Surely everyone agrees that there is no better sandwich in North Carolina than a barbecue sandwich. Wait, what? Not everyone agrees? Well, I guess not…
There is a new sheriff in town, and he appears to be drunk: or so it seems for the business plan of Curly’s Carolina, TX barbecue restaurant. According to the website of the confusingly named restaurant in Round Rock, Texas:
Every region has its own spin on BBQ. The reality of Carolina Style BBQ in Austin, TX arose from residing in the Kentucky, Tennessee and Carolina regions for more than 40 years. After moving from Raleigh, NC to Austin in 2011, Jay Yates quickly realized he could not find the BBQ taste he grew up on and loved. Thereby the idea of Curly’s Perfect Pig was born.
Curly’s Perfect Pig proudly served the perfect combination of a tangy, spicy vinegar based sauce of North Carolina, in addition to the zesty South Carolina style mustard sauce on perfectly smoked pulled pork. In 2012 Jay met Texas pitmaster, John Brotherton, who was smoking some of the finest Texas BBQ in the state at his trailer, Hall Of Flame BBQ. The two quickly realized several synergies between them and became close friends.
In 2013, the two pitmasters joined forces to form Curly’s Carolina, TX… Got a hankerin’ for some delicious BBQ? Take a road trip to Carolina, TX…Y’all!
I’m not sure who should be more offended, Tar Heels or Texans.
There is a nicely written, fairly comprehensive article on North Carolina barbecue in Elon University’s The Pendulum. An excerpt: “it’s as important to Carolina culture as the Wright brothers.” I’d say that is a gross understatement, and perhaps we need to replace the junky little Ohioan-engineered plane that appears on our license plates with a whole hog. Now that’s a thought. Anyway, read the article in full at http://www.elonpendulum.com/2013/11/the-bbq-state-unique-origins-of-barbecue-define-north-carolina-history-culture/
In case you want to dine out for T Day…
City Barbeque, an Ohio-based chain, has announced plans to open its first restaurant in North Carolina. According to this account, the new restaurant will be in “one of the hearts of barbecue country.” If you guessed that the heart of barbecue country means Cary, then I suspect you’ve been drinking too much Kool-Aid from a Dickey’s Big Yellow Cup.
Based on browsing City Barbeque’s website, it looks like the restaurant is yet another “International House of Barbecue”, as my barbecue brother-in-arms John Shelton Reed likes to say. City Barbeque serves pork shoulder, brisket, ribs, etc., with no regional, let alone local, emphasis. (“OUR PORK SHOULDER IS REMINISCENT OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES, THE BRISKET AND SAUSAGE TAKE YOU TO TEXAS, AND THE RIBS EXUDE A BLEND OF THE MEMPHIS AND KANSAS CITY STYLES.”) In other words, they offer a little something for everyone; everyone except for those of us who believe that at its best barbecue is locally distinct. Also, some of us are awfully wary of ribs that “exude” anything!
In fairness, Ohio has no barbecue tradition so the IHOB model makes some sense there. Yet in North Carolina, where the barbecue tradition is strong, it’d be awfully nice if we politely declined to visit IHOBs and instead focused our limited energies (and caloric capacity) on True ‘Cue.
I was returning home from a long day–and part of the night–at the office and was in desperate need of nourishment. Almost without thinking, and with utter disregard for my need for nourishment, I steered into a Burger King looking for a quick burger.
The poster outside advertised the new BBQ Rib Sandwich, and for only a dollar. Despite my best intentions to play to BK’s strengths and order a Whopper, I had no real choice. It was BBQ Rib Sandwich time–I had to try it and report back to the huddled barbecue masses (you).
Although the BBQ Rib Sandwich didn’t contain anything I would describe as inclusive of barbecue or rib, it was indeed a sandwich. And not a bad sandwich at that. The BBQ Rib Sandwich is basically a pork burger, with ground pork shaped into a patty, and a reasonably tasty one at that. I could have done without the sweet barbecue sauce, but my low expectations were exceeded.
The BBQ Rib Sandwich is a different animal (maybe literally?) than the McRib, and for that I was thankful. Don’t get me wrong, I have no plans to ever eat a BBQ Rib Sandwich again but then again I never planned to in the first place.
True ‘Cue and its Campaign for Real Barbecue are shaping up nicely. Learn more at TrueCue.org or dive right in by taking The Pledge at http://truecue.org/the-pledge/
Although BBQ Jews aren’t known for being evangelists, we need you to evangelize about the Campaign for Real Barbecue. I promise there’s a large tray and an iced tea waiting for you–either in the after life or your local BBQ joint–if you help spread the good word. And maybe 72 virgins too, who knows. Happy evangelizing. Shalom!