Hoggy Halloween


Happy Halloween, and watch out for vengeful pigs!

The pig avenger cometh, run for your life!

BBQ Jew’s View: Grandpa’s Kitchen

149 E South Main Street (Hwy 158), Littleton, NC
(252) 586-3211‎
No Website
BBQ Jew’s Grade: C
Porky Says: “Where Would Jesus Dine?”

When Pigs Fly
As I near the aptly named little town of Littleton, the speed limit on Highway 158 drops from a generous country road limit to a stingier limit befitting the bucolic setting.  As I reach the edge of a small historic (or at least old) business district, a sign catches my eye: “Grandpa’s Kitchen, Area’s Finest BBQ.”  Also the area’s only barbecue, I think to myself, but no matter.  An unpredictably flashing neon sign spells out “Bar-B-Q” and, as if by instinct, I steer my car into the small parking lot.  A hand carved wooden pig with eagle wings greets me outside the front door. I have arrived.

If pigs could fly...

If pigs could fly, they'd wallow in the mud in the sky

Grandpa’s Kitchen is one of those places that is a pleasure to dine at, even though it’s barbecue is nothing out of the Continue reading

Report from The Barbecue Festival

Well, I am ashamed to admit I didn’t make it to this year’s Barbecue Festival in Lexington, NC.  A combination of morning rain and an iffy afternoon forecast, visiting family, and my daughter’s nap schedule kept me away.  But enough excuses, the good news is that The Lexington Dispatch has a full report, including eight minutes of somewhat disjointed highlight reel style video footage.  Make sure you don’t miss the clip of the Mayor doing the Barbecue Festival equivalent of lighting the Olympic torch–biting into a BBQ sandwich to kick off the event. 

According to the Dispatch, a mind boggling 170,000 people attended the event.  I don’t quite believe that estimate, but even if it’s generous there is no doubt that there were a heckuva lot of BBQ sandwiches sold at the big tent on Saturday. 

I promise the barbecue gods that I will be in Lexington for the 27th annual Barbecue Festival next year.  Until then, forgive me for my sins, and know that I will say a few extra hail marys to make up for my absence this year.

Raleigh’s Got Sauce


Thursday, October 29th is the deadline to enter NCBBQ.com’s “Pit Master’s Choice Awards: North Carolina’s State Sauce Competition.” Any North Carolina resident can enter; Yankees, Texans and other such scourge of the earth need not apply.

The contest will be held Nov. 7 at Raleigh’s Ray Price Harley-Davidson in conjunction with the dealership’s annual barbecue cookoff and blood drive (blood type BBQ+ is in especially high demand).  There are amateur and professional divisions, and sauce can be entered in Eastern style, Western style and non-traditional categories. 

Judges include N.C. barbecue expert Bob Garner (a man who has eaten his weight in BBQ several times over), food critic J. Scott Wilson, sanctioned barbecue competition judge Jerry Snead, Wake Tech chef-instructor Fredi Morf, and “voice of the people” (we have no idea what that means but the event website says it) Ned Perry. 

For all the details and an entry form, visit the Web site.

East v. West Continued

Here’s yet another chapter in the neverending debate about the relative merits of Eastern-style ‘cue versus Lexington/Western-style ‘cue.   Make sure to check out the many reader comments, which are at least as fun as the dueling articles.  As for the articles themselves, editor Matthew Eisley wins the best quote award with this gem:

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, understood as a child, thought as a child, and naively ate tomato-based barbecue as a child.  But when I became a man, I put away childish sauces and embraced the unadulterated ambrosia that is North Carolina’s sacred, primordial and peerless eastern-style barbecue.”

As someone who genuinely likes both styles, I’ll stay out of the fray.  For an overview of Eastern- vs. Lexington-style BBQ, check out a recent guest post I wrote for the News & Observer’s Mouthful blog here.

All Aboard for The Barbecue Festival

Just a friendly reminder that this coming Saturday is The Barbecue Festival in Lexington, NC.  If you are looking to make a day of it–heck, why not?–consider riding Amtrak to and from the event.  It’s the one day a year that Amtrak stops in Lexington, which is pretty cool.  Riding the train commits you to a roughly nine hour stay in Lexington, which is just enough time to eat a BBQ breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Choo choo!



We just discovered we have a brother-in-arms trotters: Marc Schapiro, author of baconjew.com.  Marc’s blog is a humorous ode to that almost-as-good-as-barbecue meat, bacon.  It’s good to know there is another Jew out there wasting his time writing about, and salivating over, forbidden meat.

BBQ Jew’s View: Backyard BBQ Pit #1 & #2

5122 NC Highway 55, Durham, NC
(2nd location at 3218 Guess Road, Durham, NC)
Hours: Mon – Fri 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sat 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
BBQ Jew’s Grade: B-
Porky Says: “Research Triangle Pork?”

It’s hard to believe that there is decent barbecue in the middle of Research Triangle Park (RTP), a science research park sitting in the middle of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, aka “the Triangle.”  The Triangle in general has little in the way of good ‘cue–I call it The Bermudacue Triangle for the way barbecue traditions disappear inside it–and RTP is in the geographic heart of the Triangle.  Worse yet, RTP is filled with sprawling office parks and crawling with white collar transplants from California and other places where barbecue is merely a misunderstood word that means “a cookout.” 

You might think that ordering barbecue in the heart of RTP is as bad an idea as visiting a seafood market in Topeka, Kansas.  Yet the owners of the Backyard BBQ Pit were smart enough to see an opportunity in an underperforming BBQ joint on the edge of RTP.  With more than 50,000 employees in RTP, they must have reasoned that some of them would appreciate a nice plate of ‘cue.  And since buying an old, so-so BBQ joint in 2007, the owners of the Backyard BBQ Pit have provided some pretty good ‘cue to RTPers.  And they have done a bustling business, so much so that they opened a second location on the other side of Durham earlier this year. 

Backyard BBQ Pit #2 on Guess Road

Backyard BBQ Pit #2 on Guess Road

Isn’t It Good, RTP Wood?
Visitors to the Backyard BBQ Pit #1 (the original location in RTP) will notice Continue reading

Cooked Hogs for a Cause



The aptly named Hogs n Hens for Hope festival will be held this Saturday, October 17th at the Duplin County Events Center in Kenansville, NC.  The festival is a fundraiser for the Lazarex Cancer Foundation, and features a motorcycle ride, officially sanctioned BBQ cookoff and more.  Head on down I-40 East and eat some hog for a cause.  If the logo (pictured above) is any indication, this should be a fun event.

Sale on BBQ Jew Merch

Now through Monday, save 14.92% on BBQ Jew t-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers and all other merchandise.  Click on the Merch tab at the top right of our web page and follow the link to the vendor’s site.  Once on the vendor’s site, just enter “1492Columbus” as the code at checkout to get the discount.  It’s a good way to honor Columbus, since he sailed the ocean blue and introduced the New World to hogs pink.  And, frankly, making barbecue possible for future generations may be Columbus’ most impressive legacy.