Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge

2000 E. Dixon Blvd., Shelby, NC - (704) 482-8567
Posted By Michael Stern on 4/23/2014 10:44:00 AM
Bridges cooks its meat in a huge pit the size of a small motel adjacent to the restaurant; and the hickory-pork aroma seeping from this pit is a temptation to the Roadfood passer-by more alluring than perfume from Paris, France.

There is no menu, just the slip of paper used by the waitress to take orders. It has the short list of what is available, which she explains if you are not an experienced North Carolina barbecue eater. Our waitress turned out to be a big fan of local soft drinks to accompany the Q. “Cheerwine is cherry,” she told us, “but my favorite is Sundrop, which is like Sprite but more citrusy, and better. You’ll like it with your pork.” We sure did.

Basically you get a sandwich, a tray, or a plate. A tray is simply barbecue and barbecue slaw; a plate also holds French fries, lettuce, tomato, and pickle. Both are accompanied by a basket of hushpuppies, and whether you select sandwich, tray, or plate, you will have to decide if you want your meat minced, chopped, or sliced. It is a major decision, for they are almost like two different foods. Minced meat is really hacked up, pulverized into moist hash with some little shreds of darkened, chewy crust among the distressed pork. The mound is held together by a smidgen of uniquely North Carolinian sauce - tomato based, but with a strong vinegar tang. Chopped is chunky, and sliced barbecue comes as big, soft flaps. With the pork comes a Styrofoam cup of warm sauce for dipping.

The hushpuppies are curious: elongated crescents with a wickedly brittle, sandy-textured crust. The slaw is strange, too, if you are expecting anything like typical cole slaw. This is barbecue slaw, meaning finely chopped cabbage bound together with – what else? – barbecue sauce! It’s got zest and crunch, and a pearly-red color that handsomely complements your pork of choice. The small tray, by the way, is only about three by five inches and an inch-and-a-half deep, but it is astounding how much meat and slaw get packed into it.

Note: Bridges is closed Monday and Tuesday.

23 out of 23 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
chopped pork
Iced Tea
sliced pork
Hushpuppies
Rate this place

Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

The barbecue slaw is unusual and is something of an acquired taste.  I loved it; my cousin did not.  But the reason you come here is for the BBQ pork (here chopped and covered with the vinegary BBQ sauce) and Bridges' is among the best anywhere!
"The barbecue slaw is unusual and is something of an acquired taste. I loved it; my cousin did not. But the reason you come here is for the BBQ pork (here chopped and covered with the vinegary BBQ sauce) and Bridges' is among the best anywhere!"
Cliff Strutz





Like any good Carolina barbecue parlor, Bridges crunchy hushpuppies automatically come with your meal.
"Like any good Carolina barbecue parlor, Bridges crunchy hushpuppies automatically come with your meal."
Cliff Strutz


Founded in 1946 by Red Bridges, who apprenticed with Warner Stamey, Bridges is one of the great pits of North Carolina.
"Founded in 1946 by Red Bridges, who apprenticed with Warner Stamey, Bridges is one of the great pits of North Carolina."
Michael Stern


We noticed every table at Bridges was drinking the iced tea and now we know why.  It is ultra-sweet and addictively delicious.
"We noticed every table at Bridges was drinking the iced tea and now we know why. It is ultra-sweet and addictively delicious. "
Cliff Strutz


For a barbecue parlor, Bridges makes a fine pimento cheese sandwich.
"For a barbecue parlor, Bridges makes a fine pimento cheese sandwich."
Cliff Strutz


My cousin called Bridges peach cobbler
"My cousin called Bridges peach cobbler "the closest he has ever tasted to grandma's." In our family, that is the ultimate praise!"
Cliff Strutz


This is as close as Bridges comes to a menu.  The waitress writes your order on the slip of paper and you are expected to take it to the cash register to pay on your way out.  (Click on the photo for a readable view.)
"This is as close as Bridges comes to a menu. The waitress writes your order on the slip of paper and you are expected to take it to the cash register to pay on your way out. (Click on the photo for a readable view.)"
Cliff Strutz


Bridges is oddly named, since the inside certainly doesn't resemble a lodge.
"Bridges is oddly named, since the inside certainly doesn't resemble a lodge."
Cliff Strutz


Happy, frolicking pigs almost always mean great barbecue!
"Happy, frolicking pigs almost always mean great barbecue!"
Cliff Strutz



What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com