This past Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the UNC-Kentucky basketball game with my friend Daniel Freeman. It was a fantastic basketball game with
pulling out a slim victory. After the game, we walked out of the Dean Dome into a winter wonderland of snow and ice. It was great day, but to make it even better, we decide to go to Allen and Son Pit Cooked Bar-B-Q for dinner. We picked up my daughter Amanda and headed for the tiny, nondescript building on the outskirts of Carolina Chapel Hill. With the snow falling outside, we sat and ate delicious traditional eastern North Carolina Bar-B-Q sandwiches. It was the perfect way to end the day.
This got me thinking about BBQ / Barbecue / Bar-B-Q/ Bar-B-Que.
To our northern cousins, or yankees, as some southerners call them (that is, if they stay up there, they’re called damn yankees if they move down here,) barbecue is an event. It describes the cooking of any food outside on an open flame. As in, “Hey youse guys, let’s have a barbecue.” They also refer to the device for cooking outside as a barbecue. As in, “Hey youse guys, let’s cook on the barbecue.” Sometimes, it’s a verb. As in, “Hey youse guys, let’s barbecue some burgers.”
For a southerner, barbecue has only one definition, pork, hopefully slow cooked over hot hickory coals, chopped or pulled and served with a vinegar based sauce, coleslaw, Brunswick stew, hushpuppies and a large glass of sweet ice tea. However, this is where the debate about barbecue really begins. In
, the Civil War isn’t about north and south, it’s about east and west. North Carolina
It is worth noting a few other barbecue styles.
has the distinction of offering a chopped pork barbecue with a dull yellow mustard based sauce. Martha and I ate at Maurice’s outside of South Carolina and enjoyed a yellow barbecue sandwich accompanied by something called barbecue hash (gravy and onions over rice.) Columbia, South Carolina
Martha and Amanda drove through
a couple of years ago and stopped at Neely’s Interstate Bar-B-Que. They brought me back several pounds of beef brisket and pork and a large bottle of Neely’s sweet, tangy sauce. It was terrific. Memphis
Finally, at my nephew’s wedding in
, I was treated to Houston style barbecue. It was beef brisket, smoker cooked with oak and served with a light brown sauce. They have a tendency to focus on the flavor of the beef rather than having a strong sauce taste. Texas
Having completed this treatise on barbecue, let me end with a few restaurants I like. The aforementioned Allen and Son in
Chapel Hill, Wilber’s in , King’s in Goldsboro and Smithfield Chicken “N’ Bar-B-Q in a number of locations. Kinston
(In memorium: Snooks Old Fashion Barbecue in Advance and
’s Barbecue and Seafood in Murray were great barbecue joints that are no longer with us.) Raleigh
Anybody with BBQ joint suggestions, please leave a comment. I am always on a quest for better barbecue.