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Aug 14, 2007 09:00 AM

Updates on Jim Leff's Rec in Boone, NC?


Has anyone checked out either of Jim Leff's two recommendations near Boone?

1) "Citgo Market, a.k.a. Foscoe Country Corner (8937 Highway 105 South, Boone, North Carolina; 828-963-6409), makes the best barbecue (hickory-smoked!) in this part of the state (the mountains are not known for good barbecue). The meat itself is very well smoked, but most North Carolinians would quibble with the sauce, which is too sweet. This joint makes pretty good cheeseburgers too."

Last time I was in the area, it was Sunday and the restaurant side of the gas station was closed. They are open for lunch Monday through Saturday and for dinner on Friday when they feature a fish fry. We're planning to get dinner there Friday. Just wanted to see if anyone has been?

2) "Johnson’s Bakery, a.k.a Kersh’s Old World Bakery (106-1 Clubhouse Drive, Highway 105, Foscoe, North Carolina; 828-963-5668) the best sticky buns I've ever eaten."

I couldn't find this address on my last visit. Again, can anyone give another report?


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  1. i lived in the boone area for 12 years and i've never heard of either of these places. for bbq up there, you have to consider that it is NOT "north carolina bbq" so comparison to anything "off the mountain" is unfair to both sides. "mountain que" as i call it, really is more like the east tennesee southern virginia style which is a ketchup based sauce typically sweetened with molasses or brown sugar and (if you're lucky) a touch of whisky. the best que in the high country is woodlands in blowing rock. it's a staple.

    1 Reply
    1. re: scpierce

      I haven't been to either but Google Earth shows Jonson's Bakery 8.5 miles SW of the intersection of the intersection of 105 and 321 on Clubhouse Drive.

    2. i have heard of both places but i have never been into either one. but the citgo market parking lot is always packed when i pass by it. i am not to sure about the bakery though. whenever i do pass it, it seems to never be open. just wished that there was a clear sign to show if it was open or not. but i believe that if you are coming from boone to get to the bakery, you have to pass the citgo market before you get to the bakery. like sorta across the foscoe fire dept or a little bit past it, if i remember correctly.

      i personally prefer bandana's for bbq in boone. they have really good ribs and pulled pork, imo. there is also a new place called baxter's but i haven't been there.

      2 Replies
      1. re: vttp926

        Jonson's Bakery (aka Kersh's Old World bakery) at entrance to Mill Ridge just south of greater downtown Foscoe on 105.
        Thu -- Sat 8:30 - 10:30 and 1:30 - 4:30
        Sun 9:30 - 3:00
        (828) 963-5668
        Muffins, scones out at 8:30
        Sticky buns, brownies around 10:00
        Breads around 3:00
        Breads also available in Earth Fare in Boone

        1. re: JepJonson

          I enjoy Kersh's Old World Bakery and understand they have found a new location and will be moving soon.

          Personally, I didn't get very excited with Jeff's write up of Boone and the High Country. It sounded as though he had no plans to truely "visit" the area other than drive through one morning, get gas and conveniently found a bakery a half mile from where where he filled up.

          Bandana BBQ is just "ok". Perhaps I have been to one too many of their catered events this summer.

          There is a new Baxter's "Red, White and Blues BBQ" in Boone that I have tried a few times this summer. Very good lean and tasty BBQ, the two sides I ordered were also very good...slaw and great shoestring sweet potato fries. I heard folks at a nearby table raving over the beef brisket. They have a variety of BBQ sauces at the table including eastern NC style. The waitstaff has always been very friendly. It seems as though I have been there at "off hours" so service has never been a problem. Blues music theme with interesting selection of music and posters.

          I pass by the Citgo gas station in Foscoe probably two times a day during the summer months and can't say I would go out of my way to eat there. I have noticed a few construction crew trucks there during lunch hours. In all of the years I have been up here the only mention of the "dining" at the Citgo was a friend's hubby who went there for breakfast early every morning to meet up with some of the local "good ole boys" for coffee and stories.

          Local word has it that there is now great BBQ served out of a small gas station/diner south of Linville on Hwy 181...just a mile or two down the road on the right hand side after you turn of Hwy 221. Supposedly they have the real smoker on-site and and also offer whole roasted chickens on Saturday. I will be driving south this weekend and will check it out and report back.

          If anyone is reading old posts...please do NOT take my advise on the BBQ at the Hampton Grist Mill in Linville. They used to have great smoked BBQ served on home made yeast rolls. Major league change in kitchen with prices jacked up and food quality taking a huge nose dive.

      2. Had BBQ ribs at Foscoe Country Corner (the name of the Citgo station) last night -- very good. Nice smokey flavor without tasting like a tree stump. The meat was tender and moist, and appropriately "toothsome.," ie. falling off the bone in whole pieces, not in shreds. The sides are pedestrian, except for the green beans, which are half-runners (the absolute exemplar of the southern green bean) and delicious.

        The smoker, incidentally, is in a little shed out back, and when they fire it up it perfumes the whole neighborhood with the smell of hickory. I can't say I've ever had that experience at Bandana's or Baxter's, Baxter's has a tiny smoker out front in the parking lot (obviously just for show) and even this display smoker conceals a little propane tank. That pretty well summarizes the taste -- very little smoke, more pork roast than BBQ.

        Although I liked the ribs at the Foscoe Country Corner, I agree with Jim's original assessment of the pulled pork -- nicely smoked, but I don't care for the sauce (too sweet). Scpierce is indubitably correct -- the sauce would be improved by a touch of whisky. Better yet, two touches -- one for the sauce, another for the diner.