Nice article on Lexington’s barbecue culture at http://guardianlv.com/2014/01/lexington-north-carolina-barbecue-capital-of-the-world/
Whether you spell it with one g or two, the Hillsborough Hog(g) Day festival has come to an end after 31 years. Although it was a nice event, the cancellation makes sense to me–Orange County Chamber of Commerce cited an interest in focusing their limited capacity on economic development rather than festival coordination. Learn more in the Chapel Hill News.
Maybe a volunteer organizing committee (not it!) will try and bring the festival back to life. Or maybe a professional in the event business will come up with a proposal to revive the event. Until then, thanks for the Hog Day memories. Honestly, some of my most enduring memories are of oppressive heat and mid-rate Elvis impersonations, yet I still had fun every time I attended and surely tens of thousands of others did too. R.I.P.
In case you want to dine out for T Day…
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.
A legend of BBQ has passed away… http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20130614/NEWS/130619980/1074?Title=Community-recalls-a-barbecue-icon-in-Conrad
Friday marks the 40th anniversary of Stamey’s Barbecue of Tyro, just outside of Lexington. If you’re in the area, drop by for the celebration. Read more in The Dispatch at http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20130611/NEWS05/306119983.
This news came out months ago, but became official this week: http://www.heraldsun.com/news/localnews/x1592159589/Barbecue-restaurant-planned-for-Diamond-View-III-downtown
As loyal readers of this site are well aware, I have devoted a fair amount of virtual ink to my reasons for disliking Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. Well, now is your chance to help me drive my point home: I am organizing a grassroots protest against Dickey’s, which is the barbecue chain equivalent of Applebee’s (motto “Eatin’ Not-So-Good in Every Neighborhood”).
Dickey’s in downtown Raleigh is hosting a pulled pork sandwich eating contest on September 15th at 1:00 p.m. This event sounds fun until one realizes that it is Dickey’s sandwiches that will be served, not Clyde Cooper’s.
The Pro-Pork Protest: Enter the contest, preferrably wearing the t-shirt of your favorite local BBQ joint or Clyde Cooper’s, but don’t eat a bite of the food set in front of you. There is no need to say anything, and certainly don’t be rude. This should be a silent, peaceful hunger strike–remember that Gandhi could go for days without food so you can go for a few minutes without pork.
Unfortunately, the event takes place at a time that I likely cannot attend or I would be there in a heartbeat. Instead, I encourage all of you to share this idea far and wide and see if we can get a small crowd of protesters to show up for the competition.
If three or more brave soulds drop me a line at BBQJew at gmail.com confirming your plans to attend, I will alert the media of the protest and see if they will cover the story. I will also promise to buy the first 10 protesters a BBQ sandwich at the local restaurant of their choosing. Let’s show Dickey’s what real barbecue is all about: family-ownership, unique local flavor, and loyalty. Who’s with me?