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

Bill Spoon's Barbecue

5524 South Boulevard, Charlotte, NC - (704) 525-8865
Posted By Chris & Amy Ayers on January 31, 2008 1:06 PM
We’ll never understand why Spoon’s isn’t included on the Historic North Carolina BBQ Trail, for this venerable smokehouse has been a South Boulevard tradition—proudly accepting only cash and checks—since 1963. Founder Bill Spoon passed away in 2007, but his family took over the business and extended the weekend hours to further accommodate the legions of Charlotte-area regulars.

This Eastern North Carolina BBQ is among the Queen City’s finest, and the requisite plate spotlights chopped pork, made perfect with liberal shakes of Spoon’s piquant vinegar sauce. The excellent BBQ baked beans are cooked with a little chopped pork for texture and smoky flavor. The mustard cole slaw is one of the best examples of such, as its tangy flavor never overpowers the crispiness of the minced cabbage. A basket of darkened hushpuppies provide the optimal starchy crunch.

Brunswick stew is an item that is always prepared differently in every restaurant, and Spoon’s version is thick and flavorful with chopped pork, corn, and tomatoes. The iced tea is deftly sweet, never sugary, and our only disappointment was the banana pudding—and only because we prefer the vanilla wafers to be pre-softened by the pudding, not crunchy as they are here.

Spoon’s Barbecue should be part of every Charlotte visit, but they’re only open for lunch until 3 p.m. Gone are the days when Bill Spoon himself manned the register and would chat with you as you paid your bill, but bottles of his fabulous vinegar sauce, cloudy with pepper dregs, are still available at the front counter to take home.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
BBQ Plate
Barbecue Sandwich
Brunswick Stew
Iced Tea
Hushpuppies
Banana Pudding

10 out of 10 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes
Posted By Michael Stern on May 31, 2011 6:42 AM
A sign on the front of Bill Spoon's announces "WE COOK THE WHOLE PIG. IT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE." That's no lie. As swell as butts may be when they are slow-smoke-cooked, they cannot match the rousing diversity of hacked-up whole hog, from creamy to crunchy, which you can here have on a partitioned plate with a couple of side dishes or packed into a bun and crowned with bright, pickly mustard slaw.

Spoon's Brunswick stew is so dense with meat and vegetables that you can clean the bowl using only a fork; and tubular hushpuppies with vivid onion punch provide cornmeal counterpoint to the spice of barbecue or barbecue-laced beans. If there is a pork-frowner at your table, Spoon's chicken, cooked moist and ultra-tender, encased in succulent skin, is a fine alternative.

To drink: sweet tea, refilled approximately every 90 seconds by a roving member of the waitstaff. For dessert: banana pudding loaded with slices of ripe banana and streaks of cookie that had me excavating for more with every spoonful.

It all adds up to an archetypal barbecue meal, just what you'd hope for in a place that's built a grand reputation pit-cooking pig since 1963. Founder Bill Spoon learned the barbecue trade from John Skinner, who learned his craft at North Carolina's first sit-down barbecue restaurant, opened by Bob Melton in Rocky Mount in 1924.

Since Bill Spoon's passing, the gauntlet has been picked up by Steve Spoon; during a visit in 2010, we noted that members of the staff were wearing "Steve Spoon Barbecue" apparel – perhaps signaling a name change. As for quality, that remains foursquare four-star.

Note: Dinner is now served Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings until 8pm.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
BBQ Plate
Banana Pudding
Barbecue Sandwich
Brunswick Stew
Iced Tea
Hushpuppies
Barbecue Chicken (1/4)
Barbecue Potatoes
Cole Slaw
Dry Rub Ribs
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Macaroni & Cheese

19 out of 19 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes
Posted By Michael Kaye on April 6, 2012 7:18 PM
After a day of sightseeing, we stopped by Bill Spoon's Barbeque for an early dinner. The waitress was very friendly and made us feel like we were regulars. The food is very good and the prices are fair. I prefer local and family-owned restaurants when I travel. Bill Spoon's is worth visiting.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Hushpuppies
BBQ Plate
Banana Pudding
Brunswick Stew
Barbecue Sandwich
Barbecue Chicken (1/4)
BBQ plate
Onion Rings
Pecan Pie
Iced Tea
Cole Slaw
Cole Slaw

0 out of 0 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes
Posted By Terri McGirt on June 12, 2011 12:50 AM
Bill Spoon's provides the best dining experience for BBQ in Charlotte and the surrounding areas. If I ever move I will definitely take advantage of the shipping option. I am also so thankful that they have decided to open three nights a week: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday till 8pm. Now I can get my BBQ fix for dinner also!

The friendliest staff around. Quick service so you can easily get in and out for lunch. The food is always plentiful and hot. Everything on the menu is delicious. I really love the extended menu they now offer as well. The grilled cheese sandwich is wonderful: perfectly buttered, and the cheese just oozes. Absolutely perfect! They don't get any better than this.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
BBQ Plate
Banana Pudding
Brunswick Stew
Iced Tea
Hushpuppies
Barbecue Sandwich
Barbecue Chicken (1/4)
Barbecue Potatoes
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
BBQ plate

1 out of 1 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

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