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Ideas for a BBQ tour in the south-looking for suggestions

Hello everyone: I am looking to go on a little BBQ tour of the south this summer for about a week. Ideally I'd like to fly in somewhere, rent a car and wind up somewhere else. I'm attracted to the deep South for some reason so ideally I'd like to start in Mississippi.

I'm open to any thoughts/suggestions.

I also looked for organized BBQ tours but didnt find anything.

Thanks and I'll look forward to hearing from you,
Ryan acewex@gmail.com

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  1. I would recommend coming to NC. There are lots of outstanding BBQ places in the piedmont and eastern parts of the state to try. Memphis, of course, is an obvious place to visit. I think if you do a search on here for BBQ you will find lots of suggestions to get you started.

    6 Replies
    1. re: carolinadawg

      Thanks for the suggestion-I had thought about that. What city could I fly into do you think would be a good start? Thanks, Ryan

      1. re: acewex

        I'd recommend Raleigh...most of the great bbq in NC is within a 2 hour radius of there. Plus it has the lower average airfares that the Greensboro or Charlotte airports.

        1. re: carolinadawg

          Stick to Mississippi and Memphis! I have to go do a few things right now, but I will post later with an itinerary- you might as well go with the best first!

          8-)

            1. re: carolinadawg

              Let's see- North Carolina gets about 6 zillion tourists a year- Mississippi gets about 6 dozen- here we finally get somebody showing some interest, and you guys try to snag 'em!

              You guys might have better mountains than we do, you guys might beat us in sports- but when it comes to good eats we can hold our own against anybody!

              8-)

            2. re: Clarkafella

              Please do-I'm looking forward to hearing your itinerary! Thanks, Ryan

      2. You've obviously definitely got to go to Memphis.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jamiecarroll

          You should hit several states because 'cue is different everywhere you go and it would be fun checking out the different styles.
          Definitely North Carolina. Definitely South Carolina (more of a mustardy sauce). Definitely Memphis.
          In Alabama, check out Miss Myra's in Birmingham, Dreamland in Tuscaloosa and Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur.
          Georgia's 'cue will be a nice transition from Alabama to South Carolina.
          My suggestion: Start in Memphis, hit some place in north Mississippi then go into Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and fly home from Raleigh.

          1. re: Big Daddy

            South Carolina is a mix as far as sauces, 4 in all. The upstate and most western part is tomato based. The SE part of South Carolina, coastal regions, are more vinegar based. There is a stretch in the midlands that is mustard based, and just above the midlands heading towards the NC line is light tomato based.

            J.B.'s Smokeshack - Johns Island(near Charleston)
            Sweatmens BBQ - Holly Hill(near Charleston)
            Circle M BBQ - Liberty(Upstate)
            Hog Heaven - Pawleys Island

            Those are some off my head.

        2. I would suggest that you hit the following heading from Greensboro/Raleigh direction toward Charlotte. Go into SC and finally Atlanta down the I-85 corridor)

          North Carolina
          Greensboro - Stamey's BBQ
          Lexington - Lexington BBQ No.1 (aka Honeymonk's), Speedy's BBQ, Jimmy's BBQ
          Gastonia - Black's BBQ and/or RO's BBQ (these are more BBQ sandwich places, not the traditional BBQ plate or tray, but very good)
          Shelby - Alston Bridges' BBQ - only open M-Fr (there is also a Bridges BBQ - good, but not nearly in the same league).

          Moving into SC there is:
          Spartanburg - Carolina BBQ

          Finally in Atlanta, GA:
          Dusty's

          The whole drive time would be about 7-8 hours (conservatively). These are mainly traditional places and most are Lexington, NC style.

          1. From Memphis, it would be a miscarriage of justice to miss out on the remarkable BBQ in the northeast arkansas and the Missouri Bootheel. 2 of the best places for particular kinds of barbecue can be found within 10 miles of each other 1 1/2 hours north form Memphis in Kennett and Holcomb, MO. One of the best chopped pork sandwiches you will ever put in your mouth comes from Alford's Barbecue, and has the added bonus of being served with the best french fries ever. Then, Stawberry's MidTown Recreation( used to be a pool hall; still has 8 tables in the back, and league play on Wed. nites) does the most amazing pork steak or baby back ribs(dry cooked) you could find anywhere. here are also several other excellent places in the area including: Horton's BBQ in Kennett, the Dixie Pig in Blytheville, AR, Chubby's in Hayti, MO, Big Butts in Leachville, AR . If you're going, Alfords is only open for lunch wed-sun and dinner friday and saturday

            1. DEFINITELY North Carolina (and no, I don't live there)--in order of importance :
              (1) Lexington BBQ--Lexington (if you could only go to one) (2) Skylight Inn in Ayden
              (3) Stamey's in Greensboro (4) Allen and Sons in Chapel Hill (5) Wilber's or McCall's in Goldsboro--there's lots more good ones, but these will take you on a semi-circular tour in 2 or 3 days--I did exactly that (and a lot more) for a week in Sept '04