Social Netporking Comes to Lexington

The Barbecue Festival in old timey Lexington has joined the new world of social networking, or netporking as I prefer to call it.  According to Lexington’s daily The Dispatch, “When the 27th Annual Barbecue Festival happens Oct. 23, participants and attendees will be able to ‘tweet’ about it in real time and upload photos and videos on the festival’s new Facebook page.”  Given that everything from the grilled cheese sandwich to watching paint dry has a Facebook page devoted to it, I’m not sure that the Barbecue Festival’s venture into the social networking world is newsworthy, but that’s just my opinion.

You can check out the Barbecue Festival’s brand spanking new Facebook page for yourself if you want to become a “friend” of the large-scale event.  Or if you want to be friends with a smaller, closer knit group of barbecue fools, you can become a friend of The BBQ Jew Crew on Facebook.  Or, since Facebook friends are a dime a dozen, I guess you could choose to friend both the festival and The BBQ Jew Crew.  Like they say, you can pick your Facebook friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your Facebook friend’s nose.

BBQ Jew’s View: Dillard’s Bar-B-Q

3921 Fayetteville Street, Durham, NC
919.544.1587
Website
Hours: Uh, I forgot to write ’em down, I’ll find out soon…
BBQ Jew’s Grade: C
Porky Says: “Man shall not dine on pork alone (at least not here).”

Man Does Not Live by Bread Alone
While most barbecue joints use their marquee signs to boast or advertise weekly specials, the sign outside of Dillard’s has read “Deuteronomy 8:3” for as long as I can remember.  Indeed, man cannot live on bread alone. Sometimes he craves pork. 

Dillard’s has been providing Durham residents and visitors with much more than bread since 1952, when its late founder Sam Dillard first started selling barbecue.  Mr. Dillard was a devout Christian, so the Deuteronomy 8:3 reference is not some tongue-in-cheek statement that a younger pitmaster might put on a sign to lure in the hipsters.  At Dillard’s the sign is sincere and heartfelt.  Unfortunately, while the fellowship at Dillard’s remains intact the quality of their cooking has suffered over the years.

Soul Food Aplenty
Dillard’s offers a large buffet of “southern style soul food,” as the restaurant’s website puts it.  (I have yet to experience northern style soul food, and hope to maintain this spotless record but I digress… .)  The buffet is served cafeteria style by friendly staff, some of them direct descendants of Sam Continue reading

Barbecued Fox?

Barbecued fox?  Well, not really barbecued fox, but rather a local Fox affiliates’ take on “Ten Great N.C. Barbecue Restaurants.”  See Sarah Palin’s favorite Triangle area TV station’s ‘cue list here.  Top 10 lists are always suspect and always generate debate so I’ll stay out of the fray like my middle name is Switzerland (it is not in case you were wondering, it’s Djibouti).

Speaking of great restaurants, I’ll be posting more reviews soon… it has been hard finding much time to write lately but I promise to shake of the summer heat and sweat out some more original content soon.

Parties at the Pits

An easy to read post for Friday morning: four belated pictures from Spring barbecue celebrations, the first two from the Cuegrass event at The Pit in Raleigh and the second set at customer appreciation day at the Backyard BBQ Pit #1 in Durham.

BBQ and Sbarro Side-by-Side?

Hell has frozen over at last. 

The news out of Burlington is that the owners of Hursey’s Barbecue are opening a location at Holly Hill Mall in the home of an old Chik-ail-A.  Given that barbecue really is fast food (well, aside from the hours of cooking time), it makes a lot of sense to sell it in a mall.  And since Hursey’s cooks their ‘cue over wood at their main location (pictured below) you don’t have to worry too much about how a mall will impact their cooking.  But it still feels more than a bit odd to think of being able to order BBQ inside a shopping mall.

Coming soon to a food court near you.

 This is the first time I have heard of a NC BBQ joint opening up shop inside a mall. Anyone else know otherwise?

Slipped on a Pig Peel…

A tip of the snout to alert reader Eric “Cracklins” Calhoun, who noticed this gem of an article.  To sum up the Associated Press story, a trucker driving on I-5 in Washington state “choked on some spicy pork rinds, lost control of his truck on an interstate and jackknifed it before coming to a stop in a muddy ditch.” 

If you must consume pork while driving, I find that it is much safer to eat a tender BBQ sandwich, though the dripping sauce and grease can make it difficult to grip the wheel.

Barbecue Caught in the Crossfire?

For shame, Big Pig.

The NC Pork Council has gone and done a real no-no–they’ve messed with puppies. More specifically, they’ve used their political might to block a bill that would ban “puppy mills” because they oppose its supporters, the Humane Society of the United States.

My sources inside the Hog Industry say this is the first in a string of hard lines the group is planning to take–the next being against flowers, babies and ice cream.

Chances are, when you’re going against the Humane Society, you’re not on the…how should we say it…humane side of the issue. The swine industry based their objections to the puppy bill on their suspicion that the Humane Society may next try to guarantee livestock such luxuries as being able to stand up in their cage and fully extending their limbs. I mean, what’s next–terrycloth robes?!! With embroidered initials?? (<—sarcasm)

I’ve spoken with old-timers who swear that the swine tastes different these days because the hogs are different. Not being able to stand up will do that. That’s another part of the barbecue heritage we should strive to protect.

In the article’s comments, a few people talked about boycotting pork and one even suggested boycotting barbecue. That’s where this rabbi gets off the train. Don’t punish hard-working restaurateurs for the sins of their suppliers.

Is the new barbecue joint coming to Chapel Hill The Barbecue Joint?

A tip of the snout to Dave Filpus, who writes at his NC Barbecue Musings blog that a new barbecue joint is opening in the space where the barbecue joint called The Barbecue Joint was located before its doors were padlocked shut. There are also rumors that The Barbecue Joint that used to be located in the place where the new barbecue joint is opening will return but in another location and maybe with another name or maybe under the name The Barbecue Joint.  Confused yet?  So am I. 

According to the website/Facebook page for The Pig, the new place opening up, the restaurant will be “Bringing regional flavors and local ingredients to the party in your tummy, featuring whole-hog barbecue, cola-braised pork belly sandwiches and Mee-Ma’s low-country, house-smoked, chicken-fried tofu.”  Yep, you read that right. 

Stay tuned and I am sure more details about The Pig will be revealed soon… I am wondering if it is actually the rumored return of The Barbecue Joint, as the combo of yuppified barbecue and similarly untraditional dishes (tofu) offered next to fairly traditional BBQ certainly seems similar. [The plot thickens:  since drafting this post a few days ago Dave Filpus has posted more info on his site, check it out.]

Porky’s Pulpit: Shame on Food Lion

Regional grocery store giant Food Lion is based in Salisbury, NC, one of the most important (if underappreciated) barbecue towns in North Carolina due to its role as perhaps the birthplace of so-called “Lexington-style” barbecue.  Thus, one might expect that the folks at Food Lion would understand how to properly use the word “barbecue.”  One would be wrong. 

Food Lion is currently offering a promotion called “Backyard BBQ with Keith Urban.”  Does this contest offer as a grand prize a Salisbury area pig pickin’ with the New Zealand-born pseudo-country star?  No, it does not.  Rather, by purchasing a bag of Kingsford Charcoal or a bottle of (ahem, cough cough) KC Masterpiece sauce, shoppers are entered into a contest to attend a “BBQ” (i.e., a cookout) in Nashville, TN with Mr. Urban.  According to Food Lion’s website, no purchase is necessary (except for the charcoal or sauce?) to win this “intimate VIP experience.”  

I am sure Keith Urban can throw a mean cookout, but no intimate VIP experiences for me, thank you very much.  I’ll stick to pork shoulders cooked over hickory coals and flavored with some Salisbury-made dip.

Backstage at Hog Day

The four-person judging team from Hillsborough Hog Day 2010, below from left: Dale Volberg Reed, John Shelton Reed, Joel Grodensky, and Ed Mitchell (not pictured, Chief Judge David Hunt).

They look pretty good considering they just tasted barbecue from 35 cooking teams!