Barbecue tour - tag/photo fest

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by wb57, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    That's when I'd prefer to hit every place, just doesn't work out that way. I've heard your comments on Johnny's enough to want to go back. And out of all the places I've been, there's only one that I wouldn't bother going back to - Danny's. And several folks at work really like it - but mainly for their chicken wings. :huh

    In their defense, they did bring me back some wings one day just to "prove" it and they were very good. Shame everything else there sucks... :lol3
  2. STBNE

    STBNE Yamaha ADVenturer

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    well i'm no expert on this...its still a learning process for me..would help if we both were there...but I'm interested in hearing differing points of view...thats how we learn stuff :lol3 could very well be that I overrated johhny's...and it really isnt as good as i thought...I was lucky both times that i hit the place at dinner hour and everything seemed to be fresh..I waatched the cook bring the hushpuppies out from the fryer to the serving area...no mushy crap...
  3. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    There are a lot of the more "famous" ones I want to hit when the timing is right. Wilburs in Goldsboro comes to mind. It's just that the ride out there looks like a pretty boring one.
  4. STBNE

    STBNE Yamaha ADVenturer

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    I've been to Wilbur's...but that was abt 2 yrs ago...dont remember much abt it...except that i did like it...but then I like most everything...
    Last week i went to Parkers and was not impressed...while it was edible...it didnt have a very stong vinegar flavor...nothing to write home about.
  5. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    I guess we're discovering that timing can be everything at some of these places. I hit Parkers a few years ago while at work and thought it was pretty good. It was right at peak lunch time though.

    On the other hand, I'd hate to go to a place that was so boringly consistent as to be, well, you know..., boring. (Think Smithfields).
  6. STBNE

    STBNE Yamaha ADVenturer

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    I did hit Parker's for lunch so thats a surprise... my impression of them pretty much resembles your impression of Johnny's... and their hushpuppies were heavy but did taste sweet. The Q at Parkers did not have much vinegar in it but there were 2 bottles of vinegar on the table...one was slighty hot but without adding that the Q tasted bland...I once ate at a Smithfields....
  7. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    Sorry. Wish I could have warned you.
  8. STBNE

    STBNE Yamaha ADVenturer

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    Sometimes theres no substitute for first hand experience....we went there for fried chicken... and it wasn't that good either

    Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk 2
  9. STBNE

    STBNE Yamaha ADVenturer

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    Took a ride to Ayden NC today The Skylight Inn BBQ or locally known as Pete Jones...Unique Bldg...
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    I ordered the medium sized Q platter...comes with a side of slaw and cornbread...no hushpuppies...
    The Q is smoked over a wood fire and lightly tasted of vinegar...the pork was very moist and tender...There was a bottle of texas pete and 2 homemade sauces One was just vinegar(I think) and the other was a pickled vinegar hot sauce...that really had a wonderful flavor...I added that one to my Q. This is prolly the best Q I have eaten anywhere in NC. What I find interesting is the flavor of the smoked pork before overpowering it with vinegar...they add just a taste of vinegar and it actually accentuated the smoky flavor. In adding the hot sauce i didnt overdo it...now the Coleslaw was sweet but not overly...and corn bread was very corny ...LOL hard to judge cornbread...it had a heavy texture because it was fried but again good flavor. If you're in the Farmville-Greenville area check them out because they are worth the ride.
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  10. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    Heard good things about that place. Thanks for posting.
  11. Davo-55

    Davo-55 Long timer

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    Looks like great Q!
  12. STBNE

    STBNE Yamaha ADVenturer

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    Well now...we have a new contender for best eastern style Q..I hope WB will post his pics at Johnson's Family BBQ...Hwy 98 Durham...
    What makes this outstanding BBQ is the Hickory Wood Smoked flavor and to that you can add their own vinegar sauce...just enough that it actually accentuates the hickory wood flavor....This flavor is outstanding and as good as more "famous" places... As good if not better than the place in Ayden...to boot...Now thats saying alot...but WB was there with me...so I hope he'll chime in soon...:freaky
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  13. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    Review in a few...
    Yes, STBNE, I agree. This place moved into the top tier fast! It's only been open for a little over a year, it seems.

    Sorting through pics now.
  14. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    Been looking for a new place nearby for a while and found this just looking on google maps. It's only about 10-15 miles from the house and I wondered why I had never seen or heard of it before. It's only been open a little more than a year and it shares a building with a gas station/convenience store. Unless you're heading there on purpose, it would be kind of easy to miss.


    • <address itemprop="address" itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress"> 5021 A Wake Forest Hwy
      Durham, NC 27703 </address>
    • Phone number (919) 397-5693


    They've got a Facebook page (of course):
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Johnson-Family-Barbecue/157317104358092

    From the parking lot -
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    Looking at the front of the building:
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    Met Falconz there and STBNE was going to meet us there, but he was a half hour out or so, so we ordered. She and I had had a late breakfast, so we shared a platter with collards, fries and slaw.
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    Sauces on the table were Texas Pete, Trappey's and their home made sauce. I always prefer the home made sauce as it gives me more of an idea where they're coming from.
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    The menu:
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    The inside of the restaurant. There are maybe a half dozen tables. I can see this place getting filled up pretty quickly.
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    Inside, looking out:
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    They cook everything on site. Didn't realize until we were pulling out that they have the smokers right outside about 20' from the restaurant. Reviews I've read said they occasionally run out of barbecue and I can see why. Everything is extremely fresh with a lot cooked to order. The barbecue was some of the best I've had - fresh, smoky, moist. The sauce looked to be a lot spicier than it was, but it was very flavorful. Fries were frozen, but seasoned. Greens were just about perfect and I'm not really a fan. The hushpuppies were made to order - not sweet with a hint of onion - just about perfect. And the slaw was homemade. A little on the creamy side for me, but FAR from generic utility slaw. I think the only better slaw I've found was at Allen and Sons a couple years ago.

    Decided to get a piece of pie before we left. They had two slices of chocolate chess pie left and she insisted I take both even giving me a two for one deal... Brownies were in the oven. She wasn't going to make any more pudding as it was getting late. :D

    This is a true mom and pop operation that works perfectly. The food tastes like they've been doing it for 50 years. Completely unpretentious and very friendly atmosphere. This is definitely going onto the regular rotation list immediately.

    Oh yeah, we didn't try it, but they make their own beef jerky:
    [​IMG]
  15. STBNE

    STBNE Yamaha ADVenturer

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    My BBQ sandwich that i ate on the premesis was excellent...cole slaw is homemade and very good...I decided to take home a platter with baked beans and cole slaw as sides...they give you 3 hushpuppies as well...Like i said earlier..the smoked hickory wood flavor really stands out. I shared the platter with my brother who also loved it...so we do have a new kid on the block...so to say...While the ride to there isnt as nice as say going to the BBQ barn in Butner...its still worth the ride... I think the proprietors have a real winner...:clap :freaky
    wb57 likes this.
  16. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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  17. wb57

    wb57 Long timer

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    We've hit several new places lately, but I haven't had the chance to post anything about them. We met Bluem00se and Pinkm00se at this place a couple weeks ago on a semi-whim. I've been wanting to check it out as it gets great reviews on yelp, google and the like. I've kind of avoided it as the ride over there is neighborhood/four lane/slab and ends up about a block off I-85 in a not great neighborhood. But...

    Hog Heaven Bar B-Q
    2419 Guess Road
    Durham, NC
    919 286-7447

    Here's their Website:
    http://www.hogheavenbarbecue.com/

    Some awards they've won:
    *We are Best of Citysearch again for 2010* :


    *Voted Triangle's Best Caterer 2007 - 2010
    *Voted Triangle's Best BBQ 2004 - 2010
    *Voted Triangle's Best Reataurant 2010
    *Voted Triangle's Best Seafood 2010
    *Voted Triangle's Best Dessert 2008 - 2010
    *Voted Triangle's Best Lunch Spot 2008 - 2010
    *Voted Triangle's Best American Food 2010
    *Voted Triangle's Best Family Friendly Dining 2008 - 2010
    *Voted Durham's Best BBQ and Caterer 2006-2010
    *Winner of the WRAL poll for King of the Cue Down East Barbecue


    They're in a small strip mall a block off the Interstate:
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    They have designated parking:
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    The menu:
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    Nice, big place. Everyone in here was extremely friendly, including the customers. Pretty much everyone seemed glad to be here.
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    Order at the counter up front and they bring it to your table when it's ready in a few minutes. I got a barbecue plate with "Granny Potatoes" and slaw. The Granny Potatoes were mentioned in several reviews and featured in several places on the menu. Not sure what I was expecting, but basically boiled/buttered white potatoes. Done very well, but just your basic boiled potatoes for the most part. Barbecue was very good. Moist, flavorful - no demerits. Slaw was well done utility slaw. The hushpuppies were fresh and tasty and they'll bring more to your table if they see you running low...
    [​IMG]

    GS got a barbecue plate with greens and green beans:
    [​IMG]

    Bluemoose got mac/cheese and applesauce with his plate:
    [​IMG]

    Pinkmoose got okra and potato salad:
    [​IMG]

    They have two homemade sauces - one a very well done eastern style with a lot of flavor and some heat and the other a kind of sweet version of the same thing. They also have Texas Pete, plain cider vinegar and Trappey's vinegar.
    [​IMG]

    Learned about this group by seeing this shirt on the wall:
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    Obligatory signage on the walls:
    [​IMG]

    Overall impression: Good food, good people, marginal location although easy to get to by 4 wheel vehicle, wholly uninteresting ride. A definite "must stop" if you're checking out good NC barbecue, but not a two wheel destination for any other reason. We'll definitely go back if we're driving by, but unless we have some other compelling reason to be in that area on two wheels, won't likely go back by bike.



    Yelp reviews:
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/hog-heaven-bar-b-q-durham-2
  18. BHW

    BHW Long timer

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    Hmmm? How have I missed this tread for 3 years? Johnson Family BBQ is literally minutes from here, I've heard about it, and seen it, but never tried it. That's going to change SOON!

    I've lived in the Raleigh/Cary area for 19 years, and never eaten at BBQ Lodge in Raleigh. Been told by several people that it was filthy and disgusting. I guess I need to go judge for myself. I used to live close to Old Time BBQ, and used to frequent that place. But it went downhill. The pig was consistently greasy and tough, and something had obviously changed. We quit going. But I've been back a couple of times in recent years and it seems to be good again. We ate at Bullocks in Durham a few nights ago. I had eaten the food when it was catered at work several times over the years, but never been to the restaurant. I must say, we were quite impressed with the pork. It was well seasoned, juicy and tangy. Needed no additional sauce. My wife and I decided that it as going into our regular rotation of restaurants. Good food, good prices, and tons of veggie and sides options!

    I tried Holden's many years ago. I don't even remember if it was good or not, didn't make any lasting impression obviously. I do miss The Forks though. It's been gone for several years, and the few times I ate there, it was good. Used to be a little shack on the end of Falls of the Neuse Rd, near Thompson Mill, before the roads got rebuilt around there.

    But I still think the best BBQ I've had came from the places around Greenville and Kinston. I pass through Goldsboro and Kinston occasionally and make a point to stop and eat at one of the famous places down 70. I used to live closee to a Parker's in Greenville, and while it is a "chain", it's much better than Smithfield's.

    I need to jump on this review thing myself in the near future!
  19. turtlemoye

    turtlemoye Long timer

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    I'm asking myself the same question. My family is from eastern NC and I grew up taking last shift cooking whole hog over cherry wood on my uncle's smoker. So far I've gotta say Pete Jones BBQ is my favorite by a long shot but I hate the lack of variety in the sides but it's still worth it. I look forward to trying Johnson Family BBQ. I'm also kinda surprised to see that Clyde Cooper's hasn't made this thread as I think it's the best Que west of I-95.
  20. STBNE

    STBNE Yamaha ADVenturer

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    I've been to Clyde Coopers and it did not really impress me like a number of other places have. I'm due for a return to Johnson's...I was impressed big time...but how consistent are they? On my second visit they were out of Que because they had not started their wood fire in time...
    Pete Jones is excellent but a bit out of the way...depends i 'spose where you're coming from...