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Posts Tagged ‘bbq’

This is a humble yet clean bbq place close to i-87 in Kingston, NY. The overhead lights are upturned steel buckets. The servers are polite, friendly, and helpful. We got a basket of oily yet flavorful cornbread and decent biscuits. I ordered a cup of the soup of the day – a satisfying chicken corn chowder in a coffee mug – and dripping from the bone smoked rib tips, not realizing that the tips came in a sizable basket suitable for sharing with multiple people. My husband got the special salmon with potatoes and coleslaw. The ice tea is available sweetened and unsweetened, though the sweet tea is significantly less sweet than Southern sweet tea. Northern sweet tea, perhaps. We didn’t have room for dessert, but the menu looked promising.

743 Route 28, Kingston, NY, 12401 USA

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As we walked the short distance from the car to the entrance of Bullock’s, a local eatery institution, we were welcomed by the mouth-watering aroma of barbecue wafting from the kitchen fans. The first sight upon entering is the wall of autographed pictures of celebrities and of Mr. Bullock hanging out with celebrities. Apparently Mr. Bullock still works around the restaurant.

Hot hush puppies are served like other restaurants serve bread baskets – the little fried bits of cornbread can be enjoyed as-is or with the butter spread or honey butter spread on the table. I don’t care for hush puppies, but the others at my table got a second basket.

I ordered sweet tea, chopped barbecue (West North Carolina-style…or is it Northwestern Carolinian-style?), dark sugary candied yams, tender green butter beans, crispy fried okra, all of which could easily have been shared between two people. Among the menu’s “daily vegetables” were macaroni and cheese, cottage cheese, French Fries, and deviled eggs (our dishes each came with a choice of three vegetables).

The question came up at the table as to whether Blue Mist or Bullocks made better barbecue. I preferred Blue Mist’s succulent chopped bits to Bullock’s spicier, chewier, pulled-pork style. I’m told there’s some contention as to the standard of barbeque – some people prefer it that way. Both restaurants make their barbecue in the Western version of North Carolina’s barbecue; the Eastern part of the state makes it drier. The pricing is similar, although Bullocks has a greater selection of sides and provides more amenities. In fact, one might be more drawn to Bullocks’ sides than its barbecue, although the barbecue is good, too.

3330 Quebec Drive, Durham, NC 27705, USA

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On the way back to Durham from pottery hunting in Seagrove, we stopped by a perennial institution for lunch. Blue Mist looks like a simple no-frills diner, but it is more than that. The inside is decorated with antique tea tins and coffee cans and posters advertising cream separators. Apparently it had been a drive-thru bbq place in the past, and is well-known by locals. It’s a good place to stop for those just passing through looking for a casual meal, especially if that meal includes North Carolina barbecue.

My husband and his family have been coming here for decades after trips to pottery country, and he always gets the same thing: the bbq plate. Barbecue, either chopped or sliced, is served with hush puppies, fries, cole slaw, and baked beans. Having weathered a day already of eating through the holiday with my foodie in-laws, I got the next smaller dish, which left out the hush puppies and the baked beans. It was just as well, since my order was quite sufficient for me. The chopped barbecue was a mash of wonderful little bits of succulent pork shoulder and was sprayed with vinegary barbecue sauce. The others made fun of my lack of enthusiasm regarding hush puppies in general – flavorless fried lumps of cornbread, in my opinion – but after tasting one of the Blue Mist’s hot hush puppies, I suppose I could have eaten a serving had I space left in my stomach. It was all washed down with a big glass of very sweet tea. The portion sizes were quite reasonable for the pricing, and one platter is about right for one adult.

3409 US Hwy 64 E., Asheboro, NC 27203, USA

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Q-Shack; B+

I simply could not leave North Carolina without tasting some genuine regional barbecue. Les Quebecois have their smoked meat; the Carolinas have their bbq. While many places were closed over the holidays, the Q-Shack fixed up a surprisingly good smoked pork butt plate. The pulled pork was smokey and woody, and had just the right amount of tangy barbecue sauce keeping it all together. The stewed collard greens were a little boring, but my fried okra was hot, dry, and crispy. A tall bottle of cold birch beer washed it all down.

One wall is decorated with several lines of caps – donate a hat, get a free sandwich – and cartoons or sports flicker gently on the tv. It’s the sort of place you want to go wearing faded jeans and a t-shirt. Throw on a plaid flannel shirt if it’s cold and/or a jean jacket; in warmer weather, enjoy your bbq in the small outdoor enclosure with ceiling fans. Speak up when you order at the counter and watch your meal assembled as you approach the register.

2510 University Dr., Durham, NC, USA

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