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Keaton's

17365 Cool Springs Rd, Cleveland, NC - (704) 278-1619
Posted By Peter Roaman on 10/27/2005 10:57:00 PM
What can I say? True, you would never find this place without the help of a book like Roadfood, or without knowing a local. That would be an incredible loss.

I would hardly call this a BBQ joint. It's more like a place for the best chicken I have ever eaten (is that hyperbole?). So good, in fact, that we went back a week later on our drive back to NYC. Not paying attention, we got there two hours before they opened, so we drove around to kill time. Trust me, there's not a lot to do for two hours (but we did find Jay Bee's Hot Dog on Rte. 64 which was pretty darn good for a pre-dinner snack). But it was worth it. Finger licking good chicken, and I can't wait to get back.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
BBQ chicken
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Keaton's chicken is unlike any other:  slightly crisp, slightly caramelized, and shot through with the flavor of the house barbecue sauce.  It is so good it made our tipster weep with joy.
"Keaton's chicken is unlike any other: slightly crisp, slightly caramelized, and shot through with the flavor of the house barbecue sauce. It is so good it made our tipster weep with joy."
Michael Stern





Keaton's excellent macaroni & cheese comes in smallish squares, with a slightly burnt top crust.
"Keaton's excellent macaroni & cheese comes in smallish squares, with a slightly burnt top crust."
Cliff Strutz


Keaten's was selling red velvet cake long before it enjoyed its current vogue.
"Keaten's was selling red velvet cake long before it enjoyed its current vogue."
Michael Stern


Meals arrive under wax paper.  When the paper is removed, the aroma of the chicken envelops the table and will make you dizzy with hunger.
"Meals arrive under wax paper. When the paper is removed, the aroma of the chicken envelops the table and will make you dizzy with hunger."
Michael Stern


Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm good.
"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm good."
Peter Roaman


This is where you order your food.  Then sit down where you are told and it will be brought to you.
"This is where you order your food. Then sit down where you are told and it will be brought to you."
Michael Stern


From the outside, Keaton's doesn't look like one of America's best restaurants ... but in our book, it is!
"From the outside, Keaton's doesn't look like one of America's best restaurants ... but in our book, it is!"
Michael Stern


You'll need plenty of napkins when you eat Keaton's chicken.  Every table is well-equipped.
"You'll need plenty of napkins when you eat Keaton's chicken. Every table is well-equipped."
Michael Stern


Down to the last finger lick.
"Down to the last finger lick."
Peter Roaman


The main room.
"The main room."
Peter Roaman


Love a good sign.
"Love a good sign."
Peter Roaman


Road sign.
"Road sign."
Peter Roaman


We don't know what 'taste test' this sign refers to, but it must be a good one.  The results are impeccable.
"We don't know what 'taste test' this sign refers to, but it must be a good one. The results are impeccable."
Michael Stern



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