3409 Highway 64 East, Asheboro, NC
BBQ Jew’s Grade: B
Porky Says: “Lions and tigers and pigs, oh my!”
Zoo and ‘Cue
What better way to spend a summer weekend with family and friends than a trip to the North Carolina Zoo? Sure, it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere. And the admission price is sort of steep. And it’s hotter than heck. And the animals stink when it’s so hot. But it’s still fun, galdarnit. Plus, the zoo is just a few minutes away from Blue Mist Bar-B-Q, and what better way to finish a day of animal viewing than eating one?
Get Your Kicks on Route 64
Blue Mist Bar-B-Q has been around since 1948 and occupies a fairly large building immediately off of what used to be the main east-west route between Charlotte and Raleigh, U.S. Highway 64. Now that I-85/40 exists, 64 is less travelled, but it still brings plenty of people through Blue Mist’s doors. And for good reason. Blue Mist continues to serve high quality, pit cooked ‘cue that makes a side trip off the Interstate (or a pit stop on the way to the zoo) well worth it.
Blue Mist offers a large menu with breakfast, lunch and dinner served daily. Dishes range from steaks to BBQ chicken (but no fried chicken) to pimiento cheese sandwiches (if somehow you’ve not had this delicacy before, you must) to seafood to homemade desserts like persimmon pudding. But, thankfully, this wide ranging menu does not come at the expense of the ‘cue. Barbecue remains the focus and the folks at Blue Mist certainly do justice to the divine swine.
Blue Mist serves good, coarse-chopped ’cue with a noticeable smoke flavor from the pit cooking. I ordered a tray of the ‘cue with slaw and hush puppies and it was a very generous serving–seemed to be the same amount of ‘cue as comes with the plate, just minus the baked beans and fries served with the plate. The Lexington-style ‘cue comes laced with generous bits of outside brown, though the pork is a bit dry for my taste (I suspect they use more hams and fewer shoulders). The sauce is too ketchupy for my taste but has a very nice spice kick to it. The slaw is good: fine-chopped, sweet and light on the mayo with large flecks of carrot. The hush puppies are of the long variety (rather than orbs), and were a bit dry. Finally, like at most barbecue joints, the staff are friendly, the atmosphere is warm, and the tea is sweet and delicious. Do your family a favor and take them on the road for a zoo and ‘cue safari.