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Oct 14, 2003 09:58 AM

Finally got to try Lexington Barbeque #1

  • s

After a day of hiking around Pilot Mt. I took my hungry boys and myself to Lexington for some BBQ. I sought out Lexington Barbeque #1 since it's the most famous. Even at 4:00 in the afternoon on a Monday, it was quite busy.

In short, I was not impressed with the food. The cole slaw was not shredded but rather nearly pureed, like it had been cut with a food processor. They use their BBQ sauce to flavor the slaw, giving it a strange red color. The BBQ sauce itself was boring. Watery, bland catchup with vinegar is how I'd describe it. The BBQ beans were okay-- kinda plain. The chopped pork was moist and had good flavor but I was excepting a more smokey flavor and aroma. I think Allen & Sons BBQ north of Chapel Hill is far better BBQ. My review of Lex. BBQ #1 in short: bland and boring.

However, I don't want to give up on BBQ restaurants in the Lexington area. I picked up a local map and there are 20 BBQ joints in the area! Which do y'all recommend I try instead next time?

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  1. Say it ain't so! Oh my! Waiting to hear some other comments. Lexington , NC is supposed to be the place for "Q"....

    Sounds like the cole slaw was done in a food chopper -Easier to slop on top of the pulled pork?

    4 Replies
    1. re: chuck

      I've eaten at Lexington #1 a number of times. I have to say I think Sant has a point. It's good, but only in a bland sort of way. I've never been especially thrilled. I had better at Lexington Style Trimmings, but the single best NC-style BBQ I've had was at Allen and Sons, where the meat has a subtle tang and juiciness that makes all the difference.

      Don't get me wrong -- these's nothing objectionable about Lexington #1, it sure beats McDonalds, but at the same time I think the hype has perhaps slightly overtaken the reality.

      David A.

      1. re: David A.

        I must concur with your opinion. I've eaten at Lexington BBQ many times but never thought it lived up to the hype. Never had Allen & Sons but can't wait to give it a try.

        1. re: sandlapper

          Back in January, I posted on here that I was ever-so-slightly disappointed with Lexington Barbecue. I would not in the least call that a downhill alert, just an indication that sometimes we build these places up in our heads so much that the reality can't help but not live up.

          OTOH, I've stopped at Jimmy's a few times and have always been extremely pleased. Jimmy's 'cue melts in your mouth, and he's open on Sundays, which is a big deal in these parts.

          1. re: Bob W.

            I would basically agree with you. I have been to an awful lot of q places all over the state. Lex#1 is very good. I think all their food is very good. But I have not found any pork that can match Allen&Sons incredibly flavorful q. Ayden comes close. I love Lexington style q, but I admint I am slightly partial to eastern style.

    2. That is exactly what red/bbq/Lexington slaw is.
      Yes it was done with a buffalo chopper. You won't find it on the menu, but you need to ask for chopped outside brown meat.

      Lexington bbq is Lexington bbq, so you'll probably find about the same everywhere.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Raine

        Hammer, nail, head...Raine

        When going to Honey Monk's aka Lexington #1, ask for the chopped outside brown. You'll get a much smokier flavor with crunchy bits of pork skin. Moisten it with their BBQ dip and you will have a special meal. Another great item not on the menu are the fried pork rinds.

        As for the slaw, my personal view is that you can take all the BBQ slaw in every BBQ joint in Lexington and flush it down the toilet. Don't know why they like to flavor their slaw with BBQ dip so much over there, but it is just a local preference that they should keep to themselves, in my opinion.

        1. re: Brent Kulman

          We would rather have the bbq slaw over mayo slaw. We make a bbq/red slaw, however it does not have any bbq sauce in it.


          1. re: Raine™

            Eastern NC chopped mustard slaw rocks!

            1. re: Bob W.

              Ours is a marinated slaw we make it up a week before we are gonna to use it. And it will keep for months after that. Ours is not like any slaw you have ever eaten. Hopefully it will be available soon for more readily consumption.

              1. re: Raine™

                I would love your slaw recipe and hope you willl consider e-mailing it to me. Thanks, Karen

        2. re: Raine

          Thanks for the heads up. I'll definitely ask for the outside brown meat next time.

        3. I think the red slaw you had was pretty much typical of the area.

          As for places to eat, they're all the same, but they're all different. One of my friends thinks Lexington #1 is number one, another likes the chunks of pork at Smokey Joe's, I like the BBQ Center and a friend from the eastern part of the state dislikes them all.

          1. BBQ Center is about a mile away and that is where I go when Lex #1 is too crowded. Lex #1, Stamey's (Greensboro), Skylight (Ayden), and Sweatman's are the best places I've eaten Q. Everywhere else is an also ran. Just my opinion. Native Tarheel if that counts for anything.

            If you didn't care for Lex #1 I don't think you're going to care for any of the places in Lexington.

            1. I thought the barbecue at Lexington Barbeque #1 was great. But the hushpuppies were the worst I've ever had.

              1 Reply
              1. re: GT-ACC man

                You must have hit'em on an off day or gotten the bottom of the fry basket. Usually they are among the best in Lexington.