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Jan 31, 2010 04:38 AM

Good BBQ along 95

Doing he drive down to Florida. Are there any good spots for BBQ along the way?

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  1. Starting where? If you do a search, you'll find lots of suggestions. Tastee Hut in VA, Sweatman's in SC, Georgia Pig in Brunswick, GA. Most of the really good NC places are 30 minutes or more off I-95.

    6 Replies
      1. re: Withnail42

        Check out Ralph's in Weldon (Roanoke Rapids, NC) just a little south of VA / NC border. It is, in my opinion, not the greatest bbq in eastern nc but it is very close to the interstate and a fine example of modern small town bbq institution.

        1. re: Guilty Gourmand

          Ralph's is at the bottom of the heap, even among gas burners. Red sauce, "pulled pork", high prices. It's a dog's breakfast of bad cooking methods and outside influences.

          K&L in Hopewell, VA and Stony Creek Tastee Hut in Stony Creek, VA are my picks for stuff that's near 95.

          1. re: Naco

            Naco, Many thanks. Please don't hold back on your opinion here. I'm not a real fan of Ralph's and don't know much about their methods but do know I always seem to get pulled there by locals when I'm in the area. Am I just hanging with mis-informed folks or is it just lack of alternatives? The place always seems packed and they don't all look like they came of the interstate. Perhaps this is not the best forum for discussion but I'm curious about your reference to outside influences.

            1. re: Guilty Gourmand

              What I meant by outside influences was the red sauce and the "pulled pork" options on the menu. I'd never heard the phrase "pulled pork" until I started reading up on other barbecue traditions. It's simply not part of the traditional barbecue lexicon in eastern NC(or the Piedmont either, AFAIK). So, far from being a traditional barbecue place, Ralph's looks like they're offering people from out of state what they are accustomed to- tomato-based sauce and "pulled pork". The really great, traditional places don't offer options to suit the palates of people who aren't from the area. Even most gas cookers don't- they use a new(inferior, IMO) cooking method, but there is still a monolithic idea of what constitutes barbecue. Barbecue in eastern North Carolina is something that you order without caveats.

              As for how well-informed the locals are, etc: a lot of people have been eating gas-cooked barbecue for so long that they hardly know the real thing anymore. In many areas there are no alternatives; there are only a handful of places east of 95 that cook with wood or charcoal. Weldon is in a very rural part of the state, and I don't know of any wood cooking places up that way. I could see myself eating there if I lived there, but it's not something I'd stop for.

      2. re: carolinadawg

        don't waste your time at georgia pig in brunswick, georgia (there are other "georgia pigs").!

      3. Yes,
        Georgia Pig BBQ.
        This is a mom and pop resturant.
        Nothing fancy. Its 1 mile off exit 29 in Georgia in Brunswick.
        This is the real deal. I read about this place on a blog called
        Had the smoke sauage sandwick, Pulled pork, and the ribs.
        I was working in the area and we ate lunch there 2 days in a row. the guys i were with didnt want to go any place else.
        I was just there the week of jan 25-29.
        They even have specials. 2 people can eat for under 14 dollars with drinks.
        Plus the smell of the place is AWSOME.

        1. If you don't mind a brief detour, take I-40 W to 210 W to 50 N. Stephenson's BBQ will be about 2 miles on your right. A plate of excellent Eastern NC bbq, slaw, great fresh-cut fries, hushpuppies and iced tea will cost less than $8. Should be about 30 minutes R/T from I-95.

          3 Replies
          1. re: jimingso

            I am making a trip too from 95 in SC to FL and looking for BBQ myself. Has anyone heard of Smokin Pig in Richmond Hill, GA? I did see recommendations at on GA Pig. Thanks!

            1. re: dane18

              A friend of mine recently recommended the Smoking Pig to me for both quality and value.
              I haven't tried it yet, so can't personally vouch for it.

              1. re: savdoug

                Hey, my husband's name is Doug - you sure you're not him crying out for people to save him as I plan this trip? Just kidding, glad somebody has heard of Smokin' Pig, now I am norrowing it down to there and GA Pig and when and how hungry we are at the time! But we may want some seafood, too, and I don't think we want to wait 'til we get to Daytona. Thanks everybody!

          2. Try McCabe's BBQ in Manning, SC. Here's a review I posted of it last year:

            1. down in south georgia: there is a good thread on bbq, and one place standing out is discussed here -- g-daddy's in kingsland, georgia -- many people throughout the thread praise it:

              near d.c. -- woodbridge, va: dixie bones -- very close to 95.

              great home-made sides (except the cornbread is dry) and generous portions. peak times there is a wait, though.

              in lumberton, north carolina there is the buffet at "fuller's" -- well-known.
              has Q and a TON of fresh southern-style veggies, and the best darn deviled crab around! very easy access to/from 95, and close, too.