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Allen and Son's BBQ

carolinadawg Mar 3, 2007 05:47 PM

I had lunch at Allen and Son's today. It had been a while since my last visit, and while I've always enjoyed eating there, today was an absolute sublime experience. I still can't believe how good is was! The pork was not minced extremely fine like so many other places do it but had a nice mix of large and small pieces with some great outside brown; it had that full, rich smoky flavor; moist but with only a little sauce (dip) on it, but with a bottle of delicous, vinegary, peppery sauce provided to add to it. The hushpuppies were perfect...crunchy exterior, moist interior, not greasy, not dried out. I haven't tried every bbq place in NC, and even the worst nc bbq is pretty good, but Allen's is the gold standard for me. Absolute pefection! It costs more than most places, but its well worth it.

  1. b
    bbqme Mar 3, 2008 08:40 AM

    I finally convinced myslef to try their ribs for once. Mistake! Good flavor but waaayyy overcooked making the meat dry, hard, and chewy in a lot of places. If they are going to cook the meat for that long they need to use St. Louis cut or even whole-slab ribs.

    Stick to the delicious chopped pork. Keith knows what he's doing there.

    1. b
      blewgo Mar 18, 2007 03:03 PM

      You have to consider the variables when cooking something like pork shoulders over a wood fire. No two pigs are alike, no two logs are alike and the weather is different daily as well as seasonally. Maybe the logs don't get split as well on cold mornings because the guy splitting them is in a hurry to get warm, maybe the ambient temperarure affects the heat of the cooking fire which would result in seasonal differences in the final product. If I were in the BBQ business I'd cook over gas to get rid of one of the variables. :P

      4 Replies
      1. re: blewgo
        c
        chazzer Mar 18, 2007 05:55 PM

        Let me get this straight. Everyone says that the best que is the stuff that has the nice smoky flavor, and you get that smoky flavor from cooking on wood and not gas. But to have consistent que you recommend cooking on gas. But won’t cooking with gas give us consistently mediocre que? I am sorry but I will stay with the places that use wood and have the best BBQ and risk the chance that sometimes it may be a little off. Or better yet lets all go to a chain restaurant for que.

        1. re: chazzer
          b
          blewgo Mar 18, 2007 06:00 PM

          Ever hear of a joke? The ":P" indicated that the last statement was tongue in cheek.

          1. re: blewgo
            c
            chazzer Mar 18, 2007 06:11 PM

            Sorry, I do not get the little pictures all the time, you have to realize that my fist time at a cumputer was with punch cards.

            1. re: chazzer
              b
              blewgo Mar 18, 2007 07:11 PM

              I remember 1401s and 1620s. :P

              And don't worry about it. Nobody understands my humor.

      2. f
        fussycouple Mar 18, 2007 11:05 AM

        For this native North Carolinian, the bbq at Allen & Sons hasn't been fit to eat for about 15 years now, alas. I can actually remember when they were Good, which perhaps makes it all the more disappointing. Good bbq in the Triangle is rapidly disappearing, Bob's in Creedmoor no longer has what it takes, Bullock's in Durham is irregular at best.

        Coopers in Raleigh still is worth visiting, and if you have a dog, you can buy it a pig's ear while you are there.

        1. g
          goodeatsinadive Mar 17, 2007 05:05 PM

          willdaddy is right. Whatever the aura around Allen & Sons was, it is now gone. The last two times we've been there, the bbq was too greasy to eat. The time before that it was WAY dry.... I've spent my last $$$ on bbq at Allen & Sons.

          On the other hand, they do have ribs on Wednesday nights that aren't too bad, especially if you don't have time to prepare them yourself.

          1. m
            mikeh Mar 17, 2007 08:07 AM

            Have any of you ever tried the Saturday morning breakfast at Allen and Son? Seems like it would be quite promising...

            1. m
              mikeh Mar 16, 2007 08:34 PM

              Finally tried Allen and Son for the first time this evening. Took me long enough to make it there because of the split sentiments about the place (truly a love OR hate relationship). I fall into the "it's amazing" camp.

              The bbq was not greasy at all (in fact, my fiancee from Arkansas would have preferred her meat to be a bit more moist, but of course their style of bbq involves a lot of sauce to begin with). I LOVED the hickory smoke flavor that came through in the meat, setting it in a league of its own compared to all other bbq joints I've tried in the area. I also like the "mixed" nature of the meat - not homogenously shredded but a mix of shredded with tougher (browner) chunks - a good variety to keep things interesting. The cole slaw and brunswick stew sides set the meat off extremely well.

              The hushpuppies were tremendous. Crispy on the outside, hot, moist, and crumbly on the inside. So far, they're the only hushpuppies I've sampled in the area that do hushpuppies justice (I have high standards coming from N. Florida where fried seafood/hushpuppies are king).

              The desserts were to die for - both the chocolate pie and peanut butter pie were the "roll your eyes backward into her head" quality of good.

              A 10 min. drive from my place down sylvan country roads to a clearing in the forest to get this sumptuous stuff? Yeah, I'll be back...OFTEN.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mikeh
                carolinadawg Mar 16, 2007 09:38 PM

                mikeh

                You are a lucky man! Not only do you live 10 minutes from the best food on planet earth, you have the discriminating tastebuds and good sense to know it.

                Try the key lime pound cake next time!

              2. w
                willdaddy Mar 6, 2007 11:23 AM

                I've had the sandwich the last few times I've been and it seems to get greasier and greasier each time I go. Maybe my late lunch gets the bottom of the bin?

                1 Reply
                1. re: willdaddy
                  carolinadawg Mar 9, 2007 06:49 AM

                  I don't know what would explain that...I've never experienced greasy Q at Allen's.

                2. b
                  bbqme Mar 5, 2007 11:34 AM

                  Did you try any of their desserts? They make a mean cobbler or pie.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: bbqme
                    peetoteeto Mar 5, 2007 12:32 PM

                    (if you can get them not to nuke it, which seems to be SOP)

                    1. re: peetoteeto
                      b
                      bbqme Mar 7, 2007 08:05 AM

                      Don't understand the big deal with nuking? All that's eing done is exciting the water molecules. I prefer warm cobbler so that it slowly melts the ice cream.

                      1. re: bbqme
                        peetoteeto Mar 7, 2007 08:22 AM

                        My key lime "poundcake" nuked was a disaster. Perhaps it was the Crisco inside. But it was a major downer to an otherwise-unbelievable meal.

                        Nuked cobbler may be a different story.

                    2. re: bbqme
                      carolinadawg Mar 9, 2007 06:47 AM

                      oh yeah...forgot to mention the Key Lime pound cake. Wonderful!!! And thankfully, it never occured to me to have it "nuked". I actually got it to go and had it for dinner that night.

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