A Proud History
I’ve been traveling to Goldsboro for work for the past couple years and finally was able to catch the legendary Scott’s on a day when the dining room was open. The owners had recently recovered from some health problems that had kept them from running the restaurant for several months. They are now open a couple days a week for lunch. Although the barbecue was middle of the road at best (alas, it has been years since Scott’s wood-cooked their ‘cue), I am very happy to have made my way through Scott’s doors.
Scott’s has been selling barbecue for over 90 years, which is an amazing feat in itself and makes it one of the oldest barbecue joints around (and likely one of the longest running family-owned businesses in NC). Many people know Scott’s for its sauce, which is the most widely available of NC barbecue sauces, but may be unaware of the restaurant. It sits in a modest building right next to a large but unassuming bottling facility, where Scott’s peppery hot vinegar
concoction is made and distributed.
The history is palpable at Scott’s, especially with the portrait of founder Rev. Adam Scott on the walls and the fact that his grandkids run the place today. This kind of family legacy is what NC barbecue is all about. Rev. Scott was an African-American preacher who started selling barbecue out of his home in 1917. According to Holy Smoke it was not long before Rev. Scott decided to close in his porch and call his home a restaurant. In the late-1940s, after a tweak to the original sauce recipe by Adam Scott’s son, Scott’s successful sauce business began. The restaurant kept chugging on too, though its popularity was soon eclipsed by that of the sauce distribution business (no shame in that, as the sauce is really terrific).
Scott’s pirate-friendly motto “It’s The Best Ye Ever Tasted” is fitting for their excellent sauce, which brings some life to anything you put it on, but the food itself is about as ordinary as ye ever tasted, matey. There was nothing memorable about the pork or hush puppies, and the yellow mustard-spiked slaw was good but not great. Even though there is nothing that allows me to recommend Scott’s as a regular lunch spot, especially with Wilber’s and McCall’s just a few minutes down the road, I do think Scott’s is worth a visit for its long, successful history. Next time you’re in Goldsboro, consider stopping by Scott’s to pay your respects and make sure you order a bottle (of sauce) for the road.