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May 15, 2010 12:48 PM

Whirlwind tour: Raleigh, Charlotte, Columbia, Wilmington

I'm planning on taking a food trip to this area, mainly to eat BBQ, but to eat other things and relax as well. I still need a couple of restaurant suggestions. I'm trying to eat mainly things that I can't get at home in Seattle. I'd mainly like to stick to BBQ, Southern Food, and East Coast Seafood.

I'm planning on flying into Raleigh from Seattle late on a Thursday night. I want to eat lunch at The Pit in Raleigh on Friday. I'll stay somewhere between Raleigh and Winston-Salem Friday night. That leaves a dinner anywhere in that area for Friday night. Suggestions?

Saturday, I'm going to stop for lunch at Lexington #1, and continue to Charlotte. Any recommendation for a good dinner stop there?

Sunday, I'm going to drive from Charlotte to Wilmington, but detour through South Carolina. I haven't picked a place yet, but I do want to try somewhere with a mustard based sauce. If I have to go all the way to Hudson's Smokehouse near Columbia, I will. If anyone has any recommendations, I'd love to hear them.

From there I would like to spend Sunday and Monday nights in the Wilmington area. The Surf Shop looked like it would be a fun lunch on Monday. But I still need dinners for Monday and Sunday nights.

After this, I drive back to Raleigh on Tuesday morning for my flight back to Seattle.

Thanks for the help in advance.

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  1. Barbecue Lodge @ 4600 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, NC. 919 - 872 - 4755. *
    Cooper's Bar B Q @ 109 E. Davie St., Raleigh, NC. 919 - 832 - 7614. *
    Ole Time BBQ @ 6309 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC. 919 - 859 - 2544. *
    The Pit @ 328 W. Davie St., Raleigh, NC. 919 - 890 - 4500. *
    Bib's BBQ @ 675 West 5th St., Winston Salem, NC. 336 - 722 - 0007. *
    Hill's Lexington BBQ @ 4005 N. Patterson Ave., Winston Salem, NC. 336 - 767 - 2184.
    Little Richards BBQ @ 4885 Country Club Rd., Winston Salem, NC. 336 - 760 - 3457. *
    Mr. Bar B Que @ 1381 Peter's Creek Parkway, Winston Salem, NC. 336 - 725 - 7827. *
    Bar B Q King @ 2900 Wilkinson Blvd., Charlotte, NC. 704 - 399 - 8344. *
    Bill Spoon's Barbecue @ 5524 S. Blvd., Charlotte, NC. 704 - 525 - 8865. *
    Old Hickory House BBQ Restaurant @ 6538 N. Tryon, Charlotte, NC. 704 - 596 - 8014. *
    Sticky Finger's BBQ @ 12410 Johnston Rd., Charlotte, NC 704 - 926 - 3441. *
    Fuller's Old Fashion BBQ @ 3201 Roberts Ave., Lumberton, NC. 910 - 738 - 8694. * I95/EXIT20.

    1. Friday dinner should really be at Allen & Sons in Chapel Hill. You won't have another chance to be closer to them.

      Saturday you could swing by Keatons - they have a very unique, regional style of dipped chicken. Call first, hours can be erratic. They are S.of Statesville, N. of Charlotte.

      1 Reply
      1. re: meatn3

        I'd drive through just anything to get to Keaton's - yum!!!

      2. Something I love to do while driving is GPS roulette! I hit the restaurant button and I pick something by the name. This game hasn't failed me yet. It is especially fun while driving in the middle of nowhere, like your drive will be.

        Fried Seafood- Capt. Stanley's Raleigh and Capt. Steve in Charlotte. Sweet tea, tartar sauce, hushpuppies and everything fried.

        On the drive from Greensboro to Charlotte, A&M bbq in Mebane, NC, two photos attached. The bbq sandwich on the blue checkered tablecloth.

        Charlotte, The Penguin is a must. Tall boy beers, bloody marys. Hand dipped corn dogs, burgers, fried pickles and bbq sandwiches. Two photos of the Penguin, hamburger & hot dog with sauerkraut and bacon. They also have Sundrop and Cheerwine in the bottle.

        You can buy mustard base sauce at Maurice's in Columbia. Great to cook a pork loin in the crockpot in Bud Light Lime and toss in the mustard sauce for sandwiches, YUM.

        Columbia, Sandy's for a pimento cheese slaw dog. but really in Columbia, Motor Supply Co. for an upscale dinner, so yummy! Their brunch is fantastic, bloody marys and a smoke salmon plate. Wowzie. Have fun!

        2 Replies
        1. re: waitress

          I second the Penguin in Charlotte, I like the burgers my wife the pimento Cheese sandwhich. Onion rings are great
          Dish is across the street and its old school southern cooking.

          1. re: countgrog

            I just returned from a trip out west to Tucson and met wome folks who were just in Charlotte. They LOVED the city and mentioned that they ate dinner at Dish and they loved it!

        2. in Columbia for BBQ try Little Pigs
          They just reopened after rebuilding following a fire.
          Close to 1-77 too
          Wonderful traditional buffet with several sauces to choose from.
          Hudsons is WAY out of the way.
          Also, a new restaurant in Blythewood called Smoke. Haven't been there yet, but heard some great things about it.
          378 headed out of town there is Big T's too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chowhoundgirl

            I wanted to do Little Pigs, but it doesn't look like they are open on Sunday.

            Little Pigs
            115 Bountyland Rd, Seneca, SC 29672

          2. As far as BBQ in Columbia is concerned, I'd say that your best options are either Hudson's Smokehouse or Smoke in Blythewood. Hudson's is far better than most places around here, but it still isn't worth going too far out of your way. It's consistently good, but never great.

            My husband and I just recently tried Smoke, and we were pretty impressed with the food itself. As it is a relatively new restaurant, they are still working out the kinks - be prepared for slow service and the possibility that they may be out of your desired menu choice. If things do work in your favor, however, you'll not be disappointed. Their pulled pork was amazing, as were their ribs (though the spice rub on mine was a bit heavy). They don't have mustard sauce (at least not that I noticed), but their sauces are pretty great, nontheless. They had one sauce that seemed to have been flavored with allspice or cloves - it was delicious.

            3 Replies
            1. re: sethacke

              The only reason I'm thinking of detouring into South Carolina is for a place that has a mustard sauce. I've made it at home, and quite like it, but would like to try it served by someone who knows what they're doing. I'll probably never get this close to SC again, so a 2 hour detour isn't a big deal.

              1. re: vanillagorilla

                Then Hudson's is the way to go, IMO. I've heard that Shealy's in Batesburg-Leesville is really great too, but I"ve never been. Enjoy your trip!

                1. re: sethacke

                  Hudson's has changed since they went buffet... not as good as it used to be. Try Smoke off I-77 in Blythwood on the way in from Charlotte. Or you can go up I-26 about 10 miles to Chapin to Farm Boys. You have a choice of mustard or vinegar and they do whole hog. They are only open Th, Fr, Sat with ribs on Sat.