North Carolina BBQ

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Roo
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2011/06/11 20:19:54 (permalink)

North Carolina BBQ

I live in Richmond VA and want to do a day trip to NC for some good BBQ.  Any suggestions.  Thanks!
#1

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    3fan4evr
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/12 04:09:49 (permalink)
    Depends on how far you're willing to drive, and which type (eastern or western) you're looking for. You can do a search on this forum for all the good places
    #2
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/12 08:41:35 (permalink)
    3fan4evr

    Depends on how far you're willing to drive, and which type (eastern or western) you're looking for. You can do a search on this forum for all the good places

     
    I agree:  your first decision is Eastern or Western.  Over many family trips from McLean to Orlando or Myrtle we drove out of our way a bit and have enjoyed both Skylight and Wilber's, the best of the Eastern-style.  These experiences were fantastic and memorable.  If I had to make "Sophie's Choice":  http://www.wilbersbarbecue.com/
     
    Last year going from McLean to Dallas we went out of our way to stop in Lexington where we patronized the most acclaimed of all the Western-style joints:  Lexington #1.  Going in I had both an open mind and great anticipation of this opportunity to sample the "other" Carolina style which, since they have an annual festival attended by 50,000 or so, is all over the Food and Travel channels.
     
    Having sampled what is said to be the best of both, here are some facts and conclusions:
     
    • Western uses only the pork shoulder - the primary (meat) ingredient of Spam.
    • Eastern uses the meat of the whole hog, smokes it to perfection, then mixes and minces the "product".
     
    • Western sauce uses ketchup and a LOT of water to render their vinegar and pepper essence a mere "back note".
    • Eastern sauce is a distinctive and undiluted vinegar-pepper blend that gives hogs a proper bath as they send you to "Hog Heaven".
     
    • If you like Early Times with Coca Cola and lots of ice:  go Western.
    • If you like Wild Turkey neat or with a few cubes and a splash:  go Eastern.
    ---------------------------
    And while you are in Goldsboro, stop by Scott's Sauce Company ( www.scottsbarbecuesauce.com ) and take some home to Richmond.  Go to your favorite local joint and tell them to hold the sauce on your pulled pork, then shake and pour your Scott's.  The meat won't be the whole hog minced, but the sauce will bring back a fond epicurean memory!  FYI:  I do the same thing down here in Dallas.
    #3
    brentk
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/12 10:54:33 (permalink)
    To add a few thoughts to MetroplexJim's good post, in North Carolina, what he refers to as Western style is actually known as Lexington style.  There is another BBQ sub-category in the mountains that could more appropriately be called Western style, but it has more in common with Georgia style BBQ and most folks in NC don't even acknowledge it as a third category.
     
    The other thing to know, and coming from Richmond, this may not come as  news to you is that the sauce (or dip, as they call it in Lexington) is just meant to be drizzled onto the meat.  NC BBQ neophytes often complain that NC BBQ is a vinegary mess when they abuse their BBQ with way too much liquid topping.
     
    Lastly, there is a special lexicon when it comes to ordering Lexington style BBQ.  Many of us like to have bits of the charred and caramelized outer edges of the meat chopped into the mix and, unless you ask for it you won't get it prepared that way.  When ordering at a Lexington style place, I always ask for the outside brown bits to be chopped into the mix.  Just ask for the BBQ "outside brown" and your order taker will know what you mean.
    #4
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/12 12:32:40 (permalink)
    As Lexington #1 was a "destination" for us I had read enough about it to have followed brentk's advice about asking for the "brown bits".  My primary disappointment was the Western sauce which I found to be very watery and relatively tasteless vis a vis the very tangy Eastern sauce.  In fact, it was so weak I had to ask myself: "Why bother?"
     
    Regarding the Eastern sauce I find my comment above about how I use it even down here in Texas to be poorly written English.  What I meant to convey is that one must shake the bottle of Scott's Sauce vigorusly prior to adding it to taste.  (It is a suspension, not a solution).  From www.scottsbarbecuesauce.com :  "The ... spices form a 2-inch sediment of the bottom of the reddish liquid before it's shken thoroughly according to the directions on the label".    
     
    The way I had written it does sound like I am dousing the meat with it.  I wouldn't advise that unless you like a fiery mouth and "a fiery reminder" the next day!   
    post edited by MetroplexJim - 2011/06/13 08:56:17
    #5
    Roo
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/12 17:13:38 (permalink)
    Definitely Eastern, vinegar base sauce.  From Richmond we are about an hour to the NC line, willing to go another hour.
    #6
    QFan
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/12 19:48:07 (permalink)
    With regard to the comments above about Scott's sauce from Goldsboro, you can also get Wilber's sauce in a bottle to take home and it is equally as evocative of the eastern-NC style. I have both Scott's & Wilber's in my cupboard and they are like magic when drizzled over the unsauced pulled pork from my local que sources. Believe it or not, it's also good on Cuban pork which we see a lot of down here in South/SW Florida.
     
    QFan
    Bonita Springs, FL
    #7
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/12 20:45:14 (permalink)
    QFan

    With regard to the comments above about Scott's sauce from Goldsboro, you can also get Wilber's sauce in a bottle to take home and it is equally as evocative of the eastern-NC style. I have both Scott's & Wilber's in my cupboard and they are like magic when drizzled over the unsauced pulled pork from my local que sources. Believe it or not, it's also good on Cuban pork which we see a lot of down here in South/SW Florida.

    QFan
    Bonita Springs, FL

    And Scott's is wonderful for cooking.  We brown chicken breast in oilve oil, cut it to small pieces and finish it in a frying pan with Scott's.  Then we cover the chicken pieces with Jack cheese and melt it in the oven together with steamed asparagus.  The Scott's reduction infused with chicken essence from the skillet makes a wonderful spicy gravy for the mashed potatos.
    This "recipe" works with shrimp as well, just serve rice instead of potatos.
     
    BTW:  I was told that Wilber's Sauce is Scott's under a different label.  As you have both in the cabinet:  is this true?
    #8
    QFan
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/12 23:01:11 (permalink)
    Scott's seems a little more complex w/ flavors I'd be hard pressed to identify (a little darker also). Wilber's is just a tiny bit heavier on the black or red pepper heat. Obviously, flavor is very subjective for all of us. In truth, you can't really go wrong w/ either.
     
    QFan
    Bonita Springs, FL
    #9
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/13 09:05:16 (permalink)
    QFan

    Scott's seems a little more complex w/ flavors I'd be hard pressed to identify (a little darker also). Wilber's is just a tiny bit heavier on the black or red pepper heat. Obviously, flavor is very subjective for all of us. In truth, you can't really go wrong w/ either.

    QFan
    Bonita Springs, FL


    Thanks for the information; at my age it is always good to have one fewer thing to wonder about!
    #10
    DirtDude
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/16 15:04:16 (permalink)
    I love eastern NC BBQ. I can't say much about Western, since I haven't had it too many times.
     
    I agree with Wilburs, but I also like Parker's in Wilson, Bunn's in Windsor, and Tarheel BBQ which is in the town of Tarheel from the Norteastern part of the state.
     
    If you can make it down to Scotts in Hemingway, SC, they also do the whole hog. Its in the link below, you have to scroll down to get to it. But this ones better if you are headed to the Beach.
     
    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/tm.aspx?m=637318
     
    #11
    jackd418
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/16 18:00:01 (permalink)
    Being from the Lexington area a few years back,and have eaten a whole lot of BBQ.I would say eastern is with out a doubt much better.Lex style is too sweet for me. Either way I don't turn down BBQ.
    If in Durham area try Backyard barbeque on Hwy 55,south part of town
    post edited by jackd418 - 2011/06/16 18:04:04
    #12
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/16 18:57:24 (permalink)
    DirtDude

    I love eastern NC BBQ. I can't say much about Western, since I haven't had it too many times.

    I agree with Wilburs, but I also like Parker's in Wilson, Bunn's in Windsor, and Tarheel BBQ which is in the town of Tarheel from the Norteastern part of the state.

    If you can make it down to Scotts in Hemingway, SC, they also do the whole hog. Its in the link below, you have to scroll down to get to it. But this ones better if you are headed to the Beach.

    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/tm.aspx?m=637318


     
    Having grown up in Eastern NC (Ahoskie), I heartily agree with DirtDude's recommendations.  Tarheel BBQ doesn't get a lot of press but is a true Roadfood place.  I always manage to have some of its food on visits to NC, and it is always well worth having.  It's a bit of a drive from I-95 to Rt 13, but the food makes it a good decision.
    #13
    AllenK
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/25 13:39:59 (permalink)
    BBQ Center in Lexington is pretty darn awesome IMO! My wife and I have also eaten at Lexington BBQ,Speedy's,and Smiley's,and they're all awesome too.  I may get flamed,but the BBQ King in Charlotte is awesome too.
    #14
    ann peeples
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/25 16:54:19 (permalink)
    I ate at Parkers and really liked it. We also had their fried chicken, and it was, to date, the best I have had...
    #15
    brentk
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/25 19:21:59 (permalink)
    ann peeples

    I ate at Parkers and really liked it. We also had their fried chicken, and it was, to date, the best I have had...

    They really should change their name to Parker's Fried Chicken.  That's what they do best.
     
    #16
    mountain traveler
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/27 00:21:07 (permalink)
    I ate at Parkers this Spring and I didn't think it was that good. The fried chicken was ok but the bbq had no smoke flavor to it and was bland. But I am a fan of Memphis bbq and east Tennessee bbq( Ridgewood) so that's probably why I didn't like it. I'm not going to pass judgment on eastern NC bbq until I've tried some more places though. Lexington for sure although it is not considered eastern NC bbq
    post edited by mountain traveler - 2011/06/27 00:54:54
    #17
    Foodbme
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    Re:North Carolina BBQ 2011/06/27 00:58:43 (permalink)
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