Here's a cool interview I thought you might like:
Here are three transitional summer time beers we've tested which go extremely well with our barbecue:
1. Endless River, Mother Earth Brewing (Kinston, NC) - a good clean, crisp, easy drinking beer in a classic kolsch style. It doesn't get in the way of the barbecue flavors. Perfect cool compliment on a labor day weekend.
2. Sweet Josie, Lonerider Brewing (Raleigh, NC) - a great rich brown ale that compliments the acidity of the barbecue sauces. Great mouth feel. A little bit like having a small dose of coffee after every bite. Despite richness it still goes down easy.
3. Gaelic Ale, Highland Brewing Company (Asheville, NC) - an outstanding red ale with a sweet and robust flavor that pairs well with North Carolina BBQ. A wee bit heavier than the others on this list and intended to be consumed with an eye toward the fall, as Asheville is always a little closer to fall this time of year.
NASCAR and Barbecue...
A lot of Dads in North Carolina like both of these and we do to, so much so, that we gave a box of BBQ to NASCAR promoter and owner of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. This was a gift to Bruton Smith, after his speech about entrepreneurship and business growth.
Marcus Smith accepted this gift for his Dad.
We were honored to award a box to Mr. Smith after his inspiring and motivational speech.
After an article ran about our mail order business in the Greensboro News and Record we had lots of comments and questions from people. Here's one comment that was sent to the editor of the paper:
We thought a lot about terms when labeling our Piedmont/Lexington style cue. One advertising executive strongly suggested we use the term "Lexington style." But we made a conscious decision to stick with "Piedmont" despite the urging of marketing folks.
The decision to go with "Piedmont" over "Lexington" was based on several important factors:
1. The experts agree with us: John Shelton Reed, author of Holy Smoke, an authority on NC cue, uses the term Piedmont-style on several occasions throughout his book. See page 33, one example.
2. Technically "Piedmont" IS the correct term, although I give full reverence and homage to Lexington, NC as a predominant genesis spot for this regional style of cue, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Shelby, Salisbury, Troutman and other Piedmont towns have a long standing tradition, whether learning the craft from a Stamey or otherwise. To present this larg regional swath of barbecue as simply "Lexington-style" is not anthropologically correct. Deems fightin' words you say?
3. You say it all originated from Lexington though... Well, I'm not saying this is 100% accurate, but Salisbury and even (amazingly) Charlotte may be able to lay claim to earlier barbecue:
4. We sat down and talked to Bob Garner about this commentary and Bob agreed with us, again from a purist stand point. Piedmont style is an accurate term. Ironically we actually talked to Bob at Hursey's Bar-B-Q in Burlington, NC. Heck Burlington is right on the divide between the Eastern and Piedmont regions of the cue fault line and Hursey's has a solid cue tradition.
5. As we present our offering to the entire United States, as a representative of authentic NC cue we feel "Piedmont" is the accurate term to describe the region, despite the fact that from a pure marketing perspective "Lexington" sounds better and resonates with more people locally.
The blub above about Charlotte having a BBQ joint back in 1899 came from some research done by Southern Foodways Alliance
I get asked all of the time, “What’s your favorite barbecue joint?” And the answer is pretty easy, except not really. I don’t have a favorite BBQ “joint”. I actually have two favorite spots (as I have begun to refer to these types of establishments, but more on that later); B’s Barbecue in Greenville, NC and Lexington Barbecue #1, or Honey Monk’s as the locals call it. Both spots perform daily the arduous task of producing the two distinct styles of real North Carolina BBQ; the Eastern style and the Lexington style.
B’s is the quintessential roadside joint (there, I said it). They don’t have a phone, they run out of food when they run out of food, and it just looks the part. It’s an old converted gas station. The kind that you see on back highways, not the kind you see on the side of the interstate. And as for their menu, it is really simple; chopped whole hog BBQ and BBQ chicken cooked over charcoal, green beans, boiled potatoes, sweet white cole slaw, and corn sticks, which are an old school way of serving cornbread. They basically are crispy 10” sticks of baked cornmeal. There are only two places I know of that still serve them; B’s and Parker’s, which is also in Greenville. As for the sauce, it is a simple vinegar and spice concoction. We modeled our Eastern style package after the B’s flavor profile. Enough said.
Lexington BBQ is a true machine on the NC BBQ scene. They will never run out of BBQ, or anything else for that matter. Their menu is a little more varied than B’s, but the BBQ and the pits out back, are the center of attention. The shoulders are cooked low and slow over wood that is meticulously tended daily. The meat is served chopped, course chopped, and sliced. Most folks know to order it with outside brown, to get those succulent pieces of “bark”. Served in tray, plate, or sandwich form, it is accompanied by a red slaw, which has ketchup and spices added: no mayonnaise. Add some crispy, pillowy hushpuppies, and you have the holy trinity of NC BBQ. Their dip is a thin ketchup, spice, and vinegar sauce .And although every neighborhood in Lexington, NC has its own spot, this is the one best known among outsiders. And for good reason. We also kindly used Monk’s as our Lexington style inspiration.
So that’s my answer when someone asks for my favorite BBQ “joint”. I don’t have one. And as for the verbiage, somewhere between Greenville and Lexington, I decided that calling these two places joints is too contrived and irreverent. I mean, have you ever heard of First Baptist Joint? Me neither. So as far as I’m concerned, respectfully, pigs have spots.
I recently attended a series of award ceremonies for some of the top entrepreneurs throughout North Carolina. At the conference I met many great business people and we discussed how they could use our BBQ gift boxes to thank clients, employees and business associates. Many of these business owners were eager to send our signature Battle Box to some of their top clients as an appreciation gift.
One business owner in particular was particularly interested in our BBQ gift program, as he wanted to use BBQ as a prospecting tool to help his sales team open more new opportunities with a unique North Carolina-centric gift, sent to highly targeted prospects in his market. Here was his BBQ Prospecting Plan:
1. First he said, he was willing to pay a much higher cost to acquire a new customer compared to his competitors and was willing to invest in such lavish gifts because other advertising methods, simply did not work or would not produce the same results. He said using a direct approach with customized gift boxes would open more doors than any advertising campaign every could.
2. He could easily justify the expense of this BBQ Prospecting Plan because the average transaction size of the products and services his company offered are high. He only needed his sales team to close a few deals to make this campaign pay for itself, and the BBQ gift boxes could open doors his salespeople were not able to budge.
3. He explained a book called Influence by Robert Cialdini, in which Cialdini talks about the Law of Reciprocity. People can't help but feel obligated to the future repayment of favors, gifts or invitations. I was so impressed with his description of the book I bought it and highly recommend you do the same.
4. He pre-purchased 30 BBQ gift boxes and had his 3 sales people send him a list of their top 10 prospective clients. He asked them to send their absolute dream customers who they had called on but could not get a commitment or an appointment from. He then gave each of them 10 BBQ gift boxes and a template cover letter with a BOLD headline that said:
A Smokin Good Idea That Will Save You $57,348 In 2012
This cover letter was then included in every box of BBQ.
5. Each salesperson called each target prospect ahead of time to ensure they we be at the office on the designated delivery day and the boxes were sent.
I think this is an amazing creative example of how you can use our BBQ gift boxes for business, which goes far beyond simply sending an appreciation gift.
It would have been nice to see the Harbaugh brothers duke it out in the Super Bowl this year. Instead we’re stuck with two fairly mundane teams. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both great football teams, but mundane. We’ve already seen this match up before in 2008. Maybe I think they’re mundane because of their jerseys; maybe if the Patriots played this game in their throwback 80’s jersey that would make this game more interesting. Their head coaches certainly don’t bring a lot excitement to the field, both Coughlin and Belichick seem to be Imperial generals for Darth Vader’s empire. Mr. Personality and Sour Puss square off again this year.
Too bad the Panthers aren’t in the Super Bowl this year. Although I’m not a Panthers fan, I can appreciate when the local team plays well and the atmosphere it creates. I’m actually a Redskins fan (brutal these days). Of course Washington was the original North Carolina team before the Panthers existed, but a growing number of disenfranchised Carolinians simply could not continue to relate to the Redskins once “The Hogs” faded away, Jack Kent Cooke died and Dan Synder took over.
A sibling rivalry is always exciting and makes for a great story. I can remember when I was twelve, the Lindsey brothers punched each other’s lights out during a neighborhood football game in the vacant lot beside the IGA. Everyone stopped and watched intently, but it was utterly forbidden to jump in to intervene in any way, as if we were honoring them in some way by letting them punch each other mercilessly. After the dust settled, a tuft of hair and a tooth littered the field, the brothers reunited and their bond was stronger than before in some way.
I’m not sure if we can classify the civil BBQ dispute in NC a fraternal feud. After all, the Eastern part of the state was settled predominately by Scotch Irish, while the Piedmont region was settled by Pennsylvania Dutch. The divide between vinegary Eastern wholehog purists and Piedmont ketchup mongers with red slaw may be too great a chasm to bridge. Although, like any good sibling rivalry we’re all eager to see the BBQ feud unfold and we honor it reverently by not stepping in to intervene with some lame compromise.
We need rivalries in our lives, which is perhaps one of the reasons we stoke the flames of the BBQ debate. Surely getting your hands on one our infamous Battle Boxes will put you squarely in a family feud you’ll be happy to participate in. You won’t even have to throw any punches or pull hair, unless you want to of course.
Go Redskins! I mean Panthers…
Bacon wrapped cabbage, Brunswick Stew you can eat with a fork, and Cheerwine in a glass bottle. If you're headed to Kitty Hawk, NC stop in to High Cotton for one of the best reasons to love Eastern style BBQ.
Grab a straw fedora and pick a country road this weekend, pointed toward your favorite BBQ joint. To help your get started, here are the top recommended BBQ places for your "“Honey, let’s do some ‘cue this weekend” from the North Carolina Barbecue Company:
B's Barbecue in Greenville
Classic BBQ joint. Flavor profile is close to BBQ perfection. Charcoal pit. Sweet fine white slaw. Whole hogs.
Lexington Barbecue in Lexington
The beacon of this style for many. True Lexington-style hickory pit and they serve a ton with great smoky flavor. Red BBQ slaw.
Short Sugar's BBQ in Reidsville
Old school Drive In with a wood pit that is right behind the counter. Very unique Worcestershire and brown sugar sauce. I love how different the flavor is, while staying true to the craft. Brownish sauce based law.
Barbecue Center in Lexington
Smaller local favorite of Lexingtonians. Wood pile and pit are right on the road as you drive up. The dip is served warm on the side, and it is a little thicker and richer than Lexington #1. Re BBQ slaw.
Backyard BBQ Pit in Durham
Wood pit out back. They have a great selection of soul foodie sides. Also has nice ribs and beef brisket. The only one of this list that does serve these two options. Fine white slaw. Whole hog.
Ken's Grill in LaGrange
Gas cooked and with Scott's BBQ sauce in Goldsboro, but it is expertly cooked, cleaned and chopped with a fried skin atop the plate, it rivals B's as the best of the East. BBQ served on Wed. and Sat. only. Sweet fine white slaw. Whole hog.
Jack Cobb and Son's in Farmville
Great old school joint with a screen porch dining room. Wood pit out back. Spicy vinegar sauce and yellow slaw. Whole hog.
College BBQ in Salisbury
Almost Eastern in style, it is a Lexington style BBQ with an Eastern flavor profile. More vinegary with a slaw that leans toward a light Eastern white.
Allen and Son's in Chapel Hill Classic wood pit with a great smoky flavor. The flavors are eastern with a vinegary sauce and a fine white slaw. Great joint not too far off of I-40.
Grady's BBQ in Dudley
Old school joint with a wood pit out back. Bits of skin chopped up into the meat. Fine white slaw with bits of pickle diced up in it. A true jewel of the Eastern style. Only ten minutes off of I-40.
Can't make the trip?
Order in for next weekend from the North Carolina Barbecue Company. We ship authentic NC-style BBQ anywhere in the US.