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Charlotte , off of Interstate 85

We're looking for local, traditional type of restaurant off of the interstate. We'll be coming from NY on our way to Athens, Ga. Not sure of our timing so lunch and dinner suggestions would be welcome. Thanks for the help

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  1. BBQ King has curb service. Exit around 34. They close around 5 PM. That's when the Q runs out. Old Hickory House is around Exit 43.

    Bar B Q King @ 2900 Wilkinson Blvd., Charlotte, NC. 704 - 399 - 8344.
    Old Hickory House BBQ Restaurant @ 6538 N. Tryon, Charlotte, NC. 704 - 596 - 8014.

    6 Replies
      1. re: Littleman

        I think the best barbecue in Charlotte is at a little 'ol shack called Control-V House.

          1. re: lutherben

            On the corner of Cut St. and Paste Ave.

      2. Lexington, NC (about an hour north of Charlotte) is famous for its BBQ, and not far off the interstate. While there are places here that I will go to when I really need a fast fix, Lexington, Shelby or Chapel Hill are the destinations for the real stuff. Here's a great link for you http://www.ncbbqsociety.com/trail_map...

        5 Replies
          1. re: hazardnc

            I agree about BBQ. Try Lexington BBQ - on Lookout Ave
            Lexington, NC 27295 Ph.(336) 249-9814.

            It's just off of I-85 (I mean within sight of the interstate), about 1 hour north of Charlotte. This is authentic, wood cooked, legendary BBQ. You won't get BBQ this good in Charlotte

            1. re: Jibe

              Lexington BBQ is NOT on I-85. It is on I-85 Business, which is an old freeway that parallels I-85. From the south, taking the I-85 Business exit will take you there directly. From the north, taking the I-85 Business exit will put you on a long sometimes slow highway through High Point. It is better to take the US-64 exit for Lexington which will drop you onto I-85 Business just before Lexington BBQ.

              1. re: dfilpus

                Ooopps. Thank you for correcting me on this.

                1. re: Jibe

                  Right. But you can get there from I85 at the Lexington exit.

          2. Steering clear of the bbq in Charlotte conundrum (naco, love your comment) try The Chicken Box, 3726 North Tryon St Charlotte, NC. It isnt too far off I 85 and will give you a great taste of the South. The sides are as good as the fried chicken, imho.
            One caveat: I think of it as a lunch destination, as the area isn't that great - but please dont let that stop you from going.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Tee

              The Chicken Box is great, just don't judge it by the surrounding area...

              1. re: billyjack

                Adding a link, and here's the website:

                Chicken Box Cafe
                3726 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28206

            2. Off I-85, you can get wood burning barbecue in Salisbury, NC about 20 minutes outside Charlotte. Look up Wink's about half a mile off the highway back past Lowe's or downtown maybe 3 miles for Richard's BBQ. Hap's downtown (only open for lunch) has da max hot dogs with Cheerinwe soft drink in the bottle or College BBQ about 5 miles off and close Catawba College for really good local burgers.

              2 Replies
                1. re: Sue in Mt P

                  I hear you on that! The OP definately needs to get Cheerwine and hopefully from the bottle. The little local factory that bottles is Salisbury exit 85 Jake Alexander Blvd (turn toward RCCC sign - Rowan Cabarras Community College). Turn at the Arby's or the ABC store (that same block or one up - real close) and drive behind, and there is the Cheerwine factory. They will sell you a case of bottles with real sugar off the loading dock.

              1. Skip Charlotte on your drive. There is MUCH better BBQ in any direction from Charlotte. I know what I'm talking about, unlike Michele Obama, I've lived here 22 years.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Jack19

                  Ok Jack19
                  Help me to understand what the First Lady has to do with barbeque. And you've been here 22 years! Wow! Welcome to the South! You're just getting started.

                  1. re: Sue in Mt P

                    In announcing the selection of Charlotte as the host city for the Democratic national convention in 2012, Michelle Obama declared that "great barbecue" was one of its virtues.

                    1. re: Sue in Mt P

                      There are news stories out that Ms. Obama said that one of the reasons they picked Charlotte is the great barbecue, but Charlotte really does not have the BBQ. Salisbury, NC is the closest (about 20 minutes) and then Shelby (more like an hour I think).

                      The AP (Associated Press) interviewed me on this topic as a local and writer on our barbecue which is why I know this has been in the news. So, the story was related to the First Lady and her comment and then what folks down here thought on the comment.

                      I spoke mostly about how labor intensive it is to do barbecue with wood. I was asked why we have fewer traditional BBQ joints now. I mentioned several issues, but they liked what I had to say about the long hours and hard work esp if the restaurant owner also chops the wood as some do - Allen & Son and Backyard BBQ Pit for examples.

                  2. Oh. Well it's better than in DC.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Sue in Mt P

                      Second Wink's in Salisbury. They also have great pork rinds and homemade oatmeal creme pies!

                      1. re: slotmansc

                        I've not tried the pork rinds yet. Tks for the tip. I will have to pick some up. I work maybe 5 miles from Winks (barbecue), Salisbury, NC

                        Do you remember the old location Wink's over one road. Can't recall the road name. It was smaller. I'm not sure when they moved, but I'd guess around 15 years back. When the boys were little, we'd take them there to eat barbecue and hear live bluegrass music.

                        1. re: CyndiA

                          No, unfortunately I've only had the pleasure of going to Wink's the last couple of years. Old place sounds great, though, hard to beat bluegrass and barbeque!

                          1. re: slotmansc

                            Yes. The old spot was wonderful. On bluegrass nights at Wink's, you had to share tables as it was packed. The big plus now is that they do have more room. I've not heard of them having bluegrass though. That was a lot of fun. It's still warm and friendly like the old spot though. I hope they keep wood burning forever! That's some great barbecue.

                    2. Don't know if it's the best BBQ in town, but off of the (I think) Prosperity Church Rd exit there's a BBQ place called R&R. I've always enjoyed the food there. Just turn left off of the exit and take the first right.

                      1. Without a doubt, it's Jim n Nick's in Charlotte. It's a chain, but it's really, really great.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: UrDaddy

                          Really? I don't want to judge a place without going there so I'll reserve my comments. But it is not local, traditional, or anywhere near I-85.

                          1. re: billyjack

                            well, i have been (taken by my insurance agent) and it nothing to write home about. it was ok, but i won't be back. it reminded me of eating in epcot at disney, you know it isn't a real bbq joint, but it is a close enough facsimile that you can laugh and go along with the theme. it was way down 49 in the steele creek area, not 85 friendly. go to the chicken box!

                            1. re: Tee

                              " it reminded me of eating in epcot at disney"

                              Ha! This made me laugh out loud, Tee! Jim n Nick's is of the same vein as Sticky Fingers. Please, don't waste your time.

                              1. re: lynnlato

                                It is a chain. It is far superior to Sticky Fingers, however. Regardless, if you are looking for an authentic bbq joint, Jim n Nick's isn't for you. It's just the best option available given the criteria, that's all.

                              2. re: Tee

                                Some Jim n Nick's chefs teamed up with Ronnie Scott (of the famed Scott's BBQ in Hemingway, SC) and placed 3rd in the Whole Hog competition at Memphis in May this past weekend.
                                How about them apples?
                                Bottom line: These are serious BBQ folks who happen to own a chain of restaurants.

                                1. re: UrDaddy

                                  I think it's fair to say that most of the time when a restaurant turns into a chain of restaurants the food suffers. As is the case with Jim n Nick's. Especially when it morphs into a multi-state chain. Mass production is rarely a good thing for food.

                                  Apples? What apples? Who said anything about apples? ;-)

                                  1. re: lynnlato

                                    I think urdaddy is mad becaused as we dissed a chain he likes.
                                    This post will get removed - but - I have told him that we arent snarky on this board but that is his style.

                                    1. re: Tee

                                      No, not meant to be snarky at all. I think we are seeing the limits of online written communication here.