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Bridges Barbecue Lodge

2000 E. Dixon Blvd., Shelby, NC - (704) 482-8567
Posted By Michael Stern on May 9, 2009 10:38 PM
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

5 star rating
Overall Rating
chopped pork
sliced pork
Iced Tea
Hushpuppies

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Posted By Michael Allen Lucas on February 27, 2014 1:55 PM
Sliced BBQ was cut in 3/8" to 1/2" strips about 4" long with the consistency of beef jerky, very dry and tasteless... Server replaced with chopped and it was not much better, over cooked... best thing on plate was the hush puppies and French fries... Never again
1 star rating
Overall Rating
Hushpuppies
chopped pork
Iced Tea
sliced pork

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Posted By Ryan on July 22, 2012 10:13 PM
I have lived in North Carolina my entire life and have eaten BBQ all over the state. In my opinion Bridges is hands-down the best Q in NC, east or west. I have eaten here at least a dozen times and have never been disappointed with the consistent quality. The meat is smoky and moist, the sauce is extraordinarily flavorful, and the hush puppies are wonderful. If you don't like Bridges, you don't like NC BBQ. Of course, if you disagree, you are entitled to your wrong opinion.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
chopped pork
sliced pork
Iced Tea
Hushpuppies
Peach Cobbler
Pimento Cheese Sandwich

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Posted By Tom Lewis on November 18, 2011 6:00 PM
We were coming home from a trip to the North Carolina mountains, and took a detour to eat at Bridges. I've been there before and was looking forward to a great lunch.

The three of us ordered sandwiches, hush puppies, onion rings, and sweet tea. The food was fresh and hot. However, we all commented on the lack of much smoked flavor in the chopped pork. A small order of hush puppies gave us two per person, and the large order of onion rings contained eight rings. The food was just OK, and pretty pricey for what we got; there was not much chopped pork on the sandwich.

I've eaten at many BBQ places in NC, SC, GA, AL, LA, and TN. At best this place rates as fair. My prior visits, years ago, were much better. Not sure it is worth a return trip unless I just happen to be driving by. More than likely, I'd opt to go to Alston Bridges BBQ near the hospital. I've eaten there several times and I believe (as do some friends that live in Shelby) it is a better BBQ restaurant.
0 star rating
Overall Rating
Hushpuppies
chopped pork

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Posted By Damon Davison & Allison Schnackenberg on September 5, 2010 4:51 PM
We drove from Hendersonville to eat here and left a little disappointed. It wasn't that the meal was spectacularly bad, but we weren't amazed by any stretch of the imagination. The chopped pork was nice and had a nice collagenous mouth feel, but the hushpuppies were the star of the show as far as we were concerned--very crispy and with great flavor. Service was friendly and efficient and it was great to see all the locals there. The fact that Bridge's was packed indicates clearly that we are in a minority.
2 star rating
Overall Rating
chopped pork
Hushpuppies

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