4012 W Wendover Ave, Greensboro, NC
BBQ Jew’s Grade: B
Porky Says: “Good enough to make you dance.”
Barbecue Clubs and Gentleman’s Joints
Country Barbeque is the only barbecue joint I know of that is located immediately adjacent to a strip club. (See the Google Maps street view–note that what look like large stained glass windows on the strip club are actually fake, which is probably consistent with what lies inside the club.) Luckily, Country Barbeque’s naughty neighbor is not the main reason to visit.
Electric Table Dance
The food that the friendly, efficient wait staff at Country Barbeque bring to the table is quite good. The joint serves moist, tasty barbecue that is chopped to an ideal consistency—not too fine and not too chunky. The dip that accompanies the ’cue is an excellent, sharply vinegared dark brown mixture that is reminiscent of the dip served at Lexington #1. The red barbecue slaw that accompanied my ‘cue was good, although a little bit sweet for my taste. The hush puppies were only mediocre, as they were small and somewhat overcooked. I had a better than average piece of homemade peach cobbler for dessert.
Now understand that I say all these positive things about the pork served at Country Barbeque knowing full well that they do not cook it over wood coals. It is the rare wood-free BBQ joint that will receive my recommendation, but Country Barbeque seems to have figured out how to make good ‘cue without wood. Being a fundamentalist about such things I would still prefer they use wood, but I am honest enough to admit the ‘cue tasted good to me. No doubt the excellent dip helps bring the flavor of the meat out where the method of cooking has not. Since Country Barbeque is a Lexington-style place I think the use of moister, more flavorful pork shoulders helps the cause. It’s ironic that Eastern joints are most likely to forgo wood cooking, yet most need it due to the use of whole hogs where the wood flavor really adds something essential to the dryer meat mixture. In fairness, successfully cooking whole hog over wood coals is more difficult than cooking just shoulders, so there is a trade off to be made.
The Rest of the Menu
Country Barbeque is really a family restaurant more than a specialty ‘cue joint, as their menu is fairly extensive and includes ribs, chicken and quite a few classic southern breakfast biscuits for the morning hours. Also, they are reputed to serve an excellent chili cheesebuger. Alas, I don’t have the time or stomach volume to sample non-BBQ offerings when doing “research” for this website. Maybe in my next life, when I’m reincarnated as a BBQ Hindu, I’ll visit all these joints again for fried chicken, burgers, biscuits, etc. Until then, I’ll have to be satisfied with sneaking peeks at the non-BBQ dishes on other diners’ plates.
I wonder if the staff or patrons of the strip club next door sometimes catch a whiff of Country Barbecue’s slow-cooked pork and feel compelled to stop in for a bite. If so, maybe that explains the “No shirt, no shoes, no service” sign on Country Barbecue’s door. Provided you are dressed appropriately, I’d recommend you stop by Country Barbecue next time you are headed by Greensboro on I-40 and feel the need for ‘cue.