View Full Version : North Carolina

05-16-2013, 08:50 PM
Hey guys. Quick Question. In a few weeks, I'm gonna be in Greensboro NC.

Was thinking of going to Stameys or Country Bbq? Or is there a better place for dinner on a Friday night?

The following day, I'm gonna be driving through Ayden. Would you go to Bum's or Skylight Inn?

Then I'll be in Emerald Isle for a week. Any thoughts of places around there? Or Beaufort, Morehead City, Swansboro? I guess for these, I'm looking for seafood and not bbq, but really any good places.

On the drive home, we're going through Wilson so I can go to Parker's. This one I know I'm doing without exception since it's where we would go when I was a kid.

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

- Kirk

05-16-2013, 09:00 PM
Country BBQ over Stameys for sure...but I'm sure you'll get differing opinions on that...
Skylight Inn is definitely a must....
after that....????
Have a good trip....

05-20-2013, 01:27 PM
Stamey's in Greensboro over Country!!!

Skylight Inn over Bum's in Ayden!!!

Try "Yana's" in Swansboro for a GREAT hand pattied cheeseburger, GREAT onion rings, hand mixed cherry coke, and wonderful fruit fritters!!!!
The "Bogue House" restaurant is pretty good too for all types of food especially seafood, just before you cross the bridges into Swansboro.

05-20-2013, 01:35 PM
Country BBQ over Stameys for sure....

Stamey's in Greensboro over Country!!!

I love this place. :laugh:

For the record, N8man is a fixture of the Brethren and expert here on all things NC. Tom is the author of the definitive NC BBQ Restaurant Guide, having visited approximately 10 kazillion of them and written comprehensive reviews on every single one. He's also a damn Yankee. You might just have to visit them both. :thumb:

05-20-2013, 02:16 PM
Visit them both and review with pics. :grin: :biggrin1: :clap:

05-20-2013, 07:08 PM
let me further confuse the issue....I'm no expert on BBQ restaurants, but I do have a dated opinion...
visit Stamey's for the history of the place and sample the barbecue...I haven't been there in some years...tell us about it...
visit Country BBQ, I don't know the history of that place at all, but I did
like their barbecue better than Stamey's, my opinion at the time, but for all I know they may buy their bbq from Stamey's and resell it.........I haven't been there in some years either, and sample the barbecue......tell us about it...
then go down the road to Lexington and eat barbecue at Cook's BBQ.....one of my favorites at the time but I haven't been there since my cousin retired from running it...
then you tell us which, where and why.....

win/win.....and I get to know where to go if I quit cooking bbq........which I haven't yet and why I haven't
visited any of the aforementioned joints in some time.......

05-20-2013, 08:54 PM
^^^ sounds like N8man's waffling. :becky:

05-20-2013, 09:06 PM
I am and thanks for noticing.....:tongue:
there was one time I gave opinion on a NC BBQ joint to eat at,
"Dr. BBQ" lambasted me for my obviously not knowing about what I liked....
so's I have been somewhat hesitant in proclaiming where to go, being from here and all...

I hear "The Waffle House" is good...and opinions are like a-holes, everyone has one.....
Does this waffle make my ass look big?:grin:

^^^ sounds like N8man's waffling. :becky:

05-21-2013, 11:20 AM
Greensboro Q-joints that I've been to in the order that I would return (best to worst):
Bernie's (2602 E. Bessemer Ave);
O'Henry B-B-Q (3501 Summit Ave);
Country Barbecue;
Boss Hog's BAR BQ (2314 E Bessemer Ave);
Frosty's Bar-B-Q (4836 Summit Ave); and
Finecastles Diner (215 S Elm St).

BoHogs was the best in the area but closed in 2008.
Also try Hickory Tree BBQ if you want TURKEY Q (they don't do pork!).
I'm sure that I've missed a place or three, but these are the ones I've been to and reviewed.

05-21-2013, 11:25 AM
one could easily sample both Skylight & Bum's, they're so close together.

I personally prefer Bum's (SACRILEGE!!!!) To me the BBQ seems to be basically the same between the two and in addition you get amazing country sides. The farking best fried chicken this side of N Carolina (blows Parker's chicken out of the water), fried skins, banana pudding.

You get the gist. I heart Bum's

05-21-2013, 02:30 PM
Another recommendation for Cook's in Lexington, NC. It's outside of town in a subdivision at the end of a dead end street. Lexington, NC has 19 BBQ resturants at last count.

On Emerald Island go to Rucker-Johns. In Morehead City Sanitary Fish Market & Restaurant (http://www.yelp.com/biz/sanitary-fish-market-and-restaurant-morehead-city-2) on the waterfront, Cox Family Restaurant (http://www.yelp.com/biz/cox-family-restaurant-morehead-city) less expensive but not on the water front and for lunch get a shrimp or pizza burger at El's Drive-In (http://www.yelp.com/biz/els-drive-in-morehead-city). In Beaufort Clawson's 1905 Restaurant & Pub (http://www.yelp.com/biz/clawsons-1905-restaurant-and-pub-beaufort).

While on the Island, head east to Salter Path for a visit to the Aquarium, then continue further east through Atlantic Beach to Fort Macon.

I live in Ayden and frequent both the Skylight Inn and Bums. I recommend a visit both. Addresses provided for GPS input. Both restuarants cook whole hog in an open air pit fired by coals that have been burnt down from split Oak logs.

At the world famous Skylight Inn (4604 Lee Street, Ayden, NC 28513) ask to speak to Samuel Jones, the grandson of the later Pete Jones, for a tour of the pits, bring your camera. They sell only whole hog BBQ in trays except on Thurs-Fri when BBQ chicken becomes part of the menu. The side is slaw and the bread is either a white hamburger bun or baked cornbread. The Skylight Inn has been featured on many TV shows. In 2012 Samuel was a contestant on the North Carolina Episode of BBQ Pitmasters which first aired in January 2013. (I was Samuel's assistance). The Skylight is a 2007 James Beard Award recipient. They will also be cooking at the Big Apple BBQ Fest in NYC on June 8-9, 2013.
Link to video about the resturant. http://www.skylightinnbbq.com/index.php/image-wall-gallery/v-tube-pro/test-video

At Bum's (566 Third St., Ayden, NC 28513) you get more variety of good ol' southern cooking. When there ask to speak to Larry or his dad Bum for a tour of their pits. Don't leave without trying the Bananna Pudding.

You will leave both with a smile on your face.

There is another noteworth BBQ resturant nearby, B's BBQ (715 B'S Barbeque Road) in Greenville, NC 27834 which is 10 miles north of Ayden. If you are coming from the west (Raleigh, NC) you will drive to Greenville on US 64 then US 264 before heading south to Ayden on NC11. I would hit B's about 11:30, Bums about 1:00, Skylight Inn 2:00. All 3 are closed on Sunday's.

05-22-2013, 07:15 AM
There is another noteworth BBQ resturant nearby, B's BBQ (715 B'S Barbeque Road) in Greenville, NC 27834 which is 10 miles north of Ayden. If you are coming from the west (Raleigh, NC) you will drive to Greenville on US 64 then US 264 before heading south to Ayden on NC11. I would hit B's about 11:30, Bums about 1:00, Skylight Inn 2:00. All 3 are closed on Sunday's.

B's BBQ made me believe in corn sticks again. Most other places they're chewy bricks. B's was like a flakey pastry.

05-24-2013, 04:59 PM
Thanks for everything guys. We are driving. My wife and my 2 boys aged 5 and 8. I am excited. I grew up in Rocky Mount so this is almost a pilgrimage home for me. Can't wait to get back and sample lots of places. I will take lots of pics and post.

Will have to research the suggestions and build a plan of sorts! Thanks again for all the great info!!

Just a few more weeks and we hit the road!

05-24-2013, 06:35 PM
depending on which route you drive....

If you come down I-77, stop off in King, NC and check out Pig Shack. A buddy of mine opened it a little over a year ago.... I haven't made it over there yet, but if it is anything like what I have tasted at the comps I have been at with him, it will be great.

Keep us posted.


05-25-2013, 05:26 PM
depending on which route you drive....

If you come down I-77, stop off in King, NC and check out Pig Shack. A buddy of mine opened it a little over a year ago.... I haven't made it over there yet, but if it is anything like what I have tasted at the comps I have been at with him, it will be great.

Keep us posted.


Thanks. Not exactly sure of the route we are taking yet. I'll have to post my map route when I get back home.

06-16-2013, 03:56 PM
Alright...just got back...so I'll start posting some info...

We got into Greensboro NC on Friday night and after checking into the hotel, headed over to Stamey's. We didn't go to Country BBQ, I couldn't talk the rest of the family (wife and 2 sons) to go to another place. They were tired from the long drive from the Chicago Area.


When you walk in, it's seat yourself with menu's on the table. Then a server will ask for your drink and food order.


Here's the business side...


I ordered the large chopped pork plate.


It came with slaw and hush puppies and I ordered a side of beans. The cut of the pork was good but the bark/skin was not really that flavorful. I did like the flavor of the pork and the seasoning. It was a light tomato, vinegar and pepper flavor. Light smoke. It was pretty good. What I really loved though was the slaw. It was a terrific red slaw, vinegar with a nice slight heat. My wife and I really liked it.

When we left, I got a pic of the smoke house.


Wish I could have tried Country BBQ for some compare contrast, but we needed to crash after the long drive.

06-16-2013, 04:04 PM
On Saturday, we had a few sights to see, then drove over to Ayden for lunch. We went to Bum's Bbq and skipped Skylight.

This is the pic of the outside when we were leaving. Seemed like there were a lot of out of towners like us.


This is the only food pick I got from there.


I got the large pork plate with brunswick stew and boiled potatoes. It also came with corn sticks and corn bread.

The pork was excellent. The skin/bark was almost like it was fried and crispy. Had loads of flavor. The pork was a nice chop. The seasoning was vinegar base with I thing some tomato and peppers. It had slight heat and a touch of sweet. It was really good. I should have picked other sides. The brunswick stew was just ok for me and the boiled potatoes were eh. My kids got the fried chicken which they really, really liked and green beans. They green beans were excellent, cooked with pork and they were broad green beans. Just like grandma used to cook.

The corn sticks were eh, but the corn bread was thin, savory, crispy on the outside and almost creamy on the inside. It was really good.

06-16-2013, 04:11 PM
Then we drove into Emerald Isle to our rental. This is the pic off the upper balcony. We were on the south end of the island, known as the point.


Lots of beach relaxing...


And we went up to Fort Macon to see the fort.



More relaxing and some cooking....


Scallops and Shrimp wrapped in bacon...They only had a gasser there.



Lots of deer on the island too..


More relaxing...


We went out for some fried seafood....We went to the Crab Shack which is up north about 4 miles. I got a combo plate with fried oysters, scallops and crab cakes, baked potato, slaw and hush puppies. I was stuffed.


06-16-2013, 04:18 PM
Yesterday, Saturday, we left in the morning and drove up to Wilson for Parker's Original Bbq. I grew up in Rocky Mount, so this was a 15 min drive for us when I was little.

It still looks the same and smells the same. My mom said the when I was 5 the first time I walked in, I asked if they dyed Easter eggs there. There is a very strong vinegar smell when you walk in. My 5 year old held his nose.


Again, seat yourself. This is on every table.


And here's the menu.


I ordered the large bbq dinner with Brunswick stew, boiled potatoes and slaw. It came with corn sticks and hush puppies.


Pork with Texas Pete's added. It's a much finer chop than the Bum's or Stamey's. And has a little more heat, but not much with a much more pronounced vinegar flavor. I liked that a lot.

The Brunswick stew was better than Bum's and so were the potatoes. I loved the potatoes. They were cooked with some of the vinegar and spices as the bbq sauce.

I realized I don't have a good slaw picture. They have a mustard/vinegar slaw with horseradish. My wife hated it. I thought it was really good.


So, if I'm rating them....I would go with Bum's, then Parker's (in Wilson) and then Stamey's. But for me, Parkers was a close second.

Bum's had a bunch of other southern sides like sweet potatoes, green beans, cabbage, okra, etc. I wish I could have gone again and delved into those.

06-16-2013, 04:25 PM
We drove home through Charleston WV and stopped there for dinner. Pies and Pints was a very good choice.


They have lots of beer on tap and in bottles. This was a Double IPA. For the life of me, I don't remember which now....


This is the classic pie with mushroom, sausage, pepperoni and banana peppers. The other half is a caprese pie with mozz, balsamic reduction, basil and tomatoes.


This is a 1/2 classic cheese and 1/2 pepperoni and sausage.


My 5 year old demolishing the cheese pizza. He had 3 1/2 slices in total.


06-16-2013, 05:16 PM
Now that's a road trip! Looks like y'all had fun. Thanks for sharing.

06-16-2013, 05:57 PM
Thanks for that, it was great to see some American BBQ places and the food.
Very different from what I imagined, and the family looked like they had a good time.
The seafood on the barbie brings back memories of similar holidays downunder in the southwest beach towns.

06-16-2013, 07:32 PM
Looks like you had a great trip. Thanks for the info and pics.

06-24-2013, 08:13 PM
You definitely made the right choice in Ayden IMO. Bum's is the best I've had here. I live about 10 minutes up the road in Greenville, NC. Skyline has that wacky dome roof and the best PR in the business. I can only think that all the people that say it's the best (1) haven't eaten there, or (2) haven't eaten anywhere else.

06-25-2013, 07:08 PM
We liked Bums a lot. And my wife requested black eyed peas on this weekends menu. Along with sweet potato and some green beans. She said nothing of the main course (protein). Only the sides she had at Bums.

06-27-2013, 02:57 PM
Looks like a great time. I grew up going to Atlantic Beach which is on Emerald Isle. Come a little farther south next time and I'll loan you a charcoal grill for your stay.

06-27-2013, 04:23 PM
Looks like a great time. I grew up going to Atlantic Beach which is on Emerald Isle. Come a little farther south next time and I'll loan you a charcoal grill for your stay.

I may take you up on that. Looks like we're planning a trip back next year. Although I was telling SmokinAussie that I maybe missed my chance to buy and bring a WGA!

We almost took a day trip down to Wilmington to see the USS North Carolina. My kids would have loved it. I went there on a class trip in third grade!

06-29-2013, 05:25 PM
great pics.. thanks for sharing.

Stamey's was one of the first (if not the first) place I recall ever eating barbeque at...