"Wife proclaimed the pulled pork to be “good” (meaning that if we were eating it in NC it would be delicious – but what can I say? "
Oh, you have one of those too?? Very difficult to get Mrs. Sippi to love Q anywhere outside the south.
It’s a weird dynamic that I don’t fully understand, particularly since I have eaten Eastern NC BBQ myself for more than 40 years, even though I grew up in DC. And as I found out when the local Harris Teeter started selling pretty good (IMHO) NC-produced BBQ in their Deli, it seems to extend beyond where it's made to where it’s purchased and consumed, as well. Of course, if pressed, I would probably have to admit my own prejudices about other state’s attempts at all things crab (soup, cakes, feasts etc.)