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Help Me Decide - Allen and Son Or Lexington BBQ?

We are driving from Asheville to Raleigh on Friday and are looking for great BBQ for lunch. Thanks to some searching on this board, I think I have narrowed it down to Allen and Son in Chapel Hill and Lexington BBQ in Lexington. We are leaving early so have time to get off I-40 for a bit, and it's my understanding that Lexington is only about a 1 hour detour?

Your thoughts would be appreciated, as well as any pertinent info such as hours of operation, and also, whether or not these locations are still open? I read one review for each place that said they were closed? Or maybe the reviewer just meant not open for business during the hours they tried. I am a little confused.

And of course, any other suggestions would be appreciated if warranted. Thanks!

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  1. Allen & Son all the way, if you ask me. I've been to both, A&S many times and Lex BBQ only once, and while Lex was great, A&S blows me away every time. I usually get the BBQ sandwich. It comes with a side; I like the hush puppies and the onion rings.

    They're closed on Sunday and Monday, but open every other day.

    1. You can't go wrong with either, and Lexington would be more like a 30 minute detour max.

      I've gone to both with some regularity and I have found the Lexington BBQ is consistently good and the servers know their product (make sure you ask for outside brown, so you get some texture with the meat). At Allen & Sons, it can be hit or miss, both in the quality of the pork and the knowledge of the server.

      1. My favorite is Allen & Son, and yes, it does vary in quality, but for me it's never been below "pretty darn good" and is "absolutely heavenly I-would-take-this-to-a-desert-island-if-it-were my-only-meal" good about 60% of the time. Not sure if I've picked up on a pattern, but I've had much better luck on Fridays and Saturdays than earlier in the week (I'd say my Saturday lunch percentage for "heavenly" is about 85%). That may just be happenstance.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mikeh

          I agree completely with your percentage...Also, I avoid the fries but my friends swear by them. I really like their onion rings and hush puppies.

          I've had trouble with Saturday hours, seems like last summer I'd go every other Saturday and they would be closed...so, call ahead!

        2. I'm going to have to vote for Lexington. They are the standard by which all others are judged. My dad is from Lexington and I still have family there. I currently live in Chapel Hill, just a few minutes from Allen & Sons. Their BBQ is pretty fantastic and I recommend it all the time. However, that being said I will still occasionally drive the hour and a half to Lexington for the finest BBQ this state has to offer. Given the choice, go for the Honeymonk (Lexington #1).

          Of course, you could always try both - they're different (and excellent) enough to warrant a little sampling. You'll be happy and full either way.

          1. Both are quite good but I prefer the smokier, vinegary flavor of Allen & Son better.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bbqme

              Growing up in Orange County, I ate at most of the BBQ places around over the years, and one of my favorites has always been Hursey's in Burlington and Graham. The chopped pork is so moist and flavorful, you don't even need sauce, and if you order by the pound, they give you a full bag of buns to make sandwiches.