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Trip Down East

Wanted to give a trip report on a day trip I made to eastern NC to see Bath, NC (oldest city in NC) and try some famous NC barbecue and hot dog places.

1st stop was B's Barbecue in Greenville, NC to try their famous Barbecue Chicken and Barbecue. Found out B's was closed due to the death of the owner on Thursday. I understand he had been in failing health.

I headed to Ayden, NC to go to Bum's Restaurant. Bum's is a cafeteria style restaurant that opens every day at 4:30 AM for breakfast. Their barbecue is pit cooked. I got a barbecue plate with collards and cabbage which comes with a piece of cornbread and corn stick. The meal was out of this world especially the barbecue and collards. Their collards is much finer than any I have ever seen but beter than any I had ever eaten. Just a touch of Bum's barbecue sauce make the barbecue perfect.

Other patrons were eating beef stew and pork skins which looked might tasty as well. Bum was in the back hand chopping the pork which made me smile.

Bum's is also famous for its desserts especailly banana pudding. I inquired about the banana pudding and they told me it would be ready about 10 minutes. I gladly waited and got the banana pudding straight from the oven. Glad I waited.

Ended up getting the following to take home - a pound of barbecue with slaw and cornbread, pint of collards, rutabegas and green beans. Can't wait to have them this week.

I then went to Washington, NC and looked around the waterfront. Very nice. Then went to Bill's Hot Dogs which sells only hot dogs, chips and soft drinks. At 12:45 pm I was # 25 in line. Bill's is strictly take out and very interesting. The dogs are fried (very red), buns steamed and they have a hot white bean chili which I've never seen anywhere else. Hot dogs go for $ .88 each so they are really cheap. I got 2 all the way (mustard, chili and onions) with a Diet Dr. Pepper and sat down to eat at a park bench near the waterfront. The hot dogs were good and did have a kick that you don't normally find.

I then went to Goose Creek Park and walked out to the beach that backs up to the Pamlico Sound. Wish I had some more time here.

Then went to Bath and toured the 2 houses and churches that were built in the 1700's. The kitchen in one of the houses was in the basement. Also saw the largest frying pan I had ever seen. They said a special dessert that was made back then was hedgehodge made out of an almond paste. I had never heard of that.

Then drove to Bayview, Pamlico Beach and Belhaven. Bayview and Pamlico Beach are virtually undeveloped but nice in thier own right. Got to see a lot of corn and soybeans in the fields which is always nice. Then went to Belhaven which is a nice town with old houses. Stopped in the local wine store and talked to the owner for a little bit. Was looking to have a beer but there wasn't anywhere open at this time.

Went back to Washington and had a beer at the Curiousity Shoppe which is right down the street from Bill's . Would like to have dinner there sometime.

Then it was back to Ayden to go to the Skylight Inn. SKylight Inn is famous for thier pit cooked barbecue. Got a medium tray which comes with slaw and cornbread along with a Diet Mtn. Dew. They only sell sandwiches and trays here - no FF, Brunsick stew, etc. I liked Bum's a little better but maybe because I wasn't as hungry as I was in the morning. The sauce was very good as well. Skylight Inn leaves more of the cracklin in the barbecue. I got a pound of Barbecue to go along with slaw and cornbread and sauce. Intersting delivery method - a pound of barbecue comes in a tray with a giant piece of cornbread on top to hold it down. (more on that later)

Stopped in Raleigh at Shucker's Oyster bar (actually Wake Forest) to have a beer. Friends of mine who I haven't seen in awhile owned this place. Still thriving and I will have to get there for dinner soon.

On the way home I got a little hungry and decided to break off a piece of that cornbread from the Skylight Inn. I have to tell you - there's something about baked cornbread around 11 PM that soothes the soul.

Overall a great day.

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  1. Thanks for the great report! Thats good information to have for future chowhound adventures.

    1 Reply
    1. re: carolinadawg

      That was a great report. Very Hemingway-esque. I miss my old carolina home and that great Carolina BBQ....

    2. Yes, thanks for the *awesome* trip report.

      Couple of notes, one chowhoundy, one not: Post back once you've eaten the rest of the Q from the Skylight . . . my recollection was that the cracklins they mix in (they actually chop it up separate & mix it in) with the meat don't handle travel & reheating too well, but I could be mistaken.

      On the non-chowhound tip, next time you (or anyone) are in Belhaven, make sure you hit the Belhaven Museum, which is essentially the slowly-decaying collection of a lady who clearly had some OCD issues . . . tens of thousands of buttons, all kinds of medical oddities in jars, Civil War-era clothes, random weird stuff. It's truly amazing: http://www.beaufort-county.com/Belhav...

      1 Reply
      1. re: rossgrady

        The Belhaven Museum was closed when I got there - a little before 4 on Sat.

      2. Wow - that was a busy, jammed packed day!

        The Curiosity Shoppe in Washington is quite good. Two other places downtown worth mentioning are Pia's (near the slowly being renovated Turnage Theater) and Down On Main, on the corner of Main and Market streets (owned by a young couple - I love their Southern Fried Shrimp Basket - delicious and inexpensive - the place is very popular and usually pretty noisy - they also have outside dining in back).

        1. Steve- thank you for taking the time to post such a thoughtful message. Lots of good info! {I was curious about your experience at Shuckers... I know you mentioned the owners were your friends. I have eaten there a number of time for the casual and fun ambiance, but I have yet to have a stellar meal of any sort there. Let me know your thoughts when you go there for dinner. I have virtually given up}

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tehama

            Update on the Skylight Inn barbeue - reheated it in the toster oven. The barbecue was great but did have to remove some of the pork fat pieces. Thye didn't hold up well. The sauce I purchased came in handy as well.

            Regarding Shuckers - didn't eat there but they still have quite the varied menu. Hope to get back there soon. My thoughts on the food were similar to Tehama's the last time I went there. Great hush puppies if I remember correctly.

          2. I grew up in Washington, NC...and Bill's Hot Dogs are the best dogs! They aren't too pretty to look at, but boy are they tasty! Beware, though...the smell can linger with you for a long time.

            1. Bill's Hot Dogs in Washington, NC is a stop every lover of the American frankfurter on a roll needs to make at least once in their life. Place sells only dogs, chips and soft drinks (they offer Coca-Cola in the small, old-time-style, curvy bottle). The dogs are bright red (from a dog maker in Clayton, NC, me thinx), deep fried, keep hot in oil on the steamer top. "All the way" means with chili sauce, onions and mustard. The chili sauce is unique and very spicy. Best I can tell, it is made from a base of cooked white (northern) beans that are pureed, and then seasoned with salt and lots of white pepper. The dogs costs less than a buck each. Place is open for breakfast, and I've been there at 9 am having to wait in line!

              1 Reply
              1. re: garnermike

                I'm not a fan of red hot dogs but there is something special about the ones served at Bill's. I always find time to stop there when I'm in the area.