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Mar 26, 2007 10:20 AM

East Carolina Style BBQ???

HI -
We will be driving through North Carolina on I-85 next week. My Husband LOVES Parker's BBQ in Wilson, but unfortunately that is out of our way. Any suggestions on where we can find something similar along our route???

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  1. Are you driving I-85 all the way through to Virginia? If so, you can stop at Nunnery-Freeman Barbecue in Henderson, NC. Very good barbecue and fried chicken too.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bob W

      Yes, we are driving all the way through NC on i-85. Is Nunnery-Freeman BBQ that "east carolina" style chopped, with the vinegar based sauce??

      1. re: mississippigirl

        oh yes. they also have an interesting thin brownish "dip" (sauce) that you can apply at the table.

        I'm a big fan of Eastern NC barbecue in general, and Parker's in particular, so this place fills the bill when I have to use I-85.

        You might want to also check out some of the Western NC/Lexington/Piedmont style barbecue places in the Lexington area that are easily accessible from I-85 as well. It's a good contrast to Eastern style. I-85 is long enough that you can make a few stops for barbecue!

        before you get to NC you should also make a stop at the Beacon Drive-In, Spartanburg SC. That place is a trip. Split a pork-a-plenty plate with your hubby. Of course, even before that, you should grab a few chili dogs and fried pies at the Varsity in the Atlanta area. I know they have at least one branch right off 85.

        1. re: Bob W

          If you are going N on I-85, Allen and Sons on NC86, north of Chapel Hill, south of Hillsborough, is an easy off and on again. And you can follow the links at the BBQ Trail on

          1. re: Bob W

            Thanks Bob - we have already planned a stop at the Varsity, I have never been and am really looking forward to it. I appreciate your suggestions. I am already saving my calories for the BBQ feast to come!

      2. A&M grill in Mebine is also good wood smoked BBQ. It is one of the places listed on the trail. It is only five or ten min. off of 85.

        4 Replies
          1. re: mississippigirl

            Not really. More of the piedmont style. Still pretty good.

            1. re: Hushpuppy

              It is almost a cross between eastern and western style. Not ture piedmont or western but not completly eastern. See the write up on the nc bbq society page.

          2. re: chazzer

            We stopped at A & M grill, since Nunnery Freeman was closed. First, Mebane is a beautiful town and the dogwoods were in full bloom this weekend -WOW!!! The BBQ- was pretty good. The flavor was good, but David was initiall disappointed because it is served with a tomato based sause on top - but was plesently suprised at the flavor!!!
            Thanks for the tip!!

          3. Hursey's in Burlington is good BBQ although it's not eastern Carolina style.

            For eastern style take a detour to Raleigh to Barbeque Lodge off of US 1 (Capital Blvd). It's worth the extra 30 minutes it takes to get there.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Magnum

              I believe they have closed down. Even if they haven't I can't say they'd be worth a detour from anywhere. Many years ago, perhaps. But not lately.

              1. re: rockycat

                Don Murray's closed down. Barbecue Lodge is still there. If it's you're only option, it's fine, but it's hardly worth a detour.