really liked them. They’d been dusted with a pleasant seasoning and retained a good potato flavor. I never tried the sweet potatoes, but they didn’t seem to be a hit. All in all, it was a fine meal, blessed with good food, good service, and great company.

That’s enough for this post. I’ll save my second visit (with barbecue royalty) for a later post in which we’ll explore other aspects of Longleaf Swine. With good whole hog barbecue, collards, and fries, a convenient location, and good service, you need to give it a try.


And while you’re at it, click “follow” on our front page to receive blog posts in your email box.  Or bookmark us and check in from time to time.  If you’re planning a trip, you can “Search” the name of the destination city, state, or country for good restaurants (in Europe, often close to sites, like the Louvre or the Van Gogh Museum, that you’ll want to visit in any event). And stick around for news, all manner of recipeshotel reviews, the odd book or movie review, and occasional fine arts and architecture commentary.  Comments, questions, and suggestions of places to eat or stories to cover are very welcome.  And check out our Instagram page, johntannerbbq.


9 thoughts on “Longleaf Swine, Raleigh, North Carolina, Part 1

  1. I know you really like Sam Jones’ restaurants, but I found both the one in Winterville and the newer one in Raleigh sorely lacking. Theoretically he has been or had been running Skylight Inn, and should have come up with a more consistent product. I get really offended by fries that aren’t hot enough, even when they’re brought out to replace, you guessed it, fries that aren’t hot enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not much on fries at barbecue places. I’m a slaw and greens fan. I do like the pork with the bits of skin. Then in Raleigh has very good chicken. The chicken at he Skylight is really bad. A tray is the way to go at Skylight.


  2. Whole Hog BBQ is a Dying Art these days and it is Great to see a place that is doing them to keep the Tradition Alive! Enjoyed your Review and look forward to Part 2.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the review! Our vinegar sauce is strained so the pepper flakes don’t clog the bottle and explode on the customer. It’s our house sauce with apple cider vinegar, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and other dried chilis.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s