Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95

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jsr0711
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2012/01/10 16:36:04 (permalink)

Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95

I drove 2 hours to check this place out because it's not every day a new wood-cooking barbecue place opens (although it seems as if almost every day one closes, or switches to gas).  I wasn't disapponted.  First things first:  The barbecue is whole-hog, cooked over coals in the old-fashioned way, and seasoned with a classic eastern North Carolina pepper and vinegar sauce, with a touch of sweetness.  The cole slaw and Brunswick stew and barbecue boiled potatoes are worthy side-dishes. (They also offer green beans, baked beans, and french fries, although I didn't try them.) The hushpuppies are light, crisp, and sweet, and cornsticks are an option.  Banana pudding for dessert, of course, and smooth and tasty it is.
Lumberton is lucky to have such a fine, traditional North Carolina barbecue place.  There's not another one for miles around.  (Other places in town that advertise barbecue have stopped cooking with wood, or never started.) Passers-by on I-95 should drop by for a taste of North Carolina tradition, and that Lumbertonians should realize what a treasure they have.
By the way, although my taste is mostly in my mouth, I should add that the decor is perfect.  Old ads and implements and photos and all, but it stops well short of Cracker Barrel, and they're all interesting.  You know you've got folks who know what they're doing when the big sign out from says "Air Conditioned" at the bottom.
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    buffetbuster
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    Re:Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95 2012/01/18 09:14:05 (permalink)
    jsr0711-
    Welcome to Roadfood!  Thanks for the tip on Nelson's Barbecue.  It sounds like a really good place.  Unfortunately, I just drove past Lumberton about a week before you posted this and who knows when I will be back through there again.
     
    You must be pretty serious about your barbecue if you drive a couple hours just to check a place out.  Do you do that very often?  Where else have you been?
    #2
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95 2012/01/18 09:51:23 (permalink)
    jsr0711,  please keep "sharing" about Eastern NC whole hog pit- smoked 'cue.  For me living in Texas now (where they think barbecue is the art of making a cheap cut of beef edible), this is true "food porn".  Keep it coming and welcome to Roadfood!
    #3
    brisketboy
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    Re:Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95 2012/01/18 11:16:46 (permalink)
    Hey Metro, last time I went to HEB that "cheap" cut of meat was pulling in at a buck seventy nine a pound.
    #4
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95 2012/01/18 11:50:07 (permalink)
    brisketboy

    Hey Metro, last time I went to HEB that "cheap" cut of meat was pulling in at a buck seventy nine a pound.

    I do enjoy "TX BBQ" every now and then.  Tom & Bingo's in Lubbock is the best brisket I've enjoyed since moving here in 2005.  And, I do intend to visit Snow's and Franklin's this Spring if for no other reason than to see if they are as good or better than Tom & Bingo's which consistently (in my experience) "delivers the goods".  If I could depend on getting that taste and quality consistently, I'd be a "big fan" of TX brisket. 
     
    One of my "puzzlements" is the inconsistency of the brisket I find up here in Dallas both at "chains" (Dickey's, Rudy's, Spring Creek, Sonny Bryan's, etc.) and local places with good reps (Angelo's in White Settlement, Hurchen's in McKinney, Clark's Outpost in Tioga, and (the original) Sonny Bryan's in Dallas).  Do you know of any TX BBQ joint that never (or very rarely) has "a bad day"?
     
    I can truly say that I have never been served any Eastern Carolina minced whole hog 'cue that was anything less than wonderful.  And I've been served a lot.  Like just one other thing, "... some were better than others, but the worst I ever had was fantastic".
    #5
    brisketboy
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    Re:Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95 2012/01/18 12:32:08 (permalink)
    Yes I am of the same opinion. The worst I've eaten was great. Here in central Texas with all the hype about this place being superior to that place yadda..yadda. I will admit on many of my travels to the east coast I am a pork lover of all things southern. The bbq in Virginia is excellent, South Carolina and Georgia are equally wonderful. I am hoping to get to North Carolina to sample the whole hog version.
    #6
    Play27
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    Re:Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95 2012/01/18 12:56:22 (permalink)
    I can honestly say that in the 12 years I've been in NC I have never been served a plate of pig or a pig sandwich that I liked as much as the BBQ I've eaten in Memphis. Why is that you say? Because they (we) still cook with wood in Memphis, almost no one in NC cooks with wood or if they do, they are not cooking to finish with wood.
     
    Wait, I take that back, the lone stand out is Short Sugar's in Reidsville, NC. I didn't care for Lexington, Stamey's, Country BBQ or Allan and Son. Or maybe it's just my peculiar taste for wood smoke!
    #7
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95 2012/01/18 17:40:17 (permalink)
    Play27

    I can honestly say that in the 12 years I've been in NC I have never been served a plate of pig or a pig sandwich that I liked as much as the BBQ I've eaten in Memphis. Why is that you say? Because they (we) still cook with wood in Memphis, almost no one in NC cooks with wood or if they do, they are not cooking to finish with wood.

    Wait, I take that back, the lone stand out is Short Sugar's in Reidsville, NC. I didn't care for Lexington, Stamey's, Country BBQ or Allan and Son. Or maybe it's just my peculiar taste for wood smoke!


    I don't much care for Western Carolina BBQ (pork shoulder; thin, tepid, tasteless ketchup sauce) either.  Lexington #1 was the biggest disappointment I ever had for a "destination" joint.
    #8
    Greymo
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    Re:Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95 2012/01/18 18:17:13 (permalink)
    Our whole family loves East Carolina Barbeque.  To us, it is the best.  I will say that Chubby's serves a really fine  brisket but  pulled pork remains my favorite@
    #9
    DirtDude
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    Re:Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95 2012/01/26 07:40:49 (permalink)
    Thanks, I live about an hour from Lumberton, and I haven't seen that place driving past before. I will check it out next time I am headed north.
    #10
    jsr0711
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    Re:Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95 2012/03/13 12:24:19 (permalink)
    Buffetbuster --
        Yes, I 've been reading and consulting Roadfood for years, it seems, but this was my first contribution.  Nelson's deserved it.
        I do take barbecue seriously -- or at least I'll go to a lot of trouble to get the real deal.  My wife and I sometimes drive to Lexington ot Goldsboro from Chapel Hill for lunch.  We wrote a book a while back about North Carolina barbecue, and I'm working on another now about Southern barbecue more generally.  I cook enough myself that I'm simply in awe of the folks who do it day after day.
       By the way, I'm told that Nelson's is now open on Sunday, for the after-church crowd, which is probably a good move.
    / John
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    Captain Morgan
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    Re:Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95 2012/03/13 12:36:39 (permalink)
    thanks for the heads up...you're absolutely right...it's really hard to find someone doing eastern style the right way...kudos and good luck to Nelson's!!
    #12
    Glenn1234
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    Re:Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95 2012/03/13 13:26:03 (permalink)
    jsr0711 -
     
    Thanks for the heads up on Nelson's.  We love eastern NC BBQ.  We'll defintely try Nelson's.  The wife and I love to travel to try new places. .... or old favorites.  Lumberton is "only" about 340 miles south of us.  :)    That's actually not a bad drive at all. 
     
    Glenn
     
     
     
    #13
    Littleman
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    Re:Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95 2012/03/13 14:19:50 (permalink)
    What about Fuller's BBQ in Lumberton.  Is Nelson's better.
    #14
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Nelson's Barbecue. Lumberton NC -- off I-95 2012/03/20 10:45:29 (permalink)
    jsr0711-
    Wow, you really do take your barbecue seriously.  Since you mentioned you wrote a book on barbecue, do you mind telling which one it is?
     
    I have a trip to eastern North Carolina coming up and may have time check Nelson's out.
    #15
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