My good friend and fellow BBQ enthusiast O.B. Goldstein–the O.B. stands for Outside Brown, in case you were wondering–sent me the below picture of a license plate that reads, “WTFBBQ”.  Needless to say, O.B. was puzzled but intrigued by the phrase.  What could it mean?

What The F*%k Barbecue?  Who Tries Frying BBQ?  Why Touch Fool’s Barbecue?  Wonderful Terrific Fantastic BBQ?  The possibilities seemed endless.  Until I Googled the phrase.  (Incidentally, wasn’t life a bit more fun when we were forced to speculate on such matters rather than instantly Googling an answer?)

wtfbbq (2)

What does the license plate actually mean?  If you guessed this definition from, give yourself a pat on the back and then go to your room because you’re grounded!

It’s sad to see the letters BBQ misappropriated for a non-barbecue purpose of any sort, let alone an off color one.  Hopefully karma will catch up with the driver of this car–perhaps in the form of a little trichinosis.

History of Barbecue in Goldsboro

Late last year Carl Eugene McBride, Jr. provided me with a re-revised history of barbecue in Goldsboro, NC.  Alas, I managed to bury his email in my inbox and just came across it again recently.  With apologies for the delay, here is Mr. McBride, Jr.’s new and improved essay.  As I said when I posted the original version, this document ought to be required reading for public school students in Wayne County!

Our State is a Very, Very Fine State

Our State Magazine, which is a real gem when it comes to documenting North Carolina culture, has provided another reason to sign up for a subscription: barbecue.  As reported in Kathleen Purvis’ I’ll Bite blog–and in the copy of Our State that arrived in my mailbox a couple of weeks ago–2013 brings us a series of Our State articles on barbecue.  What could be finer than reading about ‘cue in Carolina?  Well, other than eating it…

Until you get a chance to dine on some swine, or at least read the magazine, view the online Carolina ‘Cue section at

Barbecue Festival Wrap-Up

Postgame video highlights, so to speak, from the 29 annual Barbecue Festival in Lexington.  Visit the Lexington Dispatch for the video, and links to other Festival videos.  Lots of (in?)action shots of people eating barbecue sandwiches…

Greenberg’s Smoked Turkeys

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to get serious about finding the perfect bird.  I’ve grown fond of smoking my own turkey over the past few years.  Smoking a turkey doesn’t take much longer than oven roasting, the meat comes out moister and more flavorful, and the oven stays free for everything else.  Plus, you’re a lot less likely to set your house on fire than cooking the bird in a deep fryer.  (And if you do set your house on fire, at least you’ll add a wonderful hickory smoke aroma in the process.)

If you want the taste of home-smoked turkey without the effort, I have heard rave reviews of Greenberg’s Smoked Turkeys.  These birds are smoked in East Texas and shipped to your doorstep, wherever that may be.  Now, I know North Carolina barbecue fans like myself are supposed to be suspicious of Texan barbecue but with a name like Greenberg, I think I’ve discovered a fellow BBQ Jew…

Charlotte Home of State’s First BBQ Joint?

Fascinating post from last week’s Southern Foodways Alliance blog about barbecue’s surprisingly long history in Charlotte:

Watch Your Back, McRib!

McDonald’s dreadful McRib sandwich is under attack and so is all of western southern civilization: Burger King has announced its plans to bring, ahem, regionally inspired barbecue to the masses.

If Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is to BBQ what the Olive Garden is to Italian food, than Burger King must be Pizza Hut.  The end is near my friends.

Don’t take my word for it?  Look at this quote from Alex Macedo, Burger King’s senior vice president: “Barbecues are synonymous with summer; we gather together with family and friends  to eat great food, and now Burger King offers guests a chance to sit back and  let us take over the grilling.”  Grilling, eh?  Yeah, that about sums it up.


Now in Bookstores

Christmas has come early for the BBQ Jew, in the form of a new Bob Garner tome. 

Bob is already a cultural icon in NC and his latest work should add to his legend.  So far I have just thumbed through, but Bob Garner’s Book of Barbecue has already earned the coveted BBQ Jew seal of approval as shown below.  Buy a copy today at or your local bookstore if you still have one…



Southern Living’s ‘cue awards

Southern Living, that bastion of southern culture as viewed through a sometimes snooty lens (a monacle?) is in its best down home mode with a “‘cue awards” feature, which is available for free online.  North Carolina is well represented, as it should be, including in the cover page video that highlights Sam Jones of the Skylight Inn’s family dynasty as well as legendary pitmaster Ed Mitchell.

Features include “The South’s Best Butt,” which gives props to Allen & Son, Bunn’s, Jimmy’s, Lexington #1, and Red Bridges; my only real quibble with that list is that focusing on butts (shoulders, really) rules out all the great whole hog places down east, but at least they didn’t confuse butts and full hogs. On a low note, only one North Carolina sauce made the Southern Living best of list, and it’s from, gulp, Cary.  It’s a shame that they didn’t include any NC classics; Scott’s sauce would have been worthy of inclusion, among others.

Another feature worth a chuckle is the barbecue personality test.  Porky LeSwine scored a “Pitmaster,” which may be a bit of a stretch but reflects my barbecue fundamentalism. I’m not sure if “yankee” is another possible test result, though I sure hope so. Anyone willing to slander yourself?

There’s quite a bit of other content within the main ‘cue awards page, so you have my permission to leave to browse awhile.


Riding the NC Barbecue Trail

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