Every once in a while your’s truly, the Honorable Porky LeSwine, receives an email that restores his faith in ‘cue-manity. A few days ago I read just such an email.
The message had the subject line, “Raleigh BBQ Scene,” and with a title like that I figured it would be nonsense–Raleigh has no real BBQ to speak of, and what’s a barbecue scene anyway?! Raleigh is a barbecue desert (one “s”, not to be confused with banana pudding) and I think it’s an embarrassment to have a dearth of BBQ in our state capital. Well, as it turns out the email’s author agrees with me:
I am a native North Carolinian (a Raleighite) who has been out west for 20+ years and I am here in Raleigh trying to figure out how to move back here to God’s country. I learned to make my own BBQ many years ago because I couldn’t get it any other way.
Question: Where can I go in Raleigh to get a good plate of authentic (wood smoked, not oven roasted) pork barbecue? Coopers – nope. Carolina BBQ – nope. How many others are using gas or electric ovens and no wood? The Pit cooks with wood, but I just don’t go along with having to make a reservation for a table to get a good plate of true North Carolina barbecue in North Carolina’s capital city. Its just not right. [Editor's note: reservations or not, I've been underwhelmed by The Pit's barbecue but kudos to them for cooking it over wood and it's hard to argue with their success as a business.]
Sorry for my ranting. I just can’t believe the BBQ heresy that is going on here. God bless Coopers for being around for 75 years, but they don’t sell BBQ. They sell roasted pork. Are there others that feel like I do?
Heck yeah, there are others that feel like you do. Not many of us, perhaps, but we exist and we applaud you for speaking truth to propane-power. Unfortunately, Raleigh is the tip of the iceberg. The lack of real barbecue plagues the state and I can imagine a future that has no true North Carolina barbecue left.
While we wait for the private sector to come to its senses, can’t the state legislators in Raleigh turn their attention to this problem through some sort of hickory smoke stimulus program? With or without leadership from the legislators wasting space on Jones Street, some of us traditionalists are as mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.
If you care about traditional barbecue, I encourage you to like the page at www.facebook.com/truecue, where a Campaign for Real Barbecue will soon begin. Until then, keep your faith in the holy smoke.