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May 14, 2010 10:27 AM

Road Trip from DC to Highlands, NC -- any recs for places along the way (esp. BBQ)?

(reposting -- accidentally posted in the wrong board initially...)

My husband and I are driving from DC to Highlands, NC next week, and will have overnight stops in Roanoke and Asheville. So this is a general solicitation for any and all recommendations for great places along that route. We are especially interested in BBQ -- I've heard we really shouldn't be looking around Asheville for BBQ, but I'd still like to give it a shot... Many thanks!

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  1. While you shouldn't look for BBQ in Asheville, 12 Bones has great ribs and sides to go with those ribs.

    1. The Ridgewood Barbeque in Blountville, TN is worth a detour off 81

      2 Replies
      1. re: flavrmeistr

        Sorry, that's Bluff City, TN right next to Blountville.

      2. The President ate lunch at 12 Bones in Asheville a few weeks ago.

        Grayson Restaurant and BBQ @ 100 Grayson Rd., Wytheville, VA 276 - 228 - 5308.
        Dixie Outpost BBQ @ 3172 Highway 126, Blountville, TN 423 - 574 - 7447.
        Ridgewood BBQ @ 900 Elizabethton Hwy., Bluff City, TN 423 - 538 - 7543.
        Dixie Barbecue Co. @ 3301 N. Roan St., Johnson City, TN. 423 - 283 - 7447. *
        Firehouse BBQ @ 627 W. Walnut St., Johnson City, TN. 423 - 929 - 7377.
        BBQ Inn @ 1341 Patton Ave., Asheville, NC 828 - 253 - 9615.
        12 Bones @5 Riverside Dr., Asheville, NC. 828 - 253 - 4499.
        Two locations in Asheville, NC.
        Ruby's BBQ Shack @ 8 Beverly Rd., Asheville, NC. 828 - 299 - 8183.
        Carolina Smokehouse @ US Highway 64 W, Cashiers, NC 828 - 743 - 3200.

        Stay at the Old Edward's Inn in Highlands, NC and dine at Madison's. Have a massage at the Spa there. Have a nice trip. Bon Appetit.

        Carolina Smokehouse
        US Highway 64 W, Cashiers, NC 28717

        Bon Appetit Restaurant
        621 Highway 441 S, Clayton, GA 30525

        1 Reply
        1. re: Littleman

          I love the Firehouse in Johnson City. I like it much better than Ridgewood. Also if you're going down I-77 go to THe Smokehouse in Galax, VA. AWESOME!!!!

        2. It looks like you have plenty of recs for Tennessee (the most direct route from Roanoke to Asheville) but, you can also explore taking the southern loop and visit Lexington, NC the home of several famous NC BBQ joints.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Windsor

            If you go to 12 Bones in Asheville, you may want to consider the south location on Sweeten Creek as opposed to the one near downtown. We've found that the food is more consistent at the newer location. I was pretty disappointed in the Riverside Drive location last week. But the south spot has always been great, and it is also the only one open on weekends. Luella's in Asheville is also pretty good.

            1. re: miss piggy

              Thanks to all for the great recommendations! Littleman -- we are staying at the Old Edwards Inn, and it's wonderful!! We spent all day in the spa yesterday after getting massages.

              1. re: SC77

                If you want some decent Q in Macon County your best bet is Willy's, down the hill from Highlands in Franklin. Not up to Lexington (or Ridgewood) standards but the best locally. Avoid Fat Buddies at all costs.

                The best food (not BBQ) on your route is the Town House in Chilhowie Va, a short drive off I-81. This is a very very good, serious destination restaurant. You would have to plan an overnight stop; they have recently added a B&B for that reason. Not cheap of course.


                If you are into true holes-in-the-wall, there are two good ones in Clayton Ga. La Jerazana is a Mexican grocery with good takeout (they have a couple of tables), and Henry's is a quintessential Southern buffet with great fried chicken--open only for lunch T-F and Sunday. Avoid the Dillard House in Dillard.

                I think Carolina Smokehouse is closed. In any case, in spite of Littleman's mention, IMO it is/was pretty bad.

                1. re: SC77

                  Have a good time for me. I wish you the best. Good luck.