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Birmingham Southern University's List of Essential Southern Barbecue

scrumptiouschef Feb 13, 2009 07:42 AM

From the New York Times:

Here is a list of the 18 Southern barbecue restaurants visited by four Birmingham-Southern College students in January for an unusual interim-period writing course:

Germantown Commissary -- Memphis, Tenn.

Neely's Bar-b-que -- Memphis, Tenn.

Corky's BBQ -- Memphis, Tenn.

Jack's Bar-b-que -- Nashville, Tenn.

Sticky Fingers RibHouse -- Chattanooga, Tenn.

Lexington Barbecue No. 1 -- Lexington, N.C.

The Pit -- Raleigh, N.C.

Stamey's -- Greensboro, N.C.

B's Barbecue and Grill -- Greenville, N.C.

Wilber's Barbecue -- Goldsboro, N.C.

Scott BBQ -- Hemingway, S.C.

Sweatman's Bar-b-que -- Holly Hill, S.C.

Fresh Air Bar-B-Que -- Athens, Ga.

Old Clinton Bar-b-q -- Gray, Ga.

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q -- Atlanta, Ga.

Byron's Smoke House -- Auburn, Ala.

Dreamland Bar-B-Q -- Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q -- Decatur, Ala.

Their omission of Archibald's in Northport,perhaps an hour away is staggering.

Leave it to the academics to ignore the elephant in the room and focus on a snag in the carpet instead.

Has anyone visited ALL the places on the list?

  1. t
    tommio Feb 18, 2009 03:44 PM

    The Pit? really?

    As an eastern NC boy, I agree with B's, Wilbers and the nod to #1. Heck and even Stameys but The Pit? Skylight or Parkers could've been included.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tommio
      wb247 Feb 19, 2009 03:54 PM

      The pit is Ed Mitchell's new place. I feel like it was a really good choice. It's actually a really cool concept and I can't wait until I'm able to give it a try. He went upscale with the atmosphere, got a decent wine/beer list (and can only assume good booze), but went with a traditional Q-shack style menu, for the most part. I'd imagine the presentation is upscale, at least as much as possible with that type of food. I don't think anyone who knows Q will argue that Ed Mitchell doesn't know his way around a pig.

      Parkers? In my opinion, Parker's is only slightly better than Gardner's, but substantially less sanitary. ...and I'm *from* Rocky Mount*...

    2. g
      grundoon Feb 18, 2009 07:15 AM

      I'd give them a C+...

      1. Suzy Q Feb 16, 2009 09:49 AM

        I'm just trying to figure out how these yahoos convinced some gullible professor to actually give them credit for driving around and eating BBQ. Although I'm amused that they put their pre- and post-trip weights on their website - LOL! And what's with the chains on the list (Corky's and Sticky Fingers)?

        That being said, I'm with the others who questioned how they missed the Skylight. That's kind of a no-brainer.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Suzy Q
          LaLa Feb 16, 2009 10:35 AM

          Not only that but they got a grant!

          1. re: LaLa
            Suzy Q Feb 16, 2009 10:59 AM

            Clearly those boys are much smoother talkers than I am. :-)

        2. wb247 Feb 15, 2009 01:00 PM

          The Skylight Inn, about 15-20 min. south of Greenville NC (Ayden) is also a pretty glaring omission. Regardless, they've done a pretty impressive thing and I guess there's no way you can hit them all. I, for one, am jealous and would love to be able to make a trip like that.

          @birminghamvisitor: Their page is www.southernbbqboys.com, I believe.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wb247
            JayL Feb 15, 2009 07:55 PM


            When Good Housekeeping says you have the best bbq in the WORLD, when National Geographic says you ahve the best bbq in the WORLD, and when you have a James Beard Award hanging on the wall...honestly, who needs the approval of four Birmingham-Southern students?

            The text says the list are "the 18 Southern barbecue restaurants visited by four Birmingham-Southern College students", and the title says "list of essential southern bbq". So is their list of 18 "essential" bbq joints the ONLY bbq joints they visited? Is every place they visit "essential"?

            I can't believe they went to Goldsboro and Greenville, NC and DIDN'T stop in Ayden! Talk about lack of research and preparation.

            Anyway, like someone said, they can't go EVERYWHERE.

            1. re: JayL
              LaLa Feb 16, 2009 10:34 AM

              i actually read the article in my paper ...it never used the word "essential"......it was more these are the places we went...not the"must haves"...it wasn't laid out like that at all.

          2. b
            birminghamvisitor Feb 15, 2009 11:28 AM

            Is there a link to their paper or whatever? How did you get the list?

            And the fact that Archibald's was left off is a sin, and should have cost them a letter grade IMO!

            I have been considering making the ride to Decatur to try Big Bob's...yall think it is worth the drive?

            And I agree with Clark...I have never been to Memphis for a Q-Crawl, but planned a trip a few months ago that fell through, and Germantown Commissary is the only place of the 3 I had planned to try.

            1 Reply
            1. re: birminghamvisitor
              Davwud Feb 15, 2009 08:14 PM

              I would say it's worth the drive. It may not be the best Q you've ever had but it would be far from the worst. Considering how famous it is and how relatively close you are, you should.
              My one trip I'd call excellent and am looking forward to a return visit later this year.

              I've also been to Corky's in Memphis and thought it was okay.

              According to Mrs. Sippi, the Neely's the went to was actually Interstate.


            2. c
              Clarkafella Feb 14, 2009 08:14 AM

              Haven't been to all- in fact never been to any of the North Carolina places, but I can say that they need a new guidebook for Memphis!

              By the way, did it say how these places compared?

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