Charlotte need no longer skulk about when people are talking about barbecue. Noble Smoke has arrived and Charlotte can hold its head high: they have a Top Place. It was not always so. Famously, when Charlotte was announced as the site of the 2012 Democratic Convention, Michelle Obama touted Charlotte’s “great barbecue.” Mayor Anthony Foxx, perhaps America’s most honest elected official since … George Washington … Continue reading Noble Smoke, Charlotte, North Carolina
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Why does Lexington Barbecue #1 make me quote poetry, as it did in my first review, here? For now, let’s just say that if you come across a Best Barbecue list that does not include Lexington #1 just tear it up and throw it straight into the trash. Well, if you’re looking at the Best … Continue reading Back to Lexington Barbecue #1, Lexington, North Carolina
I normally have a high regard for North Carolina’s state government agencies. Every time I’ve stepped onto an elevator in North Carolina in living memory, I’ve been greeted by the smiling visage of Cherie Berry, the head of the North Carolina Department of Labor (which inspects elevators). “Cherie” is pronounced CHAIR -ee, in her case. Ms. Berry has an infectious name, she looks like … Continue reading Is the North Carolina Department of Transportation Anti-Barbecue?
The mystery of making Eastern North Carolina Corn Sticks is now solved, thanks to Mr. Tommy Haddock of Clayroot, North Carolina. Mr. Haddock gave me the answer back in June, and I should have posted about it before. Clayroot is the home of Haddock’s Barbecue, which I presume was first opened by relatives of Mr. Haddock. They’re open for breakfast and lunch every day but Sunday, … Continue reading How to Make Eastern North Carolina Corn Sticks
You’ve heard of Fat Fella’s. I have noted here in the Blog that it was praised by my late, great Aunt Ann Griffin, as well as by my brother Jim, and by his older son, Jimbo — all of whom I trust with my palate. Newport, of course, is a pretty long drive from the beach, especially if you have the World’s Greatest Shrimpburger at the … Continue reading Fat Fella’s BBQ and Grille, Newport, North Carolina
After I’d completed my post-independence Day barbecue wind-down, I headed to the beach to meet Nancy, Liza, Ella, and Lily. We took two cars to take all of Ella and Lily’s gear (and our own) down. I had left a day early and eaten at the Hillsborough BBQ Company and the Durham outpost of The Pit. We connected at the realtor’s office, unpacked, and set … Continue reading The World’s Best Shrimpburger, 2019: The Captain’s Kitchen Repeats!
After my lunch at the Hillsborough BBQ Company, I continued my barbecue ease-down at The Pit in Durham, another Campaign for Real Barbecue-certified place, and my friend Jim Oliver came over to join me. Jim and I shared an office when I worked in the Criminal Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. He was over in Creedmore helping his Momma, who is 91 … Continue reading The Pit, Durham, North Carolina
How do you cure a barbecue hangover, the kind you get when you’ve spent Independence Day cooking about 50 pounds of pork butts over coals and hickory, and eating far more than your share of it (not to mention brisket)? Why, you use the classic hangover cure: hair of the dog that bit you. That’s how I found myself on July 5, driving down to … Continue reading Hillsborough BBQ Company, Hillsborough, North Carolina
I wound up my 2019 North Carolina Barbecue Tour at Sam Jones Barbecue, having made a considerable dent in the 26 Essential NC Barbecue Places. I thought about driving home after my good meal at the Hunter Hill Cafe in Rocky Mount, but the idea of getting on I-95 on a beach weekend Sunday is enough to balk stouter hearts than mine. Instead, I turned east and … Continue reading Sam Jones Barbecue, Winterville, North Carolina
The day after the 4th Annual Beer Snob Pig Picking, I started back home to Washington. Realizing that I’d only eaten at seven barbecue places during the trip, I decided to stop for lunch at the Hunter Hill Cafe in Rocky Mount. It’s a fairly new place, and wasn’t on the Our State Magazine’s list of 26 Essential NC Barbecue Places, but it is on … Continue reading Hunter Hill Cafe, Rocky Mount, North Carolina