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Jun 12, 2013 09:28 AM

One BBQ Stop?

My fiancee and I are going to be traveling from Ohio to the Outer Banks in a couple weeks. We are planning to get into NC on Saturday, spend the night somewhere, before then checking in to our OBX rental on Sunday. That Saturday evening I want to get some real NC BBQ. Since we're coming from Ohio all the way down I can make nearly anyplace "on the way".

We stopped in Lexington last year on our journey to Florida, so I am thinking I want to try one of the more Eastern style places. My initial thought is Allen & Son which is also not too far out of the way, but it seems some people are reporting that it's not as good as advertised? I dunno...could just be people being picky too. My other thought was I have heard good things about Grady's, but it's a bit further from Ohio (albeit closer to the OBX), so we would possibly not get there until a bit later.

So, NC Chowhounders. If you had one meal at one BBQ place in the triangle/eastern parts of the state, which would you choose?

Thanks for any and all suggestions!

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  1. Where on the Outer Banks are you going, and what's your route down? This is relevant to what is on the way for you.

    All else being equal, I'd recommend the Skylight Inn in Ayden and Blackbeard's in Conetoe. Blackbeard's has a lot of other stuff besides barbecue-lots of good, Southern country cooking on offer there. Skylight is just barbecue, slaw, and corn pone, but it's superlative barbecue, slaw, and corn pone.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Naco

      We're staying in hatteras village. My planned route is to take 77 down then cut across on 40 towards Raleigh then take 64 across the Virginia dare bridge into the banks. I'm expecting to stay in someplace like Williamston or rocky mount area.

      I think this route leaves Allen and son in play for sure.

      As intrigued as I am by skylight I think the lack of other options makes it a no for the fiancée

      1. re: hammb

        Just wanted to chime in about your route. No need to stay on I-77 to I-40. It's much faster to take I-74/US 52 (exit left just after crossing into NC near Mt. Airy). Follow that to Winston-Salem, where you'll pick up Business I-40 eastbound for about 10 miles to its merge with I-40. Hope you have a safe trip!

        1. re: arbyunc

          Excellent, thanks for the suggestion!

          And from what I'm hearing here I think Blackbeard's might be the best way to go. It's not too far off my route, falls about in line with where we want to spend the night, and offers a good menu variety. Thanks guys!

          Now, since this is further into the trip than Allen & Son, It'll probably be later on Saturday evening by the time we can get there. Any deadlines we should look to avoid to make sure that we still get BBQ?

          Any place online I can find their menu/hours?

          Thanks again guys! And thanks arbyunc for the route suggestion!

          1. re: hammb

            I've never known Blackbeard's to run out of barbecue, although obviously earlier is better when it comes to these things. You might try googling for a menu, but their sides change frequently and they have lots of other rotating specials.

            IIRC, they close around 9-9:30pm. I would call them.

            1. re: hammb

              We are leaving Saturday to Hatteras staying in Waves. Also planing on Blackbeards for lunch. Will try to report on what we find on the island as far as food goe's

              1. re: hammb

                If you could see my waistline you would not find this question / suggestion out of character but may I ask why limit yourself to just one stop if you are coming all the way from Ohio? If I were going down 40 by Allen & Son and by Conetoe too and didn't have to deviate from my route much (or even if I did) I would stop at both just to check things out. Allen & Son is not far off 40, it doesn't take long to get a sandwich to go, it doesn't cost a whole lot, they have pie, etc.

                1. re: Guilty Gourmand

                  Great suggestion. One could also stop by to buy a pound or two to go, and eat it later in the week (assuming you have some cooler space to store it for the remainder of your trip).

                  1. re: Guilty Gourmand

                    I must say that I REALLY like the way you think!

                    It may take some convincing on the lady (who already thinks I'm too obsessed with BBQ), but I do like your idea.

                    And since both are pretty much "on the way". I'll see what I can do to swing that :)

                    1. re: Guilty Gourmand

                      A&S is less than 5 minutes off the interstate.

                2. re: hammb

                  Blackbeard's, then. It's just a couple of minutes off 64 via the Chinquapin Rd. exit.

                  1. re: hammb

                    Rocky mount sucks in general. You'd be better off staying in Tarboro if Blackbeard's is your destination. There's a very nice b&b along with adequate hotels. 7 minutes to Blackbeard's

                3. As Naco says, knowing your route is imperative to making good, reasonable recs. I'm assuming you'll take I-77, and either take I-64 towards Hampton Roads, or you'll stay on I-77 to I-40. Either way makes Blackbeard's a possibility, and the latter route makes Allen and Son a possibility. I'm on the side of Allen and Son being great (in fact, I had them cater my wedding). Skylight Inn is the best, but if you're truly going to the Outer Banks (as opposed to the Atlantic Beach area which is further south) it will be out of your way.

                  One idea would be to eat at A&S on Saturday (they close early...8:00 maybe?) and then hit Blackbeard's on Sunday as you drive to the OBX (they are one of the few top flight bbq places open on Sunday).

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: carolinadawg

                    I must say I am Allen and Son's fan but Blackbeard's BBQ and C food dramatically influenced me. That place was great, food good and the people down home. Only problem is that it puts you in BFE.

                    1. re: supernc

                      "Only problem is that it puts you in BFE."

                      Not if you're headed to the northern OBX from the west.

                      1. re: carolinadawg

                        And seriously...who wants to go through live w/o being able to say they've been to "Conetoe"?

                        I like the idea of being able to hit both spots...A&S and Blackbeards. Personally I'd pass up both for a single meal at the Skylight Inn...but it's too far out of the way for a smooth trip to the banks.

                        1. re: JayL

                          Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that "Conetoe" is actually pronounced "ka-NEE-tuh".