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Oct 28, 1999 09:51 PM


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Allen & Son Pit Cooked Bar-B-Que, Chapel Hill, NC
- chopped 'cue, vinegar and pepper sauce

Lexington Barbeque, Lexington, NC.

Murray's Barbecue, Raleigh, NC - coals made from green hickory, cooks whole hogs in less than 6 hours. Hush puppies recommended.

Pete Jones's Skylight Inn, Ayden NC - pulled pork sandwiches w/slaw. Meat cooked over oak for 13-15 hours.

Stamey's Old Fashioned Barbecue, Greensboro, NC. Next to a chemical factory.....

Wilber's Barbecue
Goldsboro, NC - eastern-style bbq, and a good breakfast, too.

Melton's, Rocky Mount

Parker's, Wilson

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  1. Skip Melton's and Parker's as they no longer cook with wood. If in Wilson, try Mitchell's. Almost any place in Lexington is good. Southern. Cook's. Whitley's. Jimmy's. Smokey Joe's. Barbecue Center. Lexington Style Trimmings. Henry James(so-so). Tar Heel. Avoid Hog City. In Greensboro, try Stamey's. In Kernersville, Clark's; In Salisbury, College Inn and Richard's; In Concord, Troutman's; In Kannapolis, Glenn's; In Clemmons, Little Richard's; In Mocksville, Barbecue House; In Madison, Fuzzy's. There are many more very good log burners. I'm getting tired of typing and hungry for good pig!

    14 Replies
    1. re: Jim

      "I'm getting tired of typing"

      Can we send over someone to take dictation? Thanks for the awesome tips...very condensed, but very good. I'm REALLY sorry to hear about Parker's falling prey to temptation. Gas is the enemy.

      1. re: Jim Leff

        Short Sugar's in Reidsville (there is also a branch in Danville,VA but, I don't know if they are as good - I suspect they cook it all at the Reidsville one on S. Scales St. and ship to Danville and "Downtown" Reidsville. I have been eating here for my every summer and vacation of my life (40 years worth) and it's as good as ever. closed on sunday (like all decent bbq joints).

        1. re: kim

          Short Sugar's in Danville cooks on site with wood. SS in Reidsville now reportedly cooks with electricity. This is extremely sad. What was once an excellent and unique real barbecue joint is now a drive in that serves mere roast pork.

          1. re: Jim H
            Rick McDaniel

            The best barbecue in NC is Bridges Barbecue Lodge (AKA Red Bridges) on Highway 74 in Shelby. Pit cooked over wood, perfect sauce, great hushpuppies and the sweetest tea on the planet. SERIOUS pig eating!


            1. re: Rick McDaniel

              imho, you can find the best BBQ in N.C. at B's in Greenville. It's just a shack in the woods off U.S. 264 north of town, and the staff might have been extras on the set of Deliverance, but the pork cannot be topped. (Just avoid the cornbread.) And they still cook the pigs in a pit behind the restaurant. B's has no telephone, and they close every day when they run out of food, so ask a local for directions and go for lunch.

              1. re: sam stevens

                B's is a former log-burner that has gone to charcoal cooking. Although not as good as wood coals, charcoal sure beats gas or electricity for cooking pigs. Try it and then cruise down the road to Ayden for some of the REAL THING. Ayden is home to Bum's Restaurant and The Skylight Inn. Both serve what may be the best and most authentic eastern style barbecue still being commercially produced. The Skylight Inn is a barebones barbecue joint while Bum's offers some excellent sides. Don't miss either.

                1. re: sam stevens

                  LOL, about the Deliverance remark. I loved going to B's in college, but yes, it always was a tad bit creepy.

                2. re: Rick McDaniel

                  Wilburs in Goldsboro is fabulous, Bridges in Shelby is also quite good. I also have to say that Charlotte has some darned good BBQ to be found at Bill Spoon's on South Blvd. I actually prefer their sauce to Bridges. What I can't find anywhere in North Carolina is decent Brunswick Stew. Any suggestions?

                  1. re: Rick McDaniel

                    I agree that Bridges is an outstanding, no-compromise log burner. Their lineage can be linked back to the earliest days of Lexington style barbecue as Red Bridges learned his craft from Warner Stamey in the 1930's. I like the fact that you can order outside brown there and that extra sauce is served warm on the side. The pups are standards to which other should aspire. Another feature that sets Bridges apart from the crowd is that they are open on Sundays!

                  2. re: Jim H

                    i agree ... born and raised in Reidsville, 1954. just ate at Short Sugar's on 8/2/07 ... just not the same, mundane and 3rd class Q now.

              2. re: Jim

                Spoke to a Rocky Mount native last week, she said Meltons has closed. Asked for her recommendations. She was sorry to report that Rocky Mount is lacking good que these days. She sheepishly said she picks up a grocery store bar b que these days when she isn't up to a drive out of town. Very sad, Meltons was good once upon a time.

                1. re: meatn3

                  My understanding is that when floyd hit the owners who were already fed up with the yearly flooding decided not to reopen at the same site along the river but somewhere else. That site never caught on and they closed for good soon after that.

                  1. re: chazzer

                    I have heard pretty much the same from several Rocky Mount people. They said the food just wasn't as good at the new location. I felt like I had heard of the death of an old school chum when I found out. Melton's in the early 80's had been my first eastern Carolina style BBQ & it was love at 1st bite!

                    1. re: meatn3

                      I agree, when I lived in Rocky Mount during the late 80's I belonged to the Jaycees because it was the only way to eat at Melton's and have beer with the meal. Food not withstanding the location next to the river always made eating there more pleasent.

              3. Help!

                Have parents spending some time in Greenville N.C. and would like some tips on good Barbecue joints. You can reply hear or at my own e-mail address.

                Thank you!

                Mark Dykema

                1. Barbecue in Winston-Salem area- Exactly the same as in Lexington.

                  Little Richard's on Country Club Road- Not the Fake "Little Richards" that over-populate the city. Nothing but wood here. Great tea and puppies. Great Nanner pudding.

                  Hog's Wild on University Parkway near Rural Hall- The MOST underrated BBQ in NC. Hickory Smoked-baby!! The meat is of very high quality. Very fat, sometimes doughy, always sweet hushpuppies. Good tea.

                  Speedy Lohr's BBQ (formerly Arcadia BBQ) in the Arcadia-Welcome area is tremendous and they always have skins. You don't even have to ask- they're on the menu. Wood smoked, of course. Hushpuppies are good but not great. Good Nanner pudding.

                  Hills Lexington Barbecue on Patterson Ave. is also good-but not up to the afforementioned.

                  Speedy's in Lexington is now off of my list- no more wood at what used to be an institution in these here parts.

                  Also avoid Mr. Barbecue- Not good- way too sweet and tangy.

                  Never been to Clark's in K-Ville but heard nothing but good things about it.

                  I am not a fan of Stamey's in Greensboro either. Everytime I've been something has been amis- either too sour, too dry, or not smoky enough. I do like their tea and their cobblers. Though, I don't like their puppies too much. I only go there if someone drags me along.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Whicker

                    Whicker: good call on Stamey's cobblers. A cut above the gloppy goo most places call cobbler nowadays.

                    As for nanner puddin, how does these Greensboro jernts stack up against Wilber's in Goldsboro, the generally accepted nanner puddin king among NC BBQ jernts?

                    1. re: Bob W.

                      Care to enlighten us who live north of the Mason-Dixon line on nanner puddin? Dessert or savory? Ingredients, essential qualities of a great one? thanks!

                      1. re: berkleybabe

                        I'll bet nanner is southernspeak for banana!

                        1. re: pat hammond

                          You're probably right Pat! I was thinking it was a derivation of "nana"--thought granma's puddin would be might tasty.

                          1. re: berkleybabe

                            I recently moved to Durham, NC, and just about every barbecue place down here serves banana pudding for dessert. It's some good, as the locals say. Don't pass up the cobbler, though--it's fine too, yeah it is!

                          2. re: pat hammond

                            LOL! I was just going with the flow. Yes, nanner puddin is banana pudding.

                            Mrs. W. is actually the nanner puddin maven around here. I can take it or leave it. Give me some cobbler any day.

                            But even then, I prefer to leave a barbecue joint so stuffed that dessert is not even an option. :>)

                          3. re: berkleybabe

                            A great Bananna (Nanner) Pudding is made from overly ripe- turning black banannas (because they are sweeter), vanilla wafers, a thick pudding, and either whipped cream or meringue for a topping. They are delicious. The only real difference in them is their consistency and thickness, and their sweetness (again, this goes back to how ripe the nanners are). I personally prefer bananna pudding to almost any dessert, especially at a BBQ place.

                            Another delicacy of the South is Persimmon Pudding. A wonderful, spicy, moist concoction made from the pulp of the persimmon, an orange colored fruit found growing on trees. It is very labor intensive to make and is usually only found at family reunions or church gatherings. They are usually baked in a cake pan and sliced into 3x3 inch squares. Delicious.

                            1. re: Whicker

                              Sounds wonderful --seldom see it here Up North, but I've had at homes/potlucks. Always delicious. Check out "Not about Food" post --an ode to an overripe banana. Sounds perfect for the puddin'!

                      2. Don't forget about King's Barbeque in Kinston! the home of the Pig in a Pup!


                        3 Replies
                        1. re: strephking

                          For those not in the know - Pig in a Pup = a pulled pork sandwich that uses an oversized hushpuppy as the bun.

                          Wife had one as we went through Kinston, and we weren't impressed. Made the thing too greasy to hold. Stick with the traditional bun! Meat and sauce were tasty, tho.

                          King's Barbeque
                          405 E New Bern Rd, Kinston, NC 28504

                          1. re: mujimu

                            too greasy? are you serious? you do realize you are talking about southern food????? i have never refused a pig in a pup from Kings.

                            1. re: mujimu

                              Hushpuppy as the bun? Holy Moses! That sounds delicious! I need to find me something like that here in Louisiana!

                          2. Troutman's in Concord may be one of the very worst restaurants I've ever been too, period.
                            That's the one downtown. One Troutman's was enough for a lifetime.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mrwaterslide

                              I live in Concord, and I agree. Nothing good about Troutman's.

                              PO Box 507, Concord, NC 28026