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BBQ Road Trip - Please Advise

Moving from East Coast to West Coast (again...) and decided this time to veer through the South/Deep South in order to seek out the country's most delicious pig (and maybe some cattle once I hit Texas)

Planning to make first stop in Chapel Hill - Lexington BBQ is at the top of my list - then head down through North Georgia on my way to Dallas. My route is pretty flexible though it's not likely I'll hit anything south of I-10. Thinking Route 82 across AL and MS - but I'm open to suggestions.

I'll probably go North Louisiana into Dallas and then up Route 287 through W Texas.

Any suggestions on where to find the best eats along roughly that route would be seriously appreciated.

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    1. re: quazi

      You probably should consider going west on I-40 from Chapel Hill. You could then consider a place in Bluff City, Tennessee (eastern part of the state), that gets raves. Believe it's name is the Ridgewood or Ridgeway. Then you could also go through Memphis (western part of the state), which has what many consider the best BBQ joints in the South. From there it's easy to go south to Dallas, through any number of routes. But if you take I-40, you'll miss north Georgia. Not far off I-40 in Nashville (about halfway across Tennessee) is a great breakfast joint, the Loveless Motel and Restaurant. One way to go from Memphis is straight south through the Mississippi Delta, (I-55). Lotsa great restaurants down that way, especially along the famous River Road.

    2. I 40 brings you right by White Bluff , TN, 20 miles west of Nashville and the home of Carl's Perfect Pig. Be warned though Carl has family obligations and he's only open Tuesday through Saturday and he closes around 6pm. His ribs are roasted, yet they are without a doubt perfect. Oh, the yellow squash and cheese is superb. Did I mention the corn cakes. Don't forget to report on your trip.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Cameraman

        unfortunately most of the good SC Q is in the eastern part of the state.

        tough call between going through say memphis and AL/MS.

        john edge's "southern belly" would be worth checking out if you haven't already. he details quite a few excellent, off-the-beaten path restaurants.

        and if you're going through texas and want Q, if you can swing toward austin (lockhart and other "nearby" towns) you can visit some of their heavy hitters. the latest(?) issue of texas monthly had their top 50 in the state of texas.

        1. re: chili367

          Yeah, I'd vote for I-10 through TX, with side trips to Lockhart, Austin, and Llano.

          1. re: ted

            Definitely agree on going to Lockhart, TX. It's a town obsessed with BBQ- I accidentally started an argument between three old ladies in a gift shop about what type of wood to use for BBQ. Smitty's (on courthouse square) was my favorite for brisket and beef sausage, though Black's was also good.

          2. re: chili367

            All Southerners should be required to read this book!

          1. Rib's Shack in Greenwood Mississippi. Greenwood is on the Blues Heritage Trail and is deeply authentic, possibly even stuck in the Fifties. Looks like Mayberry. Muddy Yazoo River runs through it. Rib's Shack is just out of downtown and run by two guys. Meat's really really smokey. There are other que places in town, too, that I haven't tried, so it's a really promising stop.

            2 Replies
            1. re: fluffernutter

              Thanks, that's right on my route. Will definitely check it out. Any word on Ubon's in Yazoo City?

              1. re: mrgreenbeenz

                My expertise doesn't extend to Yazoo City -- sorry. I usually drive to Greenwood to catch the train the NOLA, so Greenwood's all I know. There are other great places in Greenwood, too, including Lusco's and the Crystal Diner.

            2. If you haven't been to Memphis, you haven't eaten bbq.

              1 Reply
              1. re: tennreb

                Love the Memphis BBQ - I've done it before and am rolling further south on this particular venture.

              2. If you are coming through North Georgia, check out Sam & Dave's #1 or #2 in Marietta, north of Atlanta...or the Pig N Chik in Roswell.

                1. I don't know Lexington BBQ, but definitely try Allen and Son - see http://www.chowhound.com/topics/135133 . The Q Shack in Durham is also good (but I prefer their beef brisket to their pork) - http://www.theqshackoriginal.com/.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: truman

                    i do need to get back to allen and son's. i prefer the barbecue joint in chapel hill, but to be fair i need to get back to allen and sons -- it's been a couple of years. neither are in the same league as lexington #1.

                    the only thing to get at the Q shack is brisket. it's amazing they can make such good brisket and terrible pork in the same kitchen.

                  2. if you want to experience great pork bbq in nc, go east,east nc bbq is the best, it's chopped pork with a vingar based sauce. I reccommend a place called parkers bbq in wilson nc. i've been eatting their bbq for 20 years, and I don't even live in nc (i'm in va.). Growing up my family visited friends in wilson twice a year, and every visit we ate at parkers, repeatedly. Now that I am grow, I still visit parkers once a year, while traveling to the beach. I once forced my best friend to take a 20 minute detior to eat at parker's. She complained about the side trip untill she tasted the bbq. On the return trip, she decided to take the detour again, to eat more parker's. My annual beach trip begins saturday, and I have been ordered by my beach buddies 2 pick up the parkers bbq for everyone (even my friend who doesn't eat pork, loves parker's). If you go with a group, they have great family style dinning. Chopped pork, vingar based slaw, brunswick stew, boiled potatoes, and corn sticks, more then anyone could possible eat, served with pitchers of sweet tea with crushed ice (truly southern). If dining in one's or two's, get the fried chicken and chopped pork platter, comes with slaw, and corn sticks, and your choice of sides. The is no need for a bun with this bbq.