The Best Sandwich in NC

Surely everyone agrees that there is no better sandwich in North Carolina than a barbecue sandwich. Wait, what?  Not everyone agrees?  Well, I guess not…

131104_bi_sandwichmapWe Tarheels can at least take solace, as we often do on a number of subjects, that we are not from South Carolina, where apparently the best sandwich is a tuna melt.

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The Fog of War (aka Eating BK BBQ)

Burger King '13 (2)Sometimes the BBQ Jew lifestyle, such as it is, involves supreme sacrifice in the name of research. Recently I stumbled into just such a situation.

I was returning home from a long day–and part of the night–at the office and was in desperate need of nourishment. Almost without thinking, and with utter disregard for my need for nourishment, I steered into a Burger King looking for a quick burger.

The poster outside advertised the new BBQ Rib Sandwich, and for only a dollar. Despite my best intentions to play to BK’s strengths and order a Whopper, I had no real choice.  It was BBQ Rib Sandwich time–I had to try it and report back to the huddled barbecue masses (you).

Although the BBQ Rib Sandwich didn’t contain anything I would describe as inclusive of barbecue or rib, it was indeed a sandwich.  And not a bad sandwich at that.  The BBQ Rib Sandwich is basically a pork burger, with ground pork shaped into a patty, and a reasonably tasty one at that.  I could have done without the sweet barbecue sauce, but my low expectations were exceeded.

The BBQ Rib Sandwich is a different animal (maybe literally?) than the McRib, and for that I was thankful.  Don’t get me wrong, I have no plans to ever eat a BBQ Rib Sandwich again but then again I never planned to in the first place.

Burger King '13

 

A History of South Carolina Barbeque

Here’s a nice article about a new book–which I’m midway through reading at present–by my BBQ comrade-in-arms Lake High, Jr.  Not only does Lake have one of the best names I’ve ever encountered, but he is a nice guy and very knowledgeable about barbecue in SC and beyond based on my email correspondence with him.

In A History of South Carolina Barbeque(available at your local Amazon.com), Lake makes a strong case for South Carolina as the birthplace of barbecue, though I’d still argue that us Tar Heels perfected the art and have better maintained it over the last few hundred years!  But us fellow Carolinians should probably put our sniping aside and focus on real foes like gas cookers, chains that rhyme with Mickey’s Barbecue Shit, and other such things.  Plus, if the Texans hear us feuding with our neighbors to the South, they might well invade.

Texas & North Carolina: A BBQ Love Story

Props to my barbecue brother-in-arms (and shoulders and ribs), Daniel Vaughn of Texas Monthly, who traveled to North Carolina a few months back and writes about his experience here: http://www.tmbbq.com/finding-common-ground/

Daniel makes several good points in the article, not the least of which is his impassioned argument for outside brown and fatty brisket.  I couldn’t agree more.  Thanks for preaching the gospel, Brother Daniel.  You’re proof that Texas residents are capable of common decency and sound reasoning, despite numerous counter examples.  You are welcome back to the Tar Heel state anytime… so long as you bring me a Texas brisket offering.

 

(NC BBQ) Anarchy in the U.K.

I’m four years late on this one, but as any true barbecue fan knows good things are worth the wait.  Loyal reader Porcophile recently emailed me with the link to an article published in London’s the Guardian newspaper in June 2009. The subject?  You guessed it, North Carolina barbecue.

Journalist Joshua Stein is a Brooklyn-based Barbejew, judging by his name, who at the time wrote for the Guardian.  (Where are you now, Joshua Stein?  The Guardian needs you, as it’s NC BBQ coverage has really slipped over the years).  The article Mr. Stein authored is a fairly pro forma overview of North Carolina barbecue, so I’m bringing it to your attention only as a further indicator that North Carolina barbecue will someday takeover the world.  No word on whether the Brits like their barbecue served over a jacket potato, but I’d be surprised to learn otherwise.

Although we owe our eternal gratitude to the Spaniards for introducing the hog to America (thanks Columbus, and a belated Happy Holiday to you!) , it is good to know that others in Europe are being introduced to slow-cooked swine.

When Barbecue Attacks

Usually barbecue is a docile creature, but if provoked it will attack.  Just ask the good folks of Cleveland County: http://www.ncdhhs.gov/pressrel/2013/2013-09-17_clev_co_salmonella_outbreak.htm.

It Ain’t Easy Being Judgy

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a barbecue judge, and imagined it’s all fun and games, think again.  It’s hard work.  Well, sort of.  See Jeri Rowe’s account in the Greensboro News & Record.