Posted on May 23, 2013 by Porky LeSwine
An alert reader, who goes by the pseudonym Zachary Writes, pointed out a gross error in the (virtual) pages of Southern Living magazine. A recent post about Chapel Hill’s revered Allen & Son barbecue, which every damn fool knows has no website, includes a link to Pittsboro’s Allen & Son restaurant, which every damn fool knows has nothing to do with the Chapel Hill location.
In case you were unaware, the Chapel Hill Allen’s cooks over wood and produces some of the best barbecue in the state. The Pittsboro Allen’s, on the other hand, is a gasser and has no connection to the Chapel Hill restaurant of the same name other than a shared origin 20-some years ago. If you believe in evolution–and I pray to God that you do–you can think of it this way: Pittsboro’s Allen & Son is the neanderthal that is not fully evolved, while Chapel Hill’s Allen & Son is the fully evolved human that is evolutionarily superior. Well, except that Neanderthals always cooked over wood while humans invented gas cooking. Drat, now I’m confused too…
Credit to Southern Living for at least managing to write a nice post, and take good pictures, about the correct Allen & Son’s. They may be confused, but they are not Neanderthals.
Filed under: Restaurants & Reviews | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 21, 2013 by Porky LeSwine
Although this blog focuses on North Carolina barbecue, I do concede that barbecue (if you want to call it that) exists elsewhere, even in parts of Texas. Having recently traveled to Texas to indulge in some of that state’s good eats, I feel obliged to pass along news of the recently published Texas Monthly Top 50 List. Read the news here or see the full list here by 5/22. Austin’s much-hyped, and much respected, Franklin Barbecue takes the top spot in the rankings, a surprise to nobody, least of all the people who spend hours in line to sample the food. (Franklin is one spot I decided not to visit on my recent trip, as my barbecue itinerary was too crowded and my hipster immune system too low to manage the wait in line.)
I always have mixed feelings about Top X lists of any sort, whether music, movies, nose hair trimmers or, yes, barbecue. I prefer the concept of the NC Barbecue Society’s Barbecue Trail, in which all traditional joints that are included (more should be but that’s another post) are given equal billing. However, the Top 50 list certainly does generate a lot of publicity and excitement, and perhaps it keeps joints from complacency, as the list is updated every several years.
I don’t think there are I am certain there are not 50 barbecue joints in North Carolina that are worthy of inclusion on a Top 50 list, whereas Texas has plenty of well qualified places to choose from. But I digress…
Filed under: BBQ in the News | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 19, 2013 by Porky LeSwine
If you’d like to read a truly idiotic piece of barbecue writing, and for some reason this blog isn’t meeting your needs, check out Josh Ozersky‘s recent piece in the Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323716304578482970210059326.html?mod=itp
The thesis of Ozersky’s article is that barbecue has “become stagnant and so dogmatic that many pit masters haven’t changed their recipes or routines in decades.” This premise reveals a startling lack of understanding of what barbecue is and what makes it great–tradition, family recipes refined over generations, simple techniques that render (literally) exquisite meat, distinct regionalism, and so on.
One barbecue luminary dropped me a note pondering whether Ozersky’s piece might be satire. If so, Jonathan Swift himself would be proud, but I don’t think Ozersky is that, uh, swift. I could go on about the article but I don’t want to waste my virtual breath. As Daniel Vaughn (@BBQSnob) put it in a tweet to Ozersky (@OzerskyTV), “You say stagnant and dogmatic, while I say traditional and reverent.” That sums it up.
Filed under: Porky's Pulpit | Tagged: Words of wisdom | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 16, 2013 by Porky LeSwine
Posted on May 15, 2013 by Porky LeSwine
My good friend and fellow BBQ enthusiast O.B. Goldstein–the O.B. stands for Outside Brown, in case you were wondering–sent me the below picture of a license plate that reads, “WTFBBQ”. Needless to say, O.B. was puzzled but intrigued by the phrase. What could it mean?
What The F*%k Barbecue? Who Tries Frying BBQ? Why Touch Fool’s Barbecue? Wonderful Terrific Fantastic BBQ? The possibilities seemed endless. Until I Googled the phrase. (Incidentally, wasn’t life a bit more fun when we were forced to speculate on such matters rather than instantly Googling an answer?)
What does the license plate actually mean? If you guessed this definition from UrbanDictionary.com, give yourself a pat on the back and then go to your room because you’re grounded!
It’s sad to see the letters BBQ misappropriated for a non-barbecue purpose of any sort, let alone an off color one. Hopefully karma will catch up with the driver of this car–perhaps in the form of a little trichinosis.
Filed under: 'Cue Culture | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 14, 2013 by Porky LeSwine
Well, at long last I may have met my Barbejew match: Ari White of Hakadosh BBQ. Get the full, kosher scoop at http://blogs.forward.com/the-jew-and-the-carrot/175887/the-holy-grail-of-kosher-barbeque-hakadosh-bbq/
Impressive work, my Jewish brother, but no need to give me a call until you start barbecuing pork.
Filed under: Barbejews | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 13, 2013 by Porky LeSwine
Perhaps comedy is the true third rail of American politics, at least when it comes to barbecue.
favorite successful son, Stephen Colbert, recently mocked North Carolina BBQ on his satirical news show, The Colbert Report. Colbert’s sister had just lost a (sadly, not all that close) congressional election to morally-corrupt-yet-steadily-bible-thumping disgraced former Governor Mark Sanford. Colbert expressed thinly veiled disdain for North Carolina barbecue in a bit where he pretended to stray from his South Carolina roots in protest to the election results. He compared the “sauceless, vinegar-based meat product that they call barbecue” in North Carolina to South Carolina’s ‘cue, gagging as he tried to choke some down. Touché, Mr. Colbert, touché.
In truth, there are significant portions of South Carolina that serve barbecue that is nearly indistinguishable from that of its better looking neighbor to the north. (Those are the parts of the state that are closest to North Carolina, and also the parts of the state that serve good barbecue!) Colbert may well know this to be true unless he’s lived in New Jersey for so long that he’s forgotten then difference between barbecue hash and bagels with lox. Regardless, I am willing to forgive and forget, and will readily claim Stephen Colbert as a Tar Heel anytime he wishes.
Filed under: BBQ in the News | Tagged: South Carolina | 1 Comment »