Tag Archives: NC BBQ Joints

Review: Kyle Fletcher’s BBQ — Gastonia, NC

Last weekend after work, I hopped on I-85 heading towards the mountains of western North Carolina to judge in Franklin, NC.  I couldn’t for the life of me decide where I should stop for dinner.  One of my co-workers mentioned that I should try Kyle Fletcher’s BBQ in Gastonia, NC.  Sure, why not?

Obligatory Signage

Obligatory Signage

Kyle Fletcher's BBQ

Kyle Fletcher's BBQ

Kyle’s is the quintessential barbecue joint.  It’s literally a little hole-in-the-wall building.  Parking is very much at a premium.  Kyle’s only accepts cash (so make sure that you make an ATM visit before stopping here).  Seating is done based on the honor system where everyone seats themselves.  And finally, when you step inside, you will have no doubts whatsoever that you are in a North Carolina BBQ joint — the interior decor is covered in all things UNC and NASCAR.

Interior

Interior

After browsing the menu, I decided on a large BBQ plate with hush puppies, fries, baked beans, and slaw (which ran about $7).  Naturally, I had sweet tea to drink (and quite a lot of it that night — I was really thirsty).  About 5-10 minutes after ordering, my food came out.

Large pulled BBQ plate

Large pulled BBQ plate

The slaw was a finely chopped slaw.  It was a faint pink color, caused from (I believe) mixing BBQ sauce into a white slaw mixture.  It had a nice balance of sweet and tang to it while maintaining a good texture.  The beans were nice and bold, although I would’ve liked to have seen some green bell pepper or onion in the beans.  The fries were nothing special, quite frankly, and the hush puppies were above average.

And now… the pork…

Pork close-up

Pork close-up

The pork was very moist and flavorful.  The consistency of the meat was between a coarse pull and a chop, so there was some texture retained.  There was a definite smoke flavor to the meat.  I also tried the pork with their two sauces — a sweet tomato-based sauce and a vinegar-based sauce that was supposed to be hot.  The vinegar-based sauce was not as hot as I thought it would be and did not add much flavor to the meat.  The tomato-based sauce, however, was quite excellent and would work well on any sort of meat.

Oh, and I did snag a photo of their cookers.  Kyle Fletcher’s cooks their BBQ behind their restaurant using hickory wood.

One of the cookers

The cooking area

So is this joint worth a repeat visit?  I’d say so.  And judging by the crowd I experienced when I was there, others are probably thinking the same thing.

Kyle Fletcher’s BBQ is located at 4507 Wilkinson Blvd., Gastonia, NC 28056.  They accept cash only.  I could not readily find their hours of operation.  If someone happens to know, I would certainly appreciate knowing as well!

Kyle Fletcher's BBQ & Catering on Urbanspoon

Review: Hubba Hubba Smokehouse — Flat Rock, NC

One of my favorite blogs to follow is Kevin’s BBQ Joints.  Earlier this year, I was reading a blog post talking about the favorite BBQ joints of Amy Mills Tunnicliffe.  When I saw Hubba Hubba Smokehouse in Flat Rock, NC mentioned, my first thought was, “Hey, that’s close to my in-laws!”  Well this past weekend, my father-in-law and I decided to give it a shot.

Hubba Hubba Smokehouse

Hubba Hubba Smokehouse

If you’re not keeping your eye out as you drive, you may very well miss this joint!  It is set off the road behind a collection of shops and eateries in Flat Rock, NC.  There is no indoor seating — instead, there are multiple outdoor seats available ranging from picnic tables to covered seating areas.  Ordering is done at one window, and food is picked up from the other.  One thing that gave me encouragement was the big woodpile.  According to the website for the smokehouse, they are supposedly one of only 30 wood-fired smokehouses in the state of North Carolina.

The wood pile

The wood pile

Watch out for the chickens!

Watch out for the chickens!

Both my father-in-law and I decided to order the pork plate — I ordered mine with cole slaw and potato salad, while he ordered his with cole slaw and baked beans.

Pulled Pork with Cole Slaw and Potato Salad

Pulled Pork with Cole Slaw and Potato Salad

The pulled pork had good flavor.  It was not overly smoky, and I could actually taste the meat and not some sauce.  The one word to describe the slaw — fresh.  The slaw had very little liquid base and almost consisted entirely of veggie goodness.  The potato salad had a very interesting flavor — it was a blend of a white potato salad and a classic yellow potato salad.

While ordering, I saw a slew of sauces at the counter (try saying that 3 times fast…).  I decided to get a sample of each and give them a shot.

The Sauces

The Sauces (from L to R: original, mustard, vinegar, chipotle, tomatillo)

I was expecting the tomato sauce to be a little bit sweeter, but it tasted fine by itself.  It gave the pork a little more flavor as well.  The mustard-based sauce is your classic SC mustard sauce and would work well on a pulled pork sandwich.  The vinegar sauce holds true to the eastern Carolina style vinegar based sauce.  The chipotle had a nice smoky kick to it — not overpowering, but enough to balance out the flavors.  The tomatillo sauce was interesting — it reminded me of some grilling sauces I’ve had in the past in terms of its fresh taste.

All in all, I enjoyed the trip to Hubba Hubba Smokehouse and would not hesitate to return there again.

Hubba Hubba Smokehouse is located at 2724 Greenville Highway, Flat Rock, NC 28731.  Their website is http://www.hubbahubbasmokehouse.com/, and they can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Best Of: Independence Day Edition

Whew!  It’s a hot one here in the Carolinas here this weekend.  Hope all of you being hit with the heat are staying cool and hydrated.  If not, take a few minutes, cool off, and check out some of these stories…

  • What are some of the great truths about BBQ?  Add yours to this blog post courtesy of Larry Gaian.  Who knows, if it’s good enough, you may get a prize…
  • My wife pointed me to this really good article on the Charlotte Observer website this morning that talks about some of the NC BBQ joints that still cook the old-fashioned way.
  • Some time back, I wrote a small piece on why members of the BBQ community should embrace social media.  Here is a great piece by Kevin Kelly outlining four different tips to maximize social media presence.
  • The crazy folks at BarBQBoozers got Gary Glen on board for a guest blog post about beef short ribs.  Now I’m getting hungry!
  • Tired of screwing up a good boneless pork chop on the grill?  Check out this easy-to-follow article from Cyndi Allison on how to grill perfect chops every time!

Review: Sauceman’s BBQ, Pizza, and Grill — Charlotte, NC

I am always on the lookout for new places to try in and around Charlotte.  So when one of my employer’s clients suggested that I try Sauceman’s in Charlotte, I decided to give it a shot.

Sauceman's

Sauceman's

When I first pulled up the website, I saw that they also did pizza and grill-style foods in addition to BBQ.  I was a little concerned (unjustifiably so) in that the ‘que here was going to be sub-par.  Then I continued reading through their site to find out more about them.  Sauceman’s was founded in 2010 and specializes in North Carolina style BBQ (Lexington style, to be specific).  It is located in the South End district of Charlotte, NC  at the corner of Tryon St. and West Blvd.

At Sauceman’s, you place your order and pay for it, and then your order is brought out to you.  After browsing the menu for a bit, I decided to order the coarse chopped BBQ plate (which comes with hush puppies and slaw) with potato salad as my side of choice.  Less than five minutes after paying for my order, out comes my plate.

Coarse Chopped BBQ plate

Coarse Chopped BBQ plate

One bite into the pork, and my taste buds jumped for joy!  This was some of the most flavorful and moist pork that I have tasted.  There were nice big chunks of bark in the pork that were super tasty, and the meat itself was very moist!  The slaw (a red slaw — white slaw is also available) was very vinegary and peppery.  It may be a little too vinegary and peppery if you are not used to this style of slaw.  The potato salad was very delicious, with nice large pieces of potatoes that weren’t overly slathered.  The hush puppies were very large and very crispy!

I got to speak with Zach Goodyear, the pitmaster for Sauceman’s.  We had a very pleasant conversation and talked about some of the many good things in store for Sauceman’s.  After speaking with him, I decided to take a look at their sauces.  There are three different sauces available — a vinegar-based sauce, a sweet tomato-based sauce, and a mustard-based sauce.

Sauces from Sauceman's

Sauces from Sauceman's -- tomato-based on the left, mustard-based on the right

The vinegar-based sauce (not pictured) was a classic eastern-Carolina style vinegar sauce that was very tasty.  It  would work very well as a dipping sauce for the pork, if so desired.  The tomato-based sauce was very, very sweet with predominant flavors of brown sugar and molasses.  The mustard-based sauce was also sweet, although not as sweet as the tomato-based sauce.  It also had a little bit of kick to it in terms of spice and heat, though not enough to be overpowering and predominant.

I was getting ready to leave when I saw this beast of a sandwich show up at a neighboring table.  Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you the Clark Griswald.

The "Clark Griswald"

The "Clark Griswald"

The “Clark Griswald” stands at a whopping 3 lbs of pork (although the guy working the register told me that it was 4 lbs) and is served with slaw, hush puppies, and choice of side.  And if you can finish this beast in 30 minutes or less, it’s on the house.  Otherwise, it’s $14.99.  That’s still a heckuva deal for that much pig!!

I can gladly say that I will be adding Sauceman’s to my list of places to visit over and over again for BBQ in Charlotte, and I suggest that you should too!

Sauceman’s is located at 228 West Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28202.  Their website is http://www.saucemans.com.  You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Sauceman's on Urbanspoon

Review: Midwood Smokehouse — Charlotte, NC

A couple of weeks ago, I heard rumor of a new BBQ joint opening up in Charlotte.  As I read more and more about it, I started getting excited and determined that I just had to check this new place out soon.  Well that new place is Midwood Smokehouse, and I took the opportunity today to check it out before having to head in to the office.

Midwood Smokehouse

Midwood Smokehouse

Nestled in the Plaza-Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte, NC, Midwood Smokehouse is the newest restaurant opened by longtime Charlotte restauranteur Frank Scibelli.  Scibelli is the brain child behind several popular Charlotte restaurants such as Big Daddy’s Burger Bar and Paco’s Tacos and Tequila.  As noted in an interview with Charlotte Magazine, Scibelli’s restaurant fully intends to produce serious, authentic BBQ using a cooker fueled by nothing but wood (thank you for the correction regarding this).  To accomplish this goal, he traveled around North Carolina to research the state’s well-known pork barbecue joints, and he also collaborated with James Beard award winner Robb Walsh on the intricacies of Texas barbecue (read: brisket).  My task for today was to see how close he came to meeting this goal.

While the location of the restaurant may be in a trendy part of the city, the interior decor was inviting.  A mirror behind the bar stated the daily specials as well as some rather interesting one-liners:

The bar with its specials

The bar with its specials

Good Wood, Big Racks, Great Times

Good Wood, Big Racks, Great Times

Since Midwood Smokehouse has been open for less than two weeks, the menu was a little limited.  However, plenty of options were still available, ranging from Eastern Carolina style pork to brisket to sausage made on the premises.  After perusing the menu, I ordered a half-rack of ribs (St. Louis style) with a side of BBQ baked beans.  I requested that the ribs be sauced.  In addition, I ordered an additional side of bacon-wrapped jalapenos stuffed with cheese (which I lovingly refer to as ABTs, or atomic buffalo turds).  The server was very pleasant, taking her time to go through several of the menu options and offer her personal recommendations.  After about 10 minutes, my order arrived.

My order -- ribs

My order -- ribs

The first thing I notice is that the ribs were served with sauce on the side instead of being glazed on the ribs (as I expected).  The food certainly looked appetizing, and I will get to my thoughts on the food shortly.  As I was taking pictures of my food, the general manager came over to my table.  I introduced myself to him (as I emailed him a few days ago about arranging a time to see their smoker), and he immediately offered to bring me a sampling of their other menu items.  How could I possibly refuse?  As if I wasn’t already starting to feel full enough, out comes a sampling of pork, brisket, prime rib, sausage, and other goodies.

A sampling of meats

A sampling of meats

Smoked Prime Rib and Brisket

Smoked Prime Rib and Brisket

In addition, I also got to sample all of the sauces that Midwood Smokehouse offers as well as a small sample of collard greens.  Now on to the verdict…

The ribs had an excellent flavor. The meat was not too smoky, and I could actually taste the pork rather than an overabundance of rub to mask the flavor of the meat.  However, there were two things I immediately noticed:

  • The back membrane had been left on the rack when it was cooked.
  • The rib meat pulled right off the bone without any resistance, which signified that they were a bit overcooked.

The sausage was a very mild sausage.  It had a bit of a crumbly texture.  Since I’m not an expert on how authentic Texas-style sausage should taste, I won’t give an opinion on that.  The brisket was good, with a nice texture and taste.

The pork was, in short, PERFECT!  It had a perfect savory flavor, and the texture was on point (and not mushy like a lot of Eastern Carolina style pork can be).  Honestly, the pork did not need any sauce, but I decided to try it with the vinegar-based sauce.  The sauce added an extra dimension to the pork.

Finally, the prime rib…  why didn’t someone introduce me to smoked prime rib before?  Completely and totally droolworthy!  This one is definitely on my repeat list.

So would I recommend this BBQ joint?  Absolutely, with no reservations whatsoever!

The website for Midwood Smokehouse is http://www.midwoodsmokehouse.com.  You can also find them on Facebook here.  They are located at 1401 Central Ave., Charlotte, NC 28205.  

Midwood Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

Review: Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q — Charlotte, NC

My search for the best barbecue places in the Charlotte area continued recently with a visit to Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q in Charlotte, NC.  Jim ‘n Nick’s has 28 locations in 7 different states and prides itself in cooking its ‘que low and slow and making everything from scratch.  I’ve heard good things regarding Jim ‘n Nick’s, so I decided to give it a shot.

Jim 'n Nick's Bar-B-Q -- Charlotte, NC

Jim 'n Nick's Bar-B-Q -- Charlotte, NC

I confess that I got excited when I parked and saw a nice sized wood pile on one side of the building and a pull-behind smoker on the other side.

Pull-behind cooker at Jim 'n Nicks

Pull-behind cooker at Jim 'n Nicks

Once inside, I place my order.  The server was a touch slow to come over and take my order, especially considering that the restaurant was not busy at all.  I decided on a combination platter with spare ribs, hot links, pulled pork, and chicken.  For my sides, I picked BBQ baked beans and onion rings.  I chose the hot links as one of the meats since they were featured by the restaurant at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party.

I was a little surprised when they brought out cheese biscuits instead of hush puppies to go along with the meal.  However, the biscuits were very tasty.

Cheese Biscuits

Cheese Biscuits

After a little while, my plate comes out of the kitchen.  Wow, that’s a lot of food!

The combo plate... it's huge!

The combo plate... it's huge!

The onion rings -- even bigger!

The onion rings -- even bigger!

Before digging in, I saw there were 2 different sauces available on the table.  Why yes, I do think I’ll try them out…

BBQ Sauces

BBQ Sauces

On the right is the original BBQ sauce.  It has a little lighter color than ketchup.  A naked taste tells me that it’s not overly sweet and a little bit bold.  The sauce on the left is the hot habanero sauce.  There is more molasses present in this sauce.  It is a bit sweeter than the original sauce, and it has a good amount of heat.

On to the food…  all of the meats came out pre-sauced.  I usually prefer that it not be sauced, but this is just a personal preference.  The pulled pork was very moist and flavorful.  The sauce worked well with the pork.  However, I could not detect any hints of the meat being smoked.  The chicken was also very tender and moist.  The cut I was given was a bit unusual — I was given a breast and wing rather than a leg quarter.  Not quite bite-thru skin, but that’s okay.  It was still flavorful.

Now on to the hot links…  I could instantly see why they were the featured item.  The sausage was extremely tasty.  Perfectly cooked and just the right amount of heat…  that made for a tasty treat!  The disappointment for me was the ribs.  I could see that they were smoked.  However, they were dry and overdone.

And now to the sides: the BBQ baked beans were adequate.  They contained bits and pieces of pork shoulder.  I would have liked for them to be a little bit more bold.  The onion rings, on the other hand…  WOW!  Those were some fine onion rings.  I could’ve made a meal on them, mainly because they were so many.  They were very crispy and very large.

Overall, I was a little bit disappointed with Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q in Charlotte.  Maybe it’s one of those places where the food is much better for dinner than for lunch, and maybe other locations are just better.  Again, some items were excellent (the hot links, for example), but I guess I just had higher expectations.

Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q is located at 13840 Steele Creek Rd., Charlotte, NC 28278.  The website is  http://www.jimnnicks.com.

Jim 'n Nick's Barbecue on Urbanspoon

NC BBQ Tweet-Up: Big Wayner meets C-Dubs BBQ

I have met some really wonderful people in the world of BBQ and grilling thanks to the power of Facebook and Twitter!  I know I keep saying this, but BBQ and grilling people are some of the most genuine and wonderful people to be around.  Two of these people are Charles and Allegra Wilson of C-Dub’s BBQ Rub.

C-Dub’s BBQ Rub is the brainchild of Charles and Allegra.  The blending of cultures (Charles is from North Carolina, Allegra is from British Columbia) has helped C-Dub’s in creating outstanding flavors with their line of BBQ rubs and seasonings.  Charles and Allegra were in the Charlotte area for the week visiting family, so they were gracious enough to meet up with me for lunch today!

C-Dub and Big Wayner

C-Dub and Big Wayner

We met today for some Eastern Carolina style barbecue at Bill Spoon’s Barbecue in Charlotte.  I had the best time with Charles and Allegra.  They were very personable and friendly.  We shared many good laughs and stories as well as some excellent barbecue and dessert.  I had such a great time, in fact, that I lost track of time and realized after about an hour and a half that I had to go back to work.  Time flies when you’re having fun, after all.  Charles and Allegra were also gracious enough to give me a really sweet BBQ apron as well as some rubs that I will be using at the first opportunity.  Now I can “Get Naked” every time I fire up the smoker!

I was extremely glad to meet Charles and Allegra today.  They were an absolute testament to how BBQ and grilling people are genuine and wonderful!  I cannot wait until we get the chance to meet up again.

C-Dub and Big Wayner (picture courtesy of C-Dubs BBQ Rub)

C-Dub and Big Wayner (picture courtesy of C-Dubs BBQ Rub and Allegra's cell phone)

Review: Bill Spoon’s Barbecue — Charlotte, NC

For a city the size of Charlotte, there’s not much there in the way of outstanding barbecue. There are several adequate places, and there are even a couple that are good. But in the years that I’ve lived here, the only place that I have tried that I would call excellent is Mac’s Speed Shop.  However, I kept hearing about Bill Spoon’s Barbecue, so I decided to give it a shot one day for lunch.

Bill Spoon's Barbecue

Bill Spoon's Barbecue

Bill Spoon’s Barbecue is located on South Blvd. in Charlotte, NC.  They pride themselves on serving Eastern Carolina style barbecue by cooking the whole hog.  For those of you unfamiliar with the barbecue culture in North Carolina, Eastern Carolina style barbecue consists of cooking the entire hog, finely chopping the meat from the various parts of the pig, and serving it all together. The sauce is generally a very thin vinegar-based sauce.

I walk in and get seated and immediately feel at home.  The atmosphere was a very down-home comfortable atmosphere.  The tables all had yellow checkered tablecloths, and the wood paneling made me feel a bit nostalgic.

Covert shot of dining room

Covert shot of dining room

Bill Spoon’s prides itself on serving the whole hog, so I decided to order the small barbecue plate with beans as my side.  The waitress was extremely friendly.  Less than five minutes later, out comes my plate of food!

Small barbecue plate with beans

Small barbecue plate with beans

The star of this plate is the pork.  It was chopped very fine, but the texture was not mushy at all.  I could see that some sort of sauce was applied to it, but the pork was not drowned in the sauce.  It had a very nice flavor.  I added some of the Eastern Carolina style sauce to the pork, and it added a nice bite with some kick.

Pork closeup

Pork closeup -- sorry about the fuzzy picture

I forgot to mention the hush puppies…  with every barbecue dinner, they have bottomless hush puppies!  WOOHOO!!  The hush puppies were extremely fresh — nice and crunchy on the outside, and very moist on the inside.  The only drawback was that they were just a little bit on the salty side.

Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies

The slaw was something different that I had not experienced since starting my barbecue adventures — it was a mustard-based slaw.  I would normally not eat a mustard-based slaw, but it complemented the barbecue quite well.  Thus, it did exactly what it was supposed to do.  The beans, quite frankly, were bland and mostly forgettable.  But I was hungry, and I ate them anyway.

Happy barbecue plate

Happy barbecue plate

I also read somewhere that they had excellent banana pudding, so I just had to try it out when I saw it available on today’s menu.  When it came out, it was a little smaller portion than I had expected.  However, the taste of the banana pudding was very nice.  There were layers upon layers upon layers of wafers in the pudding, giving the pudding that nice crunch in addition to the pudding taste.  The pudding component was very fresh, although I kept wondering if I tasted just a faint hint of lemon in the pudding.

Banana pudding

Banana pudding

All in all, I enjoyed eating at Bill Spoon’s.  I’m not sure it quite surpasses Mac’s Speed Shop in the excellence factor, I have no qualms whatsoever in putting it in a solid 2nd place when it comes to the best barbecue in Charlotte.

Bill Spoon's Barbecue on Urbanspoon

Review: Bridges Barbecue Lodge — Shelby, NC

North Carolina likes to lay a claim as the birthplace of barbecue.  While cities like Kansas City may disagree, there is a lot of history when it comes to barbecue in North Carolina.  In fact, books have been written solely devoted to barbecue in NC.  Today, I had the opportunity to try one of the cornerstones of NC barbecue when I had lunch today at Bridges Barbecue Lodge.

Bridges Barbecue Lodge signage

Bridges Barbecue Lodge signage

Bridges Barbecue Lodge

Bridges Barbecue Lodge

This joint, listed on the NC Barbecue Society’s Historic Barbecue Trail, is located right off of Highway 74 in Shelby, NC.  In 1946, Red Bridges (the restaurant’s namesake) opened up his first barbecue joint.  Two years later, Red (along with his wife) opened up another barbecue restaurant in uptown Shelby called Bridges Barbecue.  Bridges Barbecue moved to its current location in 1953 and has been operating there ever since.

There was not a big crowd as I arrived at 11:30 this morning, so I knew I picked a good time to arrive.  I walk into the restaurant and I immediately feel at home!  The decor of the restaurant immediately emanates a feeling of comfort and warmth.  I immediately find a table and sit down.

Restaurant Interior from My Seat

Restaurant Interior from My Seat

After a few minutes, I decided on their large BBQ tray.  The BBQ tray consists of pork (sliced, chopped, or coarse chopped), red slaw, and all the hush puppies that you can eat.  I requested my pork to be coarsely chopped with all the “brown” (outside bark) they could stand to give me.  A few minutes after ordering, out comes my food:

Large BBQ Tray at Bridges Barbecue Lodge

Large BBQ Tray at Bridges Barbecue Lodge

The Hush Puppies

The Hush Puppies

Bridges Sauce

Bridges Sauce

The texture of the pork was more akin to pulled pork than a coarse chop, which was fine to me.  And as you can see, they were generous with the “brown”.  The tray was about the size of a 3″x5″ postcard, filled to overflowing with food.  One bite into the pork, and my mouth jumped for joy!  The outside bark was not tough to chew at all, but very crispy and full of flavor.  The inside pieces of pork were very moist.  The slaw was very tangy and peppery — a perfect complement to the pork.

The basket of hush puppies did not contain very many, but I was not concerned because the nice lady who took care of me said I could have as many hush puppies as I wanted.  They did not have a uniform shape, but that was okay by me.  The taste of them is what matters, and they were tasty!  Very crisp on the outside and not soggy at all on the inside.

The sauce reminded me of the dip that I had at Lexington BBQ #1.  However, this sauce was thicker and more tomato-ey.  It was sweet and tangy.  To be honest, it was probably my least favorite part of the meal.  However, I didn’t need very much of it.  The pork easily stood on its own.

As a nice bonus, I was able to get a sneak peek at the pits.  Bridges Barbecue Lodge actually has two different cooking areas.  Their main cooking area for the meat consists of an Old Hickory smoker (where they primarily cook chicken) and an old brick BBQ pit (where the shoulder magic happens).  Bridges cooks with hickory and oak wood, and they apply no seasonings of any sort to the shoulders prior to going on the cooker.  They also have a super-sized smokehouse for when they are cooking for upwards of 10,000 people.

Chicken Cooking in the Old Hickory Pit

Chicken Cooking in the Old Hickory Pit

Shoulders in the Warming Box

Shoulders in the Warming Box

Shoulders in the Cooker

Shoulders in the Cooker

Oh yeah… and they have a little bit of wood stockpiled as well.

The Woodpile -- That's a lot of wood!

The Woodpile -- That's a lot of wood!

After dining there, I can definitely see why Bridges Barbecue Lodge is on the NC BBQ Society’s Historical BBQ Trail.  Their reputation is well-earned as a legend in North Carolina BBQ.  Any visitors to the Charlotte area (yes, I’m talking to you, President Obama) would do well to make the 45 minute trip from Charlotte to Shelby and experience Bridges Barbecue Lodge.

“Best Of” — Sweetheart Edition

Hope your weekend has gone well!  Here are items that made my list of “stuff to read from last week”:

  • Wilfred Reinke tells us about his experience at Southern Soul Barbecue (and makes quite a few of us jealous in the process).
  • The owners of Bridges Barbecue Lodge in Shelby, NC, extended an invitation to the Obamas for some BBQ.  If the place is as good as advertised, the Obamas should take them up on the invitation.
  • The Cookstons list out the Top 10 Reasons to Cook Competitively.  Can’t argue with any of their reasons.
  • Don’t forget to vote for my buddy Lionel in the Kingsford University contest.  Info can be found here.
  • And finally…  guys, watch the video below for tips on what you can do for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day.