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 Just another day in the Carolina's

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  • Total Posts: 130
  • Joined: 3/31/2003
  • Location: Nantucket, MA
Just another day in the Carolina's Thu, 10/29/09 2:26 PM (permalink)
Last week I had the chance to do a quick roadtrip from my home down to Florida.I had only tried Eastern-style BBQ in North Carolina once before, so this time I plotted out a detour off I-95 to hit some of the very best joints that I could find.Bear with me,'cause this may get a bit exhausting.I left DC at 5:30 and got off I-95 at Exit 119B at 9:40.First stop was Parker's in Wilson.I got there about 10AM and left about 10:30.I got the small bbq plate.Sides were hushpuppies and their corn sticks.I rate the 'q a C and have no desire to return.No smoke flavor in the pork and the sides were average at best.Next stop was B's BBQ in Greenville.Now this was what I was looking for.I arrived at 11:05 to a good crowd already lined up out the door and in front of the take-out window.I ordered a sandwich and a leg of bbq chicken.I ate in my car outside the joint (this is, indeed, a joint).Both items were excellent though I ate only about half of each since this was going to be a looong detour,if you get my drift.I rate B's a solid A and can't wait for my return trip.I left at 11:35 headed for the first of two stops in Ayden.I arrived at Bum's Restaurant at noon and rolled into the drive-in lane to get my order to go which I then sampled in Bum's parking lot around the corner.I ordered two pieces of fried chicken (dark meat),butter beans,collards and a taste of their BBQ which they were nice enough to comp me.First time for collards for me and I must say the one bite I took was very good.About three bites of the beans and they,too,were great.Had about half of the fried chicken and it too was spot on.And the 'Q was fabulous.Another two thumbs up A rating for Bum's.I left Bum's parking lot at about 12:20 to head three miles down the road to the world-famous Skylight Inn.Arrived at 12:25 and got a sandwich to go.I didn't eat this immediately as I was still way into the Bum's BBQ taste.A few miles down the road convinced me that the Skylight should also get an A for their product as well.Now I'm on the road to Grady's (pronounced "Graddy's").Their place is in a small community south of Goldsboro.Arrived at Grady's at 1:30 to see a classic cement block joint in the country with a fine woodpile and smokehouse around back.I got a chance to talk to Gerri (owner) and she was kind enough to explain what all these whole-hog places do with their ribs.It seems that those in the know call ahead to reserve their ribs and they seem to go quickly.Needless to say there were no ribs available when I got there.I sat down to have my sandwich and a Doctor Pepper.This may well have been the best pork of the day so it gets another A (I know,boring,boring but what can I do?)I ate this whole sandwich.I left Grady's at 1:45 headed for my last stop in NC-Wilber's  in Goldsboro.Twelve minute's later I pulled into the parking lot to sample another world-famous example of NC 'Q.I left at 2:05 with yet another sandwich to eat as I wended my way back to I-95.Wilber's I,m going to rate a B+,but then again it was fairly cool meat I ate later down the road.I was 2:33 when I got back to I-95. A detour of 149 miles and four hours and fifty minutes.I'd do this NC detour again in a heart beat but I'd skip Parker's and Wilber's-maybe even the Skylight.These three also happen to be the most well-known of the six.So now I'm headed to Charleston to spend the night and you'd figure I'd be through with BBQ for the day.But you'd be wrong!Oh no!As I look at my Delorme Gazetteer I notice that Sweatman's BBQ in Holly Hill (arguably the best spot in SC) is a simple jog off the direct route to Charleston.Sooo.Sandwich and ribs in the SC mustard-base sauce anyone?Great,Great BBQ.Another definite A for Sweatman's.Only ribs of the day too.Sorry this report was so long but I thought someone out there might like to know that I-95 holds a few Carolina BBQ treasures.Of course the dinner in Charleston (arrived at 6:55) of local oysters,she-crab soup and fried rock shrimp wasn't too shabby either (Hank's Seafood).All in all a geat day of Roadfooding.Chow,mudbug
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