NC BBQ Sample
I just returned from a two week trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with my family (and unfortunately a guy named Alex who blew through town on a Tuesday). On the way down and back, I was able to stop at two Eastern NC BBQ places (Mitchell's in Wilson and Wilber's in Goldsboro). My father ate at Mitchell's with me and since he had an extra day on the way down and he was able to stop at Lexington #1 as well.
Mitchell's (reviewed on this site) was a cafeteria style restaurant where I opted for the 3 meat and 4 side option. Two of the three meats I got were the pork with the third being ribs. The ribs were maybe the best I ever had with a great smokey flavor and not a lot of sauce to get in the way. The pork was also top notch. I had previously been to Melton's in Rocky Mount which is now closed and Abrham's in Tarsboro. They were both good, but the pork at Mitchell's had a little extra something which I believe was from still using wood smokers. I read somewhere that Meltons had switched to gas powered smokers at some point and they were not as good as in the old days. The sides were for the most part just ok, but the brunswick stew and the macaroni and cheese were both really good. Mr. Mitchell was very friendly as he was walking amongst the tables chatting with everyone and thanking them for coming. We went on a Saturday and unfortunatley one of the groups who went home early after Hurricane Alex reported that the ribs tasted warmed over on a Thursday afternoon. We also thought that the fried chicken was a little dry and not nearly as good as what we used to get at Melton's.
On the way home we detoured through Goldsboro and went to Wilber's (not reviewed on this site but it is on hollyeats) for lunch. I can honestly say, this was the best pork I've ever had. The smokey flavor came through loud and clear, the sauce was perfect, and it had plenty of browns (the little bits of the crunchy outer layer). I got the red sauce boiled potatoes and slaw. The potatoes came with some nice sized chunks of ham and the slaw was the yellow kind that I like with BBQ. My wife had the fried chicken which was also great.
I don't have too much of a report on Lexington as I did not go there myself but according to my father the pork was good but not quite as good as Mitchell's in his opinion. I hope to compare them myself the next time I am through there.
Hope this helps anyone that is planning a trip to the Outer Banks. Don't wait until you get there and then try to find BBQ becasue you will most likely end up at Bubba's. This is not Eatern NC BBQ. Plan your route down and back to get to the real ones. And then let me know what you've found. Next year's trip is right around the corner.