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North Carolina BBQ- Tray or Sandwich?

Naco Jul 12, 2009 05:25 AM

How do you like to eat your barbeque? I live in eastern NC, and I almost always get a sandwich rather than a tray. I like the mix of flavors; the coolness/sweetness of the slaw, and the smoky/spicy flavor of the bbq. You don't really get that with a tray. In some cases, the sandwich makes the 'cue- Pete Jones' sandwich is one of my absolute favorites, but I don't care for the tray at all.

If I'm farther west and eating Lexington style, I do tend to get trays more, because the Lexington style slaw doesn't create the same type of flavor mix that you get with a sandwich down east. I like the Lexington slaw, I just think it creates a less exciting sandwich.

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  1. j
    jellybear RE: Naco Jul 12, 2009 06:14 AM

    A BBQ Sandwich with Slaw and Fries is always a good call.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jellybear
      luvmath1 RE: jellybear Jul 13, 2009 09:24 PM

      Jellybear, I was reading an older post from you in Dec. 08 about Topsail restaurants not using local seafood. I will be coming there July 25-28. Could you please suggest seafood restaurants that use local seafood? I have not been to Topsail in 15+ years. I remember frequenting the Breezeway restaurant. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    2. bbqdawg RE: Naco Jul 12, 2009 06:17 AM

      I usually get a tray or a plate, and get a forkful of slaw and 'q together on each bite. That way, I get the coolness of the slaw and the smokiness of the meat togeher without the bread interfering. I do love the the combination of the 'q and the slaw together!

      1 Reply
      1. re: bbqdawg
        mikeh RE: bbqdawg Jul 12, 2009 06:34 AM

        this is my credited way of doing things. At Allen&Son, I do the combo. since it comes with brunswick stew in addition to 'q and slaw. 'q and slaw together in one bite, then a spoonful of brunswick stew, then a bite of hushpuppy. rinse, repeat, rejoice.

      2. Sam at Novas RE: Naco Jul 12, 2009 10:06 AM

        I get the tray if it comes with hushpuppies!

        1. b
          batdown RE: Naco Jul 12, 2009 08:36 PM

          I always get a tray unless there arent any plates available

          1. JayL RE: Naco Jul 13, 2009 09:38 AM

            Eating in...tray or plate

            On the go...sandwich

            1. c
              charlottebbqfan RE: Naco Jul 13, 2009 12:26 PM

              I like the pulled pork sandwich with slaw and House East sauce form Granny Lucy's in Carlotte with a big pile of onion rings and a sweet tea. Feels like being in my Granddaddy's BBQ restaurant out in Sampson County NC (way east) when I was a kid.

              Granny Lucy's
              Charlotte, NC, Charlotte, NC

              1. Bill Hunt RE: Naco Jul 13, 2009 09:07 PM

                I am a fan of the sandwich, with finely chipped cole slaw, and have been known to sneak a drizzle of sauce on both the sandwich (when the server is not looking) and the fries.

                Depending on the BBQ, we have also been known to also split a plate afterwards, and then waddle to the car.


                PS, the chipped slaw is something that I usually do not see outside of NC and more in the Western part of the state, than the Eastern. My wife has the touch to turn the AZ version of cole slaw into a "near" NC version with her mini-Cuisanart. Last time that I tried, I ended up with a slaw "paste." Not what we were looking for.


                1. l
                  luvmath1 RE: Naco Jul 13, 2009 09:26 PM

                  I like both. It depends on the place I am eating at. If it's Parker's in Wilson, I get the combo platter. If it's Smithfield Chicken and BBQ, I go for the sandwich with slaw.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: luvmath1
                    Tom from Raleigh RE: luvmath1 Jul 14, 2009 04:33 PM

                    I get the plate. Why eat white bread when I can get more 'Q? My favorite choice is the BBQ and Fried Chicken combo (2 thighs, please).

                  2. meatn3 RE: Naco Jul 14, 2009 05:44 PM

                    I get the platter with slaw. I'm a light eater and bring the rest home to become a sandwich later!

                    1. l
                      LBD RE: Naco Jul 19, 2009 01:54 PM

                      I like a sandwich but some places use the crappiest of crappy white bread buns that just fall apart. Not traditional but at home I prefer potato rolls as they hold up better. Really not traditonal but I love the braised pork sandwich at The Federal in Durham, the pork on a crusty baguette is great.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: LBD
                        Naco RE: LBD Jul 19, 2009 03:44 PM

                        The low quality white bread hamburger bun is part of the charm for me! But when I make barbecue at home, fresh tortillas or bolillos(torta bread) work really well and are a bit more interesting.

                        1. re: Naco
                          observor RE: Naco Jul 19, 2009 04:56 PM

                          Who eats food that is poor for "charm"?

                          1. re: observor
                            Naco RE: observor Jul 19, 2009 05:03 PM

                            I don't agree that it's "poor". Typical bbq bread has a neutral flavor that allows the other ingredients to shine.

                            But for those who grew up on the stuff like I did, nostalgia and familiarity are important factors- that's what I meant by "charm".

                            1. re: Naco
                              CyndiA RE: Naco Jul 19, 2009 06:45 PM

                              I know what you're saying and agree. No fancy bread with BBQ. I adore great breads but when it's barbecue, then it's about the meat.

                      2. o
                        observor RE: Naco Jul 19, 2009 03:05 PM

                        You can get the flavors of the slaw and the meat without getting the bread on, which is often of bad quality.

                        1. o
                          observor RE: Naco Jul 20, 2009 06:28 AM

                          I like more meat for the money, and I don't like bad bread, so I am more likely to get a tray...ideally, I'll make my own 'cue with some good crusty bread on the side...

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