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BBQJack
01-05-2012, 09:35 AM
Heading to the BBQ heartland today and wanted to sample some local BBQ.

Anyone have a recommendation for a good BBQ place in Charlotte?

I've been told BBQ King is the place to go.....

I would think a member of this forum living in the area would know best, not Google, right?

Flat_Rate
01-05-2012, 10:01 AM
Old Hickory House on North Tryon Street, very good Q. Building hasn't been updated since it was built but the food is excellent.

Wrench_H
01-05-2012, 10:16 AM
Hopefully BBQ Tom will see this post. I think he's been to just about every place in NC.

BBQJack
01-05-2012, 10:33 AM
I've been google-ating as well. I'm willing to drive to Lexington, NC. Supposed to be the BBQ capital of NC - Lexington BBQ is highly recommended...

Gore
01-05-2012, 10:40 AM
I've never been, but I would suggest that bbq.tom might recommend Smoky's Burnt End BBQ. He might think that Bar-B-Q King was average and if you go, to avoid the slaw at all costs.

I'm not getting anything when trying to channel about Old Hickory House. :roll:

bbq.tom might suggest that the Q in Lexington is much better, and especially at the Barbecue Center, Inc., followed by Speedy's, and Smoky Joe's. That's just a guess though. Hopefully, bbq.tom will provide his expert opinions in person.

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 10:47 AM
I've been google-ating as well. I'm willing to drive to Lexington, NC. Supposed to be the BBQ capital of NC - Lexington BBQ is highly recommended...

Okay - My backyard.
Charlotte is in a bbq vacuum, it is surrounded by fantastic Q, but has very little in it's own right.

I grew up and have lived in the Charlotte area for over 30 years.

Rated from 1-10:

Charlotte, NC
Old hickory house on N. Tryon - 5
BBQ King - 6
Mac's Speed shop - 7

Lexington, NC (hour northeast of Charlotte)
Lexington BBQ # 1 - 8.5
Cooks BBQ - 10 (hard to find, but worth the search - best in Piedmont area of NC)

Shelby, NC (hour southwest of Charlotte)
(Red) Bridges BBQ - 9

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 10:49 AM
I've never been, but I would suggest that bbq.tom might recommend Smoky's Burnt End BBQ. He might think that Bar-B-Q King was average and if you go, to avoid the slaw at all costs.

I'm not getting anything when trying to channel about Old Hickory House. :roll:

bbq.tom might suggest that the Q in Lexington is much better, and especially at the Barbecue Center, Inc., followed by Speedy's, and Smoky Joe's. That's just a guess though. Hopefully, bbq.tom will provide his expert opinions in person.

bbq.tom is correct. except bbq.tom must not have found Cooks bbq in Lexington yet, if Speedy's is still on his list (Speedy's was THE BBQ place 30 years ago, it has since fell into mediocreness)

BBQJack
01-05-2012, 10:52 AM
I will likely head to Lexington BBQ or Cooks unless I hear otherwise....

there will be pron on my return.....

Gore
01-05-2012, 11:03 AM
bbq.tom is correct. except bbq.tom must not have found Cooks bbq in Lexington yet, if Speedy's is still on his list (Speedy's was THE BBQ place 30 years ago, it has since fell into mediocreness)

I'm sensing that bbq.tom last visited Speedy's some 5 years ago and did not find Cook's bbq. I'm getting vibrations that he found the highly touted Lexington BBQ to be kind of disappointing.

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 11:23 AM
I will likely head to Lexington BBQ or Cooks unless I hear otherwise....

there will be pron on my return.....

Looking forward to it.

Here is Cook's website, pay attention to their hours, they are limited.
http://www.cooksbbq.com/

BBQJack
01-05-2012, 11:51 AM
Speedy's seems to be highly rated too (in Google places)

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 12:00 PM
Speedy's seems to be highly rated too (in Google places)

Speedy's USED to be one of the best. The last few times I eat there, I was less than impressed. However even mediocre bbq by Lexington standards is better than most bbq anywhere else.

Tattooque
01-05-2012, 12:50 PM
I know this post is a few months old, but if you like sweet (tomato based sauce) BBQ, you'll enjoy NC Lexington Style. I personally am not a fan of it and prefer Eastern Style (vinegar based) over it anyday! Wilbur's on Hwy 70, East of Raleigh is always packed and not a bad place to grab a snack, if you're traveling through the state.

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 01:14 PM
I know this post is a few months old, but if you like sweet (tomato based sauce) BBQ, you'll enjoy NC Lexington Style. I personally am not a fan of it and prefer Eastern Style (vinegar based) over it anyday! Wilbur's on Hwy 70, East of Raleigh is always packed and not a bad place to grab a snack, if you're traveling through the state.
Sauce is served on the side no?

The differences between Lexington style sauce and eastern, NC sauce are not as much as rumored.

The bigger differences is the pig parts that are cooked. Eastern, NC is whole hog, while Lexington is shoulder.

I have never noticed a big tomato component in the Lexington style sauce It is there, but does not take center stage.

deguerre
01-05-2012, 01:21 PM
Anything in the Winston Salem area?

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 01:35 PM
Anything in the Winston Salem area?

Well yea :crazy:

Winston-Salem is on the BBQ border between east & west (Lexington style), so you can find both.

Lexington Style:Hills Lexington BBQ - Winston-Salem

Eastern, NC Style: Prissy Polly's - Kernersville, NC (just outside Winston-Salem)

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 01:49 PM
Oh yea: order the coarse chopped ( yes chopped).
Otherwise you are subject to get BBQ mush (fine chopped) especially in an eastern, NC BBQ joint.

Gore
01-05-2012, 01:54 PM
Having never been to the area, I can only try channelling bbq.tom. I'm sensing that the BBQ in Winston-Salem is extremely good. I'm sensing that Bibs Downtown may have the best pulled pork tom has ever eaten. Just as highly rated is Hill's Lexington, and Pig-N-Out is very nearly as highly rated. I'm sensing that just about everything bbq.tom had in the area is better than anything I typically get. You should be feasting!

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 01:58 PM
Having never been to the area, I can only try channelling bbq.tom. I'm sensing that the BBQ in Winston-Salem is extremely good. I'm sensing that Bibs Downtown may have the best pulled pork tom has ever eaten. Just as highly rated is Hill's Lexington, and Pig-N-Out is very nearly as highly rated. I'm sensing that just about everything bbq.tom had in the area is better than anything I typically get. You should be feasting!

Dang it! Now I have to make a run to WS to check out Bibs Downtown.

That's one thing about NC BBQ restaurants. Every town or city has a quite a few places worth trying. I may not live long enough to try them all.

deguerre
01-05-2012, 02:06 PM
Dang it! Now I have to make a run to WS to check out Bibs Downtown.

That's one thing about NC BBQ restaurants. Every town or city has a quite a few places worth trying. I may not live long enough to try them all.

Plus it's only about 25 miles further North of Lexington for the OP's info. I was curious because I had two Great Aunts who lived in W/S and visited them several times when I was a kid. I remember having some awesome Que then and have been contemplating making a visit one of these days. NC is in my roots. My Grandmother's family emmigrated in VA and NC in the mid to late 1600s and moved South from there.

N8man
01-05-2012, 02:08 PM
My cousin works @ Cooks BBQ.....or at least he did
the last time I visited, some years back....and I found the barbecue to be very good...

Is this an endorsement for Cooks, you may ask?

Only my opinion.....judge for yourself.....

On edit....I just looked at their website and it seems
my cousin, Jim Briggs, has retired.....

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 02:17 PM
Okay, if you gonna get all historical....

This is where I was weaned on BBQ in the mid 70's, about 2 miles from my homestead. Still in business, and still has a large stack of wood out back.

This is 40 minutes from downtown, Charlotte

Whispering Pines BBQ
1421 US Highway 52 N Albemarle, NC 28001-2601

http://southernfoodcrew.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/img00137201008141126.jpg

http://southernfoodcrew.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/img00131201008141116.jpg

Gore
01-05-2012, 02:19 PM
Dang it! Now I have to make a run to WS to check out Bibs Downtown.

That's one thing about NC BBQ restaurants. Every town or city has a quite a few places worth trying. I may not live long enough to try them all.


I think you and bbq.tom seem to agree in your assessments and I've been in pretty good agreement with bbq.tom in my experience. Of course restaurants do change hands (and cooks) and have off-nights. The WS area seems like a real hotspot thuogh, much better concentration of quality than in Raleigh-Durham area.

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 02:22 PM
My cousin works @ Cooks BBQ.....or at least he did
the last time I visited, some years back....and I found the barbecue to be very good...

Is this an endorsement for Cooks, you may ask?

Only my opinion.....judge for yourself.....

On edit....I just looked at their website and it seems
my cousin, Jim Briggs, has retired.....

Small world!

Cook's bbq is a hidden gem that not a lot of folks know about. :thumb:

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 02:39 PM
My cousin works @ Cooks BBQ.....or at least he did
the last time I visited, some years back....and I found the barbecue to be very good...

Is this an endorsement for Cooks, you may ask?

Only my opinion.....judge for yourself.....

On edit....I just looked at their website and it seems
my cousin, Jim Briggs, has retired.....

Photos from my visit to Cook's last year (December 2010)
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-B4b0SeSH24I/TWFJSQ63TBI/AAAAAAAABKE/78NhdnUQqNA/s640/IMG_0367.JPG

Wood crib under shed (also a boat)
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-qv62Z_2JDls/TWFJRz8wjrI/AAAAAAAABKA/Ve6qACTrpN8/s640/IMG_0366.JPG

Coarse Chopped Plate

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Aeh7fg4srgo/TWFJadyd4XI/AAAAAAAADHg/v6GS7xg4EdI/s640/IMG_0374.JPG


Close-up
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-shIHJDwBN0Y/TWFJbIFL3DI/AAAAAAAADHk/jU771W2CgmM/s640/IMG_0375.JPG

A NC BBQ must (along with slaw)

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ncS-KX_wfa4/TWFJcvdVRAI/AAAAAAAABK0/Tiak5ho06vE/s640/IMG_0377.JPG

poor cell photos - i apologize
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-v9Koij3MfZ0/TwYJMivZIxI/AAAAAAAADHs/qWl5vfQgYnk/s720/IMG_0379.JPG

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-JERIrtbmgEY/TWFJemUMbVI/AAAAAAAADH8/9NjMKIj213w/s512/IMG_0380.JPG

Check out the holiday specials (Yes Sir that IS smoked whole shoulders (18-20lbs pre-cook weight typical) & fixings for 39.00

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-w_KJCQ76lm0/TWFJfCNs5II/AAAAAAAABLE/TE6Cyp8Xd6w/s512/IMG_0381.JPG


:thumb:

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 02:45 PM
Lexington BBQ visit

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-yXuxCTd89p0/TWHLPaZZBxI/AAAAAAAABp0/X8MIr3ncy8M/s640/1.21.10%252520105.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-m41-QcAsR-Y/TWHLM2dyiCI/AAAAAAAABpU/15KohS6a5tY/s640/1.21.10%252520100.JPG

Gore
01-05-2012, 03:01 PM
I'm expecting that pork-shoulder dinner is for two people and not one, right John?
Food looks great!

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 03:07 PM
I'm expecting that pork-shoulder dinner is for two people and not one, right John?
Food looks great!

It depends on who the "one" is I guess. :becky:

By the way, both of the bbq joints pictured above are Lexington style BBQ and are unadulterated (just the way they were served).

I had to dispel the ongoing rumors that Lexington style sauce is red & tomatoey. :doh:

Gore
01-05-2012, 03:11 PM
What is most striking for me is the big chunks of pork. I have been to many NC establishments and it has always been finely chopped, minced pork. I so want to try a plate of what you have there.

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 03:16 PM
What is most striking for me is the big chunks of pork. I have been to many NC establishments and it has always been finely chopped, minced pork. I so want to try a plate of what you have there.


Local's secret.... :becky:
We NEVER order the "regular bbq plate", which is - as you describe it - chopped, minced pork.
That is for the tourists. :shocked:

Most every BBQ joint in NC you can order coarse chopped as opposed to the standard fine chopped (minced is a better description).

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 03:19 PM
Coarse chopped is the way I roll at home too.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-margrXMKUmo/TWHMZ-m6gMI/AAAAAAAADIA/W4q9Alf8OLE/s640/P1011688.JPG
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-0a7tk07PBac/TWHMeJeLOLI/AAAAAAAADIE/GHMQNkyVECI/s640/P1011695.JPG

Gore
01-05-2012, 03:22 PM
I do very coarse pulled myself, and I mean VERY coarse. By the way, are there any NC BBQ joints that use Red Boat Fish sauce? Then we could combine these two threads and save ourselves a whole bunch of jumping back and forth.

Gore
01-05-2012, 03:28 PM
Local's secret.... :becky:
We NEVER order the "regular bbq plate", which is - as you describe it - chopped, minced pork.
That is for the tourists. :shocked:

Most every BBQ joint in NC you can order coarse chopped as opposed to the standard fine chopped (minced is a better description).

Great to know. I'll do that from now on. So how do you describe that? and why do they have these things on menus if nobody orders them? And... although I admit I am really a tourist, I seem to be the only tourist who is ever in these places (most of which are not in touristed areas). Usually, there is BBQ sandwich on the menu as a special that I go with. I learned long ago never to order brisket in NC as brisket is NOT BBQ in NC.

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 03:31 PM
To add a visual aid to others that may read this thread.

This is the "typical NC bbq sandwich (this one from Whispering Pines - above).
http://southernfoodcrew.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/img00136201008141122.jpg

Notice slaw on one side of bun, and finely chopped (minced pork) on the other.

Gore
01-05-2012, 03:33 PM
^^^ yeah, that's the stuff. So that's what the tourists get?

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 03:39 PM
Great to know. I'll do that from now on. So how do you describe that? and why do they have these things on menus if nobody orders them? And... although I admit I am really a tourist, I seem to be the only tourist who is ever in these places (most of which are not in touristed areas). Usually, there is BBQ sandwich on the menu as a special that I go with. I learned long ago never to order brisket in NC as brisket is NOT BBQ in NC.

As denoted on the menu below.
"Coarse Chopped" is a standard (at least in Lexington style) offering.

-2nd item under "Plates" and 3rd item under "Trays"

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-JERIrtbmgEY/TWFJemUMbVI/AAAAAAAADH8/9NjMKIj213w/s512/IMG_0380.JPG



and you are correct...if it is not pork bbq, stay far away from it in NC.
This includes, brisket, ribs, etc..
BBQ in NC = chopped pork (shoulder or whole hog). Nothing else.

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 03:42 PM
^^^ yeah, that's the stuff. So that's what the tourists get?


I said that a little tongue-in-cheek.

That is the standard pork bbq offering in NC. the majority of folks that don't know better, order this. It is what I grew up on.

Folks like us that are a bit more discriminating (spelled: "Picky") go for the coarse chopped.

N8man
01-05-2012, 03:50 PM
Dang It!!! Now I want a Chopped Barbecue Sandwich
and some HushPuppies........

Gore
01-05-2012, 03:54 PM
I don't recall seeing it on the menus though. I wonder if it is regional also, as I'm generally driving down to the Raleigh area and I'm getting eastern style there, which is a different beast. I'll ask and see if they tell me to drive west 100 miles.

There is a reason they ask you "Do you want BBQ or brisket?" in NC, because their brisket cannot be classified as BBQ. I learned quickly not to order brisket or ribs. Stick with BBQ and nobody gets hurt! :thumb:

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 03:55 PM
Dang It!!! Now I want a Chopped Barbecue Sandwich
and some HushPuppies........

yea me too!

You are much closer to being able to make that happen than I am though. my next home trip to NC is not until next weekend. :doh:

N8man
01-05-2012, 04:00 PM
I'll eat some for you.....

By the way John, have you ever tried Hursey's Barbecue???
It's a family owned place in Alamance County....Not too bad.....
Sort of West NC Meets East NC Style.....Tasty...


yea me too!

You are much closer to being able to make that happen than I am though. my next home trip to NC is not until next weekend. :doh:

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 04:01 PM
I don't recall seeing it on the menus though. I wonder if it is regional also, as I'm generally driving down to the Raleigh area and I'm getting eastern style there, which is a different beast. I'll ask and see if they tell me to drive west 100 miles.

There is a reason they ask you "Do you want BBQ or brisket?" in NC, because their brisket cannot be classified as BBQ. I learned quickly not to order brisket or ribs. Stick with BBQ and nobody gets hurt! :thumb:

It may well be regional...Lexington style is known for it's coarser chop than the Eastern, NC version.

I try to avoid the RDU area, actually anything east of a line from fayette-nam to Greensboro is considered enemy territory. :shock:

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 04:02 PM
I'll eat some for you.....

By the way John, have you ever tried Hursey's Barbecue???
It's a family owned place in Alamance County....Not too bad.....
Sort of West NC Meets East NC Style.....Tasty...


Dagnabit! Yet another place I have to try now...geez :becky:

No I haven't,. but it is now on my list.

Thanks N8

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 04:11 PM
Ok kids, let's review:

Coarse Chopped Lexington Style (this from Lexington # 1)
http://www.seriouseats.com/images/sandwich-a-day-lexington-bbq-no-1-chopped-bbq-sandwich-lexington-nc.jpg


Chopped Lexington Style BBQ (from Whispering Pines)
http://southernfoodcrew.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/img00136201008141122.jpg


Chopped Eastern, NC BBQ plate (Prissy Polly's)
http://www.relylocal.com/uploads/pictures/18201/normal_eastern_n.c._style_bbq_plate.jpg

N8man
01-05-2012, 04:13 PM
There's lots of local places on my "to visit" list....

So much Barbecue, so little Time.......

Dagnabit! Yet another place I have to try now...geez :becky:

No I haven't,. but it is now on my list.

Thanks N8

Sauced!
01-05-2012, 07:34 PM
Midwood Smokehouse on Central Ave just outside of uptown Charlotte is good. It hasnt been open very long but the pork was pretty good. The chef went to Texas to get all his recipes and 'secrets' so they even have homemade sausage that isn't bad. Hard to find that in these parts.

Mac's Speed shop is okay but avoid the brisket and ribs unless you like eating them with a knife. :shocked:

SirPorkaLot
01-05-2012, 07:53 PM
He went to Texas to learn how to cook NC BBQ??

Yes, brisket and ribs is not our thing.

BBQJack
01-07-2012, 08:42 AM
Hi folks. I got back late last night from my trip. I ended up driving to Cooks on Thursday night. Quite an adventure. My flight in was late so I was cutting it real close to closing time by the time I got there. Screaming up the 85 to make in time.

I tell you this place is worth the drive. I'm not a big fan of hushpuppies, but I couldn't stop eating them! So good. I since it was my first time there, I ordered the sampler plate to try a bit of everything. Pulled pork, beef brisket and chicken leg.

The pork was real good, not watery like some places I've been. About as good as I can make myself. The brisket was much better than I have ever made. This is possibly because my serving had a lot of bark - which I like. The chicken was unreal. I was really surprised that it could be this good. I'm gonna try to emulate these chicken legs at home.

All in all, well worth the trip. I hope to go back again next time I'm in the CLT area.

http://i1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee501/Lenzflair/P1000130.jpg

http://i1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee501/Lenzflair/P1000132.jpg

I love the interior. Americana at it's best!

http://i1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee501/Lenzflair/P1000134.jpg

quite generous portions for a tenner...... The slaw was crisp and fresh. I detected a hint of sweet tea in the formula that made it interesting. I like crinkle fries with BBQ. If they're not crinkle, they're not suited for BBQ - lol.

Gore
01-07-2012, 10:08 AM
Thanks for the report! For me, one of the amazing things about NC BBQ are the sides. Every place has something outstanding. I never grew up with hushpuppies, and like you, I don't usually like them, but in NC, they KNOW hushpuppies. I clean my plate of them! That looks like a great deal for a tenner.

Should have reminded you to drink Sweet Tear or Cheerwine. :doh:

SirPorkaLot
01-07-2012, 11:18 AM
Great report. Thanks for sharing!

BBQJack
01-07-2012, 12:11 PM
and thanks for the recommendation SPAL! I've got a bag of chicky legs on the Q right now..... inspired by Cooks.....

SirPorkaLot
01-07-2012, 12:40 PM
I've never had the chix at Cook's. What was their take on it?

bbq.tom
01-08-2012, 08:42 PM
Hey Guys, sorry that I didn't see this threat sooner, but Gore did a great job channeling me - or maybe he was just looking at a copy of my book. I don't think that I had Cook's in the copy that he has, but I have been there and agree that this is a pretty good place. Especially the miniature hushpuppies - little marbles of pure goodness! Unfortunately, I've not been to many Q-joints around Charlotte - somewhere I need to do some more work before completing my book (only been to 326 Q-joints in NC so far).

All in all, I'm truly glad to know that you had some good North Carolina barbecue!!!

Gore
01-08-2012, 08:57 PM
Thanks Tom,
Glad you finally showed up. The channeling stuff is especially hard when I don't have a complete cheat-sheet. :becky: I can't wait 'til that book comes out.

BBQJack
01-09-2012, 02:25 PM
I've never had the chix at Cook's. What was their take on it?

I seemed slow cooked, no skin. I tried to recreate this weekend, but it was a fial.....

back to the drawing board....

Sledneck
01-22-2012, 07:45 AM
I'm gonna be in Charlotte next Monday , unfortunately cooks is closed monday. Looks like Lexington #1 it is again.

bbq.tom
01-22-2012, 06:13 PM
I'm gonna be in Charlotte next Monday , unfortunately cooks is closed monday. Looks like Lexington #1 it is again.

If you've already tried Lexington #1, then give "Bar-B-Q Center" a try - I like it better than #1!


Bar-B-Q Center‎
900 North Main Street
Lexington, NC 27292-2694
(336) 248-4633
barbecuecenter.com‎

Sledneck
01-22-2012, 06:30 PM
If you've already tried Lexington #1, then give "Bar-B-Q Center" a try - I like it better than #1!


Bar-B-Q Center‎
900 North Main Street
Lexington, NC 27292-2694
(336) 248-4633
barbecuecenter.com‎
If they are open on Monday's I will. Same deal, I have to request coarse chopped extra brown?

ButchB
02-13-2012, 09:14 PM
Heres a few i've been to:

Macs Speed Shop in Charlotte- Brisket was good, BBQ was ok, Ended up throwing ribs away, they were horrible.

JB's Midway in Monroe- Awesome BBQ

Darryls in Greensboro- Some of the best ribs i've ever tasted.

Smokey Bones in Fayetteville- Good ribs and ok BBQ.

Stickey Fingers in Concord- Average ribs and BBQ, not what I was expecting.

Team DD
02-14-2012, 02:43 PM
Barbecue Center is good too... If you have room left, you can try to eat their banana split.

Doug