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jpropaganda

Best BBQ in the South?

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If you make it to Atlanta, then you should go to Fox Brothers. Even though barbecue tastes are incredibly subjective, a lot of people agree with me that they're the best in Atlanta and serve very good food. The other two places you mentioned are also good choices, but I'd put Fox Bros. just ahead of them. Oh, one other place you may consider is Harold's Barbecue - an institution around here, they've been open over 50 years. Although the barbecue isn't that great, they still serve really good Brunswick stew and crackling cornbread.

-Greg


Edited by gwilson (log)

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A friend from Statesville, NC introduced me to Sims Country BBQ in Dudley Shoals several years ago, and I haven't been back in ages, but I gather it's still worth recommending. They serve pulled pork with fine local music and dancing. Doc Watson has been known to show up occasionally and sing for his supper.

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I live in eastern NC, so I'll offer some opinions on that area.

Parker’s – Wilson NC

Parker's is not worth a stop. They went over to cooking with gas long ago. It is absolutely vital that eastern NC barbecue be cooked with wood or charcoal. If it's not, it will be either a) greasy and tasteless or b) oversauced to compensate for a).

Here's what is good at the moment. I am ranking in order of preference.

1. Skylight Inn(Pete Jones'), Ayden

2. Blackbeard's BBQ and C-Food, Conetoe

3. B's Barbecue, Greenville

4. Jack Cobb's, Farmville

5. Wilber's, Goldsboro

All of these cook with wood except for B's, which uses charcoal. A few notes about each:

The Skylight Inn puts cracklins(skin) into its barbecue, and the skin degrades(hardens)very quickly. It is essential that you eat their barbecue fresh. Either eat in the restaurant or eat there in the parking lot. I also usually get a sandwich with no slaw, as the liquid from the slaw can cause the cracklins to harden a bit as well. Jones' also offers a barbecue tray, but the way that the sandwich compresses the meat together gives you a better, more complex flavor with every bite, and the lack of slaw brings out the smoke flavor.

Blackbeard's is my next favorite on the list and the smokiest of the five I listed. What I like about them is that they have a variety of very good Southern sides that change often. Standouts for me are the collards, snap beans, field peas, fried squash, and Brunswick stew. They also have fried seafood and a variety of non-bbq daily specials that you won't see in many places- turkey necks, pig feet, etc. All the vegetables are fresh, and they have excellent homemade pepper sauce for the collards. It may be hard to find though, the link in Google maps is incorrect. It's on US64-Alt between Tarboro and Conetoe. Blackbeard's is the best place I know of to get not just barbecue, but a whole host of traditional eastern North Carolina foods.

B's is an institution in Greenville. They only cook a set amount of food every day though, so you need to get there early. I would say no later than 11am if you want to be guaranteed to get the bbq. Often they don't run out until later, but if you want to be sure, get there early. They also have bbq chicken, which is great.

Others- Cobb's has a light smoke flavor and great mustard based slaw. Make sure to get the slaw there. Wilber's is excellent but can be a little inconsistent. Grady's BBQ in Dudley also has a very good reputation, but I haven't tried it yet.

Someone mentioned Bum's downthread a bit, but I think it's overrated. Supposedly they cook with wood, but the barbecue is oversauced so badly that you can't taste any smoke. I am not impressed with their bbq. The sides are good, but mostly outclassed by Blackbeard's IMO. I also thought it was odd that they do not have any homemade pepper sauce, even though their most famous dish is their collards. I would only say that it's worth stopping if you're a collard connoisseur, because Bum's cooks cabbage collards, which taste different from regular collards and are an heirloom variety native to Pitt County that you won't find elsewhere. Otherwise, turn around and make a left onto Lee St. and head to Pete Jones'.


Edited by Pocosin (log)

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Someone mentioned Bum's downthread a bit, but I think it's overrated. Supposedly they cook with wood, but the barbecue is oversauced so badly that you can't taste any smoke. I am not impressed with their bbq. The sides are good, but mostly outclassed by Blackbeard's IMO. I also thought it was odd that they do not have any homemade pepper sauce, even though their most famous dish is their collards. I would only say that it's worth stopping if you're a collard connoisseur, because Bum's cooks cabbage collards, which taste different from regular collards and are an heirloom variety native to Pitt County that you won't find elsewhere. Otherwise, turn around and make a left onto Lee St. and head to Pete Jones'.

I am guilty of recommending Bum's and I should have qualified my recommendation as I agree with you. Whenever I am in Ayden, I stop at both, getting BBQ at Skylight and picking up some sides from Bum's to carry home. Their collards and rutabagas take those often maligned vegetables to new heights.

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I am guilty of recommending Bum's and I should have qualified my recommendation as I agree with you. Whenever I am in Ayden, I stop at both, getting BBQ at Skylight and picking up some sides from Bum's to carry home. Their collards and rutabagas take those often maligned vegetables to new heights.

"Guilty" is kind of a strong word. Bum's isn't bad by any means, I just thought that for the particular purposes of this trip, Bum's was a bit of a square peg. You can get great Southern sides and great barbecue at Blackbeard's, although Bum's collards would be worth trying just for contrast.

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That's some great advice! I'm going to be eating IN at all the restaurants so no need to worry about it getting stale. Thanks for the awesome east carolina breakdown, I'll try to make it to all 5 of those!

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Thank you all so much for your tips! My road trip started today, and I've posted the first video from Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem. Be sure to keep in touch, heading down to Virginia, then the carolinas next!

You can check out the webisodes if you'd like, it's called "BBQ with Brian and Jason" and they're all on www.bbqbj.net

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I just watched the second video, "Disappointment". I didn't mention this before because the question wasn't asked, but you should pretty much write off Sunday for barbecue in the South. Of the ENC places I posted about above, only Blackbeard's is open on Sunday, and only from 11am-3pm.

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Hope you haven't already done the West Tennessee/East Arkansas leg of your trip. In the event you have not:

Trolinger's, on U.S. 79 just west of Kentucky Lake in Paris, TN. It's a combo grocery store and barbecue joint and meat market and gas station. Order and pick up at the counter, grab a soda out of the cooler, eat, go to the register and tell them what you had so they can ring you up. And you can buy salt blocks for your cows or corn to bait the fields for your next dove hunt at the same stop.

Take U.S. 641 out of Paris and go about 20 miles to Camden, and eat at the Smokehouse, right there on the highway. Some of the smokiest pork I've ever encountered.

Agreed with the comment upthread about the place in Lexington.

When you get to Memphis:

Have a beer at the Rendezvous, or maybe a cheese and sausage plate, just to sample the atmosphere. Don't do it on a weekend. Ribs are good if it's early, dried out if it's later. Pulled pork is little more than average.

In order, my favorite Memphis pig palaces:

1. Germantown Commissary, only place that gives you a deviled egg with your bbq plate, and it's a good deviled egg. Two bbq plates will feed three people unless they're defensive linemen for the New Orleans Saints.

2. Central Barbecue. All in all, best overall experience with sides and a great beer list. Meat is not QUITE as good as the Commissary. And they don't have the eggs.

3. Interstate. Ribs. Ask for sauce on the side; as someone upthread commented, they DO slather on the sauce. Go at noon; it's not in the greatest neighborhood.

4. Three Pigs, corner White Station and Quince, off I-240 South. Good pork, best slaw. Someone upthread said they don't eat slaw on the sandwich, to which I have only one word: Heretic!

5. Barbecue Shop, on Madison in Midtown. (about the 1700 or so block, I think; in any event, between Belvedere and McLean). Best overall quality over a variety of meats, including brisket, should you for some reason want beef barbecue, as well as chicken and ribs. And their barbecued bologna is not to be missed.

6. Cozy Corner, for the barbecued Cornish game hen. Outstanding.

In Eastern Arkansas, there are two I'd strongly recommend -- Dixie Pig in Blytheville, and Couch's in Jonesboro. Institutions, both of them, and rightfully so.

If you get as far as Little Rock, try Sims. Carolina-style mustard sauce. I'm not crazy about it, but others are.

Have fun!


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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