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Jan 18, 2012 12:48 PM

North Carolina BBQ TOUR

I'm planning a NC BBQ tour this fall and have a question for all the locals. I have about 15 places on my list (in no particular order).

1. The Pit - Raleigh
2. Backyard BBQ Pit - Durham
3. Allen & Son - Chapel Hill
4. Stamey's - Greensboro
5. Lexington #1 - Lexington
6. Cooks - Lexington
7. BBQ Center - Lexington
8. Little Richards - Winston Salem
9. Wilber's - Goldsboro
10. Grady's - Dudley
11. B's - Greenville
12. Jack Cobb - Farmville
13. Skylight Inn - Ayden
14. Bum's BBQ - Ayden
15. ROs BBQ - Gastonia

Anyways! Am I missing anything glaring?? Not sure how many more places my wife will let me add, but I may be able to remove a few...

Also, what's the best way to eat NC BBQ? Chopped, coarse chopped, sliced? I've been reading about outside brown. Is that something I should be asking for? Thanks folks!!

Also, looking for some good pimento cheese and shrimp and grits. We'll be staying all accross NC and then a week at the outer banks. Looking for local foods...


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  1. Sounds like a noble endeavor, for sure. I'm an eastern NC-style guy, so I would say you can delete about half of your list from the start. :) But alas, I'm stuck living here in the Piedmont, so I sometimes have to suffer through a plate of the Lexington-style stuff since I can't get the real thing here. I do have one suggestion--go to Little Richards in Clemmons, not the Winston-Salem location. Different owners, and most agree Clemmons is better.

    About the "outside brown", that's a Lexington-style thing. Since eastern-style uses the whole hog, it's not an issue there since it's all mixed in together. But in most Lexington-style joints you can ask for it and you'll get more crispy outside pieces.

    Chopped, coarse-chopped, and sliced is purely a preference thing. Traditional eastern-NC is chopped, but lots of places offer the other options as well. There is a difference in the eating experience, and while I prefer chopped myself, the others can be very tasty as well.

    Safe travels!

    2 Replies
    1. re: arbyunc

      Hey Arbyunc,
      Seems like you know your Q! Was wondering if you had any recommendations for places in Western Carolina from the SC border all the way up to WV. Mostly going to be travelling on a foodie vacation through Brevard, Hendersonville, Boone, Asheville. Thanks for any spots that you like!!!

    2. Qball! How fun. Lucky you. I would add Bridges in Shelby, but that is just my opinion.

      Do not ask on this board what is best. You will start a fight, lol! But, yes, ask for outside brown.

      I don't know where you can find homemade minna cheese. (Start practicing the correct pronunciation.) But Palmetto Cheese with Soul is delicious if you can find it.

      Shrimp and grits is more traditional in the SC lowcountry, but I read on this board you can find it it at Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill:

      Have a great time. I'm jealous.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Sue in Mt P

        Palmetto Cheese can be found at Harris Teeters. And it is good.

        1. re: Sue in Mt P

          +1 on Bridges, I'm a BBQ Lodge Bridges fan, so the one on the highway for me, but there are just as many fans of the downtown Bridges on here. Either are worthwhile endeavors.

        2. If you go to Lexington to get some 'q, some of the best pimento cheese in NC can be found at Conrad & Hinkle, a small grocery store in downtown Lexington.

          1. Add Blackbeard's in Conetoe,NC. Check ahead for hours.

            1. I'm jealous! For years I've planned a dream vacation to travel the state camping and eating BBQ twice a day (with the occasional seafood meal to break things up). I figured one week in the East in the spring, then one in the West in the fall. Some day...