Friday, June 1, 2007

NC Barbeque Road Trip

Dave DeWitt and Dr. Barbeque went on a road trip across North Carolina, searching for the best Q to be found:

The plan was this: we would investigate the differences between Eastern and Western (also called “Piedmont” or “Lexington-Style”) barbecue by eating in every restaurant we could find, schmooze with the local BBQ folks, and pick up on any local legend and lore. Because of Ray’s promotional schedule for his second book, we had less than a week to do it. I began the plan by consulting Bob Garner’s book, Guide to North Carolina Barbecue, and I selected the restaurants based on his comments, especially about which ones still cooked over oak or hickory coals, rather than gas or electric cookers.
Read the article, it's worth it.

Here's his top five list:
1. Bill’s Barbecue Wilson 63
2. Barbecue Center Lexington 62
3. Hursey’s Bar-B-Q Burlington 60.5
4. Parker’s Wilson 60.25
5. Log Cabin Bar-B-Que Albemarle 60
Now I appreciate it whenever foreigners visit our state and want to try the local cuisine, but I'm going to have to disagree with his choices a bit.

I haven't eaten at Bill's or the Log Cabin, but I've eaten at the others. Parker's is gas cooked, so I don't see why it's on his list. And by far, the absolute best barbeque to be had anywhere, is located at The Skylight Inn in Ayden, which he ranked a measly 8th.

The Barbecue Center over Lexington #1? Hursey's over Wilbur's?

How could a trip across the state not include RDU stalwarts such as Hog Heaven, Ole NC Barbecue, or Bullock's? Why miss these and visit chain places such as McCalls, Smithfields, and The BBQ & Ribs Co? And how can the White Swan not be on the list of joints in the Hwy-70 corridor?

Oh well, thanks for playing!

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