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Sep 10, 2009 09:53 AM

I 95..NY-Hilton Head

I'll be driving my elderly parents to Hilton Head in the next week or so. Looking for good local places along the way. Unfortunately, I won't be able to get very far from I-95. Rules out a side trip to Skylight (never been) or Sweatman's (twice)

I've tried the "search" and found some recommendations for McCabes in Manning, VA and Allman's BBQ in Fredericksburg.

Appreciate any other ideas along the way. Not looking for high end or fancy; simple and good is more appropriate for my passengers..:)

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  1. I think McCabes is in Manning, South Carolina, not VA. You might want to consider Fullers, in Lumberton, NC. Its country-style buffet that is pretty good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bbqdawg

      Thx for the correction and the recommendation.

    2. Smithfield, NC.

      In the 1st block south of the intersection of Business 70 and Business 301, there is the Chicken Barn with fresh fried chicken and chicken partes. Across the street is Millies, which is a stand up outside and order joint with NC hot dogs, Chili burgers, Greens cooked with hog jowls, etc. Also right there is Hills of Sno Sno Kones which has real gulf style Sno Kones with shaved ice (not crushed) and the owner is a fanatic who makes his own syrups -- well over 50 different flavors.

      There isn't *much* close to i-95 in NC, not much at all, honestly. None of this (except the sno cones) is fancy or more than a stop in the road, but I have been known to get a craving flung on me that has me driving 1.5 hours there to eat.

      1 Reply
      1. re: fussycouple

        Smithfield/Selma is probably the best bet in NC. Selma has a smattering of Central American restaurants. I ate at Alondra's(Honduran) recently and had a good meal of grilled beef and fried plaintain chips.

        The other small cities that you'll pass by along I-95 in NC are Roanoke Rapids and Rocky Mount, both chain hell, and Fayetteville, where nothing decent is close to the interstate.

      2. K&L Barbecue in Hopewell, VA is right off 295(which is the best route south unless you need/want to stop in Richmond) and does really good eastern NC style pork barbecue. They also have beef barbecue, fried chicken, and that sort of thing.

        A bit further south, back on I-95, the Stony Creek Tastee Hut in Stony Creek, VA is literally a stone's throw from 95 and has good eastern NC bbq and fried chicken and also the best hushpuppies I've ever had. They also have other things, but I have always gotten some combination of the above.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Naco

          Naco, is K&L a wood or charcoal burner?

          1. re: Hushpuppy

            Wood. IIRC you can see the pile around the back of the restaurant in Google Maps' street view function. I rode around the back one time and it looked a little small for a barbecue place as big as K&L, so maybe they do a wood/charcoal mix. At any rate, the barbecue is tangy and lightly smoky, and does not need any additional sauce. I always try to get some when I'm up that way. If they are cooking with gas, I wish they would share some of their secrets with the NC gas burners.

        2. Thx for the recommendations; as well as the cities to avoid because of chain restaurant saturation..:) They look like they are spaced at enough different points that a few may work.

          This is a first time (with parents) and I promise myself to do the trip and take some time for further exploration in the future, but unfortunately this trip has the "close to 95 restriction."

          I'll report back after the trip and be sure to ask for advice if you're ever in the Boston area.

          1. Made the trip and flew back Mon night. We hit 2 of the CH recs and enjoyed. We ended up veering off 95 and missed McCabe's in Manning which sounded great; but there's always next time. Did a little side trip to the coast; which was a very positive thing as my father had just spent 6 weeks in a hospital/rehab and we weren't sure if they were going to be 2 hour driving days or 6 hours. He's doing great and got to eat at a few local places which he wouldn't normally seek out. Our first meal was Cracker Barrel in Fredericksburg (which he was really looking forward to)while I had Allman's BBQ in the cooler..:)

            Successful trip and it is nice to get off of 95 if time allows.

            Thanks again for the recs.

            Some pics of the trip..


            20 Replies
            1. re: 9lives

              That's so nice! I'm glad you were all able to enjoy. 95 can be a grind. I see you couldn't resist JR"s! :)

              1. re: 9lives

                Where did you go? It's always nice to read an after report.

                Edit: I see you hit up the Tastee Hut. What did you think?

                1. re: Naco

                  Sorry, I wasn't clear. first night we made Fredericksburg. I got takeout from Allman's BBQ and ended up at Cracker Barrel due to Dad's desire. Had the BBQ the next day and enjoyed it.

                  Enjoyed Tastee Hut; never would have stopped withour a CH reco..nicely fried chicken and sides.

                  We took 70? East to New Bern, nice dinner at Chelsea's; short walk from our guest house. Pretty town. Wrote that up separately.

                  Last meal was Capt Dave's in Murrell Inlet..simple grilled fish in a beautiful spot.

                  We did pass a few BBQ spots I'd have like to try; but that will have to wait til next trip.

                  1. re: 9lives

                    If you take 70 to New Bern again, you'll be within striking distance of several really good places to eat.

                    1. Skylight Inn(Pete Jones') in Ayden is about 15 minutes from 70 and is one of the top eastern NC barbecue places.

                    2. Same thing applies to Wilber's in Goldsboro, which is right out on 70.

                    3. La Cuata in Dudley does awesome authentic Mexican food. Approx. 15 minutes from 70.

                    4. I only know them by reputation, but Grady's Barbecue in Dudley and Ken's in La Grange are supposed to be good. Ken's only does bbq on Friday and Saturday, IIRC.

                    5. Finally, Tryon Palace Seafood/Stingray Cafe in New Bern is a seafood market/restaurant that cooks up excellent fresh seafood.

                    1. re: Naco

                      We were originally plannning on Fuller's in Lumberton (per your rec) after Tastee Freeze, but we did the side trip on the spur of the moment

                      I saw Wilber's and Moore's? and realized how close we were to Ayden; but it wasn't meal time..:)

                      Normally, I wouldn't let that stop me but I had my parents to think about...:)

                      A return trip is definitely in the future.

                    2. re: 9lives

                      PS..Don't miss the sweet potato fries at Tastee Hut..great dish.

                      1. re: 9lives

                        I-95 travelers - Ralph's BBQ is just a few hundred yards off the interstate in Roanoke Rapids (really Weldon)...great 'que, chicken, veggies and killer 'nanner puddin'...

                        1. re: grubhub

                          I've never been to Ralph's, but not everyone agrees that its great:


                          1. re: carolinadawg

                            Breathe deeply over a fresh pack of bologna and do a shot of vinegar, and you've more or less had Ralph's barbecue.

                            1. re: Naco

                              Now Naco, let's be nice.......

                                1. re: Naco

                                  I have to say, I'm pretty much a sucker for Eastern NC cue, and Ralph's would not be near the top of my list. But then again, I like Parker's (more than Bill's), so what do I know? 8>D Pity Wilber's isn't closer to I-95.

                                  Hey Naco, have you ever tried Nunnery-Freeman over in Henderson? You probably don't think much of it, but I like their sauce, which is an interesting ENC-WNC hybrid.

                                  1. re: Bob W

                                    No, I hadn't heard of it. I haven't been up that way in a while.

                                    1. re: Bob W

                                      Gary's BBQ in Henderson had a very similar sauce. I believe they are closed now. The bottled Jim's Sauce from Durham is also quite similar.

                                      Nunnery-Freeman sells the Kook Rite Kooker - a gas bbq contraption.

                                      1. re: whitehackle

                                        Hi white, thanks for the sauce info. Sounds like this type of sauce is very localized. Yet another wrinkle in the NC barbecue map.

                                        The Kook Rite Kooker is actually electric. It comes with a hickory insert. Apparently it's used all over the state.

                                      2. re: Bob W

                                        Hi there, Bob W. We have discovered barbecue nearby that is pretty close to the Carolina-style. The place is in Ocean City, Maryland and is called Virginia Barbecue. It is a local chain so I thought you might like to try it sometime. There might be one near you. Here is their website:
                                        Naco, I am a Carolina-girl and believe me, I do understand and appreciate your argument. This barbecue would never pass a North Carolina poll but it is not bad this many miles away from Lexington.

                                        1. re: Sensuous

                                          Thanks Sensuous -- I see they have a location in Manassas, which is indeed very close to me. Most of their locations are in VA, which would explain the name, although they appear to have forthcoming locations in California , Texas, and Missouri (??) too. NC even. I find the whole thing odd because these states all are known for superlative bbq and Virginia is not (sad but true), even though the finest hogs in the world -- fed on Virginia peanuts -- are raised here. So the name "Virginia Barbecue" would seem to carry no cachet whatsoever, unless the thinking is that people would see the name and think "Welp, Virginny is part of the south, they must have good barbecue."

                                          I will give them a try and report back!

                                          PS Having said all that, we recently had some very good cue at Pierce's Pitt in Williamsburg, but one place does not a state's reputation make -- there is a lot more bad barbecue than really good cue in VA.

                            2. re: 9lives

                              what/where is this tastee hut place

                              ill be driving in a few weeks from fairfax va to orlando, along the 95, and have been perusing for reccss as well

                              1. re: shoelace

                                Here's some pics...less than a minute off #95..I think x31 in VA..on your right,heading South..434-246-2328


                                1. re: 9lives

                                  The town it's in is called Stony Creek. You can take either exit for Stony Creek. The Tastee Hut is on 301.