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Second tier Q places in Carolinas

  • m

Slightly different idea.

Places you have visited that are perhaps good to great and yet not in the Bridges, Stamey's or Lex #1 quality OR fame realm.

I travel the Carolinas all the time and would be happy to explore new places and then report on the

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  1. Just posted this earlier today under another previous thread. I would like to nominate Bull Hawg's Barbecue in Pauline, SC (9 m S of Spartanburg.) Small place and only open Tues-Sat 11-7 and it's out in the country (sounds like Sweatman's) but the guy who owns it runs it like a mother hen. Ate there for lunch yesterday and the lot was full of construction trucks (the workers knew where to go.) Usually get a chopped plate and everything (Q, slaw and beans) was great. The cobbler is way above average IMHO, and I always get some to go, too. Limited menu--no hush puppies or Brunswick stew. Web site bullhawgsbbq.com

    2 Replies
    1. re: KyMikey

      Correction--sandlapper reports that Bull Hawg's will now be open until 8 PM. Smart move.

      1. re: KyMikey

        The 8PM closing is only on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and DOES NOT START UNTIL THE END OF MAY. I don't want anyone to be disappointed by going after 7PM before then and finding them closed.

    2. I'll place Carolina Barbecue of Greenwood, SC, near the top of any I've tried. They're located behind a strip shopping center on Montague Avenue in Greenwood so I'd call (864 229 6193) for directions. Open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and maybe carry-out only. I've had the pulled pork and the hash and they are both excellent. Cole slaw is exceptional as well.
      My brother-in-law has eaten their ribs and says they too are good.
      [Not affiliated with any other "Carolina Barbecue" (of which there are several around SC) and is certainly better than the "Carolina Barbecue" in Spartanburg,which is not that bad, but inconsistent.]

      1. If you want to include those who cook over gas (a far inferior product), I think the following places represent gas cooked cue fairly well in the Piedmont:

        Gary's in China Grove has a nice Lexington style dressing.

        Lancasters in Mooresville gives you a slug of food. I like their hot wing and barbeque combo.

        Neither place is worth goiong out of your way to visit. but, if you happen to be passing by on the interstate and you're hungry, they will give you cue as good as can be cooked over gas.

        Another note: If you're a golfer, spend an afetrnoon in Mooresvile where the front nine of the local municipal golf course was designed by none other than Donald Ross back in the 1920. The course is vintage Ross with a big tree in nthe middle of the first fairway 75 yards off the tee box.

        Now, if you cross I-85 down into South Carolina, by all means, be sure to pull into Greenville and make a stop at Henry's Smokehouse. It serves great SC Barbeque cooked over smoke with a slightly sweeter tomato barbeque sauce. IMO, Henry's is one of the most underated barbeque places in the southeast.

        1. If you make it down to Orangeburg, SC. Drive into town and ask for directions to Dukes Barbeque. Go to the one down by the Pepsi plant. Skip the one a couple of miles off I-26.

          They have an all you can eat buffet of pulled pork bearbeque, hash and rice, fried chicken, veggies, dessert and sweet tea or lemonade for $5.75. IMO, it is one of th best purveyors of lowcountry style que.

          1. Bullock's, in Durham, is not to be missed, although you'll probably have to wait in a long line to get in when the doors open for lunch at 11:30. Yes, they cook with gas, but everything is consistently excellent! The Q is good, the fried chicken to die for, good Brunswick Stew, fries, slaw, green beans, etc. It's a great place to go with a group and eat family style.

            1. bullock's is not good q. they have a great selection for those who don't like traditional q and fried chix, but both of those items are nothing special at all. the fried chicken is cooked to quick, so it's rubbery, and the q isn't tender and lacks taste. it's good if all you crave is pepper and vinegar, but don't fall into this trap. i moved to durham and after all the hoopla, i've been dragged there multiple times, only to find out that it's not famous because you can't build a q place on great ribs, fried fish, etc., when everyone expects quality chopped q.

              if in the area, alan and son's on route 86 right outside of chapel hill is the best bet, but don't fall into the bullock's trap. just look at the other blogs on bullocks throughout chowhound and you'll see that's the popular consensus in the area.

              4 Replies
              1. re: MOOKIECOOKIE

                I couldn't disagree more strongly! Bullock's has been excellent the several times I've been there!!!

                There's a reason why people wait in line there, and not at tourist traps like Allen & Son's. That says it all, in my opinion!

                1. re: chimchim

                  How anyone could credibly say that Allen & Sons is a tourist trap is beyond me.

                  Bullock's is a gasser and Allen & Sons is a log burner. That says it all, in my opinion!

                  1. re: chimchim

                    I've seen lines at McDonalds...doesn't mean the food is great...just means some people don't know any better. Same with Bullock's.

                2. Here's a link to an article on SC BBQ joints. Might be worth a shot. I can vouch for Scott's and McCabe's. Both are open Thur-Sat.


                  1. J&G Bar-B-Q in Haw River.

                    A&M Grill in Mebane.

                    1. Holden's in Youngsville.
                      Clyde Cooper's in Raleigh.
                      Ken's in LaGrange, NC.

                      All three are good eastern NC 'que places worth a visit, and not really "second tier" as the thread title reads.

                      1. Whispering Pines and The Log Cabin in Albemarle NC. Both log burners and every bit as good as what you will get in the top tier BBQ joints. These are top tier places in mine and many other's book.

                        1. Wink's in Salisbury NC. The BBQ is good, and they will serve you breakfast any time.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: breadbox

                            Good to see Wink's get a mention. I think they actually improved after moving several years ago. Also worth visiting in Salisbury are College and Richard's. While not absolutely top-shelf, all three can be very, very good.

                          2. Bill Spoon's on South Boulevard in Charlotte, and a bit further up the street, a newbie Mac's Speed Shop. Bill Spoon recently passed, but luckily his family is carrying on the goodness.

                            1. Cook's BBQ in Lexington, Bill Ellis BBQ in Wilson, Short Sugar's in Reidsville, Fuzzy's in Madison and Ralph's in Weldon. See www.choppedonion.com for photos.

                              1. Since this topic was bumped up, I'll add my input.

                                Since moving to the Greenville, SC area, my husband & I have developed unsettlingly frequent cravings for BBQ. Maybe because we lived on every type of food but BBQ in the Bay Area before this. BBQ was the one cuisine the west coast was lacking. Anyway, I fear for my waistline, but will persevere in our quest to find great BBQ.

                                Big Dave's in Clemson is good as long as they don't drown the meat in their sweet BBQ sauce. They have interesting cole slaw. I love the lean smoky pork at Brushy Creek BBQ in Powdersville, but I haven't really acquired a taste for their very vinegary sauce. Next up to try is Dacusville Smokehouse. That's one fun thing about living out away from the "big city": finding these great little joints in the middle of seemingly nowhere.