Whole Hog in Asheville? Buxton Hill says yes

With all due respect to President Obama’s favorite 12 Bones, Asheville is not a barbecue town.  However, Asheville is taking a decidedly down east step toward building its barbeculture.  Word on the Twittersphere is that a new whole hog barbecue restaurant will be opening in Asheville later this summer.

According to its Twitter profile (yes, I spent a lot of time researching this post), Buxton Hill will offer “All wood, Pit Smoked, Pastured Whole Hog Barbeque & Heirloom Southern Fare.”  At first blush this sounds an awful lot like a western North Carolina version of Raleigh’s (and soon Durham’s) down home-upscale restaurant, The Pit. And, yes, that is both a compliment (wood cooking and whole hogs should be encouraged) and an insult.

I’m curious to learn more about Buxton Hill, and given all the good beer flowing on the streets of Asheville, it won’t take much convincing for me to visit whether or not the barbecue is any good.

Barbecue Inn in Asheville Shuts Doors for Last Time After 50 Years

On several occasions I have bemoaned the dearth of good barbecue in western North Carolina.  One place that provided barbecue to the good people of the high altitude part of our state was The Barbecue Inn in Asheville.  Unfortunately, the joint located just outside of downtown on Patton Avenue has closed up shop after 50 years in business.  It is sad to see another family-owned, long-time barbecue joint succumb to the economy.  More details are here in the Asheville Citizen-Times.

WWOD: Where Would Obama Dine?

As you may have heard the POTUS and First Lady descended on–ascended to, more accurately–Asheville over the weekend to enjoy some good old fashioned R&R.  The Obamas still have a lot of vacation time to take if they have any shot at matching George W. & Laura Bush’s work ethic, but (never mind, that’s a comment perhaps best saved for another blog). What was the first thing the Obamas did when they arrived in town?  They ate barbecue, of course!

Now, normally I would be excited to have the President and his lady visit NC and eat barbecue.  Obama did this several times during the campaign, as politicians are pretty well obligated to do whether or not they have a taste for the stuff.  But this time was different.  He’s in charge now.  Plus, he should have no concerns about winning the Asheville vote in 2012.

Full disclosure: I voted for Obama and I think he’s a smart guy.  Heck, even if each night you pray for a Sarah Palin/Glenn Beck ticket in 2012, you probably recognize that Obama is an intelligent dude.  But when he visited Asheville–vegeterian-paradise-Asheville, deep-in-the-mountains-where-the-altitude-limits-the-flow-of-oxygen-to-the-brain-Asheville, most-of-the-people-there-wouldn’t-know-good-NC-BBQ-if-it-built-its-own-pit-and-cooked-itself-Asheville–Obama should have been smart enough to order something besides ‘cue.  That’s my opinion.

Needless to say, the media was thrilled to see the Prez tuck into some “real” NC barbecue.  The headline of the Washington Post article gushed, “Vacationing Obamas order up a heaping helping of Carolina barbecue.”  But what the not-from-’round-here media failed to notice, unsurprisingly, was that the Obamas ordered ribs, which are not an NC staple by any stretch of the imagination, as well as a bunch of sides that failed to include the ubiquitous slaw or hush puppies. 

So, the real story is that the Obamas visited 12 Bones Smokehouse in Asheville, North Carolina and ordered Kansas City-style barbecue.  Which is pretty much equivalent to visiting a seafood restaurant in the land of lobster, Maine, and ordering fried catfish.  Oh well, at least the Obamas didn’t give Palin/Beck ’12 any ammunition by dining at a vegetarian great like Rosetta’s Kitchen or the Laughing Seed.  Though if he had dined at either of those places I can promise he would have had a more authentically Asheville, North Carolina meal.  If nothing else, by eating pork ribs the President dealt a blow to the lingering suspicions that he is a secret Muslim… unless, of course, Fox News reveals that he goes by the nom de plume Barberak Oribsa and is the force behind BBQMuslim.com.