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Wilber's in Goldsboro vs Skylight Inn inn Ayden

Two New Yorkers (NYC) making the long drive to Florida next month. Food is playing a big role in determining the route.

We plan to dip into eastern NC expressly for the purpose of sampling the famous BBQ. (Hope to enter the state via Delmarva peninsula). Herein lies the "problem."

We will be in the area on a Monday, so both places are open, according to their websites. Will probably arrive in late morning, after possible stopover in Elizabeth City.

I realize that the answer is to try both, but if forced to select only one, which one should we choose? I have read all of the threads here on the subject, but would like further advice on the pros and cons of both spots.

Many, many thanks!

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  1. I can't wait to read the other responses. On balance, I'd go to Wilbur's. The Skylight Inn always depresses me: it's a bit too much in the no-frills category. I'd much rather go to a restaurant where there might be some energy and bustle in the kitchen and dining room.

    1. P.S.: Despite what they say on their websites, it never hurts to call and make sure they will be open.

      1. I'd definitely do Skylight. The 'q is slightly better, and the building is authentic-rustic. Its about as stereotypical small town, country bbq as you can get. All imo, of course.

        1. I am a Skylight fan, too. There is just something about a place without fancy technology where you can see them chop the Q right in front of your eyes.

          Both are great when they are at the top of their game, but I have had mixed experiences with Wilbur's whereas every time I have been to Skylight the experience has been the same. Plus, in Ayden you can also stop at Bum's to taste their rutabagas and collard greens.

          1. I'm deeply passionate about Pete Jones BBQ (Skylight). The chopped crackling bits really makes it special, adding some texture and fat to the bbq. The vinegar sauce is light and tangy and spot on. The sides are limiting, slaw and fried corn block thing (which you learn to love, after several visits with its crispy crust and texture offsetting the pig). If sides are something you passionately wanting, then Wilburs may be more what you want, but Pete is about the pig, which is what I really look for in a great East NC place.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ForagingFoodie

              Couldn't have said it better myself-Pete Jones all the way, and for the same reasons.

              I would just add that Wilber's isn't really that strong on sides. The Brunswick stew is good, but the potato salad is almost a pureed consistency that's kind of odd. Slaw is fine. I can't say that they have anything else that leaps out at me. Wilber's isn't a place like Blackbeard's or Bum's that has a wide variety of great sides.

              1. re: Naco

                Last time I was at Wilber's I did the Fried Chiken BBQ combo, I have to say I really enjoyed the chicken.