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Old 02-06-2017, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Big Al's BBQ & Catering on Hw401/Forestville Road..... excellent
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Carrboro, NC
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While this topic seems to be centered on Raleigh... I'll point out there are some fantastic places in Orange County too. Allen&Son is pretty well known. I don't know if they do anything other than Eastern style, but to me everything else doesn't matter.

Hillsborough BBQ does do both, as well as brisket.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:00 PM
 
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The main difference between Eastern and Western is the addition of tomatoes. When settlers came to ENC the only spices they had was vinegar, salt and sugar. Thomas Jefferson introduced tomatoes to the USA at a later date and as WNC was settled, they had access to tomatoes.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:24 PM
 
Location: USA's #1 MSA 4 Years Running
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherborn View Post
The main difference between Eastern and Western is the addition of tomatoes. When settlers came to ENC the only spices they had was vinegar, salt and sugar. Thomas Jefferson introduced tomatoes to the USA at a later date and as WNC was settled, they had access to tomatoes.
Thank god for T.J. and tomatoes, then.
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Old 02-08-2017, 04:02 PM
 
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First of all, the difference is not just in sauce. Eastern pitmasters use whole hogs while Lexington-style pitmasters use only shoulders. Lexington barbecue is also generally cut thicker (e.g. pulled vs. chopped) than Eastern, though many places serve a variety of cuts. Lexington slaw is also red (using Lexington dip), while Eastern is white (mayo). There are a few notable exceptions to the rules but not many.

Second, there are two types of "authenticity" when talking about NC barbecue. Is the place an authentic "joint" and do they cook their pork over wood? Only about 50 places in NC still cook over wood and at least half a dozen of those are more upscale, often hipster versions that serve beer and liquor like The Pit, HBC, Buxton Hall, Picnic, The Pig, etc. Of the 45 or so places that are authentic in both ways, only a few are in the Triangle and none are in Raleigh. Stephenson's and Johnson Family are both legit Eastern Style joints in both ways. Allen and Son and Backyard BBQ Pit are unique in that they cook only shoulders but use Eastern sauce instead of Lexington dip. I would say that Allen and Son (CH not Pittsboro) is in the top-tier of NC BBQ places while the other three are upper-middle.

In Raleigh, the best joint is Ole Time (no wood) and the best barbecue is at The Pit, which uses wood. Clyde Cooper's is rightfully a Raleigh icon, but stopped using wood a long time ago and of course sold their amazing old building. I go to all three places, but none are in the top-tier of NC barbecue joints.

To the OP's question, The Pit is the only place in Raleigh that sells both Eastern and Lexington styles, but they were founded as an ENC place and their first pitmaster was Ed Mitchell who is from Wilson. There isn't any real joint in the state that sells both kinds. Many places sell chicken and other meats, but it is basically heretical to them to sell the other style of NC barbecue.

No one asked but everyone should visit the top-tier places in the state:

Lexington-style:
Lexington #1
Smiley's
Stamey's (overrated IMO but an ACC tourney icon and a lot of people love it)
Speedy Lohr's (both)
Troutman's in Denton
Barbecue Center
Little Richard's
Wink's
Richard's
Red Bridges

Eastern:
Skylight Inn
B's
Jack Cobb and Son
Grady's
Wilber's
Bum's
Allen and Son
Hursey's (like Allen, they use shoulders so kind of a mix)

Last edited by TarHeel408; 02-08-2017 at 04:13 PM..
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
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^what are your thoughts on the "new" Sam Jones BBQ in Winterville? They've elevated beyond joint, but it's still pretty authentic (cook over wood) and they serve *gasp* beer.
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Old 02-09-2017, 12:25 AM
 
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I haven't had the opportunity to go yet but am glad to hear that Sam's expanding and cashing in on his fame. A bunch of joints have multiple locations but none of the old BBQ people have elevated like Sam is doing. Judging from the stories I've read, it sounds like he has a team of businessmen in his ear advising him on the project, and I'd be surprised if he doesn't end up expanding. To many (including myself tbh) that makes it a bit less authentic, but really, it's just a smart guy trying to make an honest buck. I've been told he doesn't have an ownership interest in Skylight, so this clearly makes sense, especially since he gets all the credit for Skylight. There's also the part of me that appreciates the new places for becoming "destinations" where I can go after, say 8pm, and have a beer or cocktail.

I'll also add that I wish a real Lexington-style place would come downtown or ITB. We have Ethiopian and Laotian places but we can't have Lexington BBQ? OTOH, maybe I should give The Pit's version another shot.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:40 AM
 
Location: NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TarHeel408 View Post

Eastern:
Skylight Inn
B's
Jack Cobb and Son
Grady's
Wilber's
Bum's
Allen and Son
Hursey's (like Allen, they use shoulders so kind of a mix)
Entire post was excellent, and SPOT ON.

^This is a good list of ENC Que. I've not tried Jack Cobb nor Bum's (been to all the rest though). Can't go wrong with any of them. Grady's (pronounced 'Graddies', with a soft a) is probably the best 'experience' IMO. Just a cinderblock shack, literally in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Carolina Shores NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myghost View Post
Entire post was excellent, and SPOT ON.

^This is a good list of ENC Que. I've not tried Jack Cobb nor Bum's (been to all the rest though). Can't go wrong with any of them. Grady's (pronounced 'Graddies', with a soft a) is probably the best 'experience' IMO. Just a cinderblock shack, literally in the middle of nowhere.
I've been to all except Jack Cobb. I went to Skylight a few weeks ago when our daughter came to visit. It is just as good as it was over 40 years ago when I made my first trip there. Hershey's in Burlington is another good place to try.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Chapelboro
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It's Hursey's not Hershey's.

I got nothing much to add to TarheelNick's list except you can go check out the NC BBQ Society's webpage and trail map.
The North Carolina Barbecue Society
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