BBQ Jew’s View: Country Barbeque

4012 W Wendover Ave, Greensboro, NC
336.292.3557‎
No Website
BBQ Jew’s Grade: B
Porky Says: “Good enough to make you dance.”

Barbecue Clubs and Gentleman’s Joints
Country Barbeque is the only barbecue joint I know of that is located immediately adjacent to a strip club. (See the Google Maps street view–note that what look like large stained glass windows on the strip club are actually fake, which is probably consistent with what lies inside the club.) Luckily, Country Barbeque’s naughty neighbor is not the main reason to visit. 

Country Barbeque in Greensboro, from http://hkentcraig.com/BBQ36.html

Country Barbeque in Greensboro, from http://hkentcraig.com/BBQ36.html

Electric Table Dance
The food that the friendly, efficient wait staff at Country Barbeque bring to the table is quite good. The joint serves moist, tasty barbecue that is chopped to an ideal consistency—not too fine and not too chunky. The dip that accompanies the ‘cue is an excellent, sharply vinegared dark brown mixture that is reminiscent of the dip served at Lexington #1.  The red barbecue slaw that accompanied my ‘cue was good, although a little bit sweet for my taste.  The hush puppies were only mediocre, as they were small and somewhat overcooked.  I had a better than average piece of homemade peach cobbler for dessert. 

Now understand that I say all these positive things about the pork served at Country Barbeque knowing full well that they do not cook it over wood coals.  Continue reading

BBQ Jew’s View: Bullock’s Bar B Cue

3330 Quebec Dr., Durham, NC
919.383.3211
No Website
BBQ Jew’s Grade: C
Porky Says: “Never mind the Bullock’s.”

Not Really a Barbecue Joint
I think I’d like Bullock’s more if it didn’t serve barbecue.

It’s not that Bullock’s barbecue is bad, but it seems like an afterthought on a huge menu that does a good job serving southern food from fried chicken to fish to ham, with all the sides you could ever want.  Bullock’s is a pretty good southern style restaurant that also serves so-so, Eastern-style electric-cooked barbecue (they long ago abandoned cooking over wood). The barbecue is pretty non-descript, standard fare for wood-free, Eastern-style ‘cue, though it is available either chopped or sliced, which adds some variety.   Frankly, I’m not sure what else to say about the barbecue, especially after seeing how Bullock’s attorneys have reacted to comments H. Kent Craig made about rumors regarding the source of Bullock’s barbecue. 

Family dining at Bullock's.  From http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3597/3321910552_25fd70ac3c.jpg
Bullock’s spacious dining room.  Picture taken from http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3597/3321910552_25fd70ac3c.jpg

It’s A Family Affair
Bullock’s is a family-run business that draws a mixed crowd of Durham natives, Duke students who have likely never tasted barbecue anywhere else except for possibly the Original Q-Shack, and the occasional celebrity.  (The vintage 1980’s picture of Bono and U2 with the classic, underwhelmed caption “Band from Ireland” is far and away my personal favorite.). There is actually much to like about Bullock’s, especially the “family style” dinners where everyone in your dining party agrees to eat what amounts to a buffet brought to your table—bottomless bowls of barbecue, chicken, vegetables, etc. And the endless supply of sweet, soft hush puppies that accompanies every meal is hard to resist, even if it is a wee bit unnecessary.

Closing Thoughts
Bullock’s has probably helped spread the gospel of barbecue to tens of thousands of folks over the years, especially given the number of out of town visitors who find their way to Bullock’s through Duke or other connections.  Hopefully many of those folks have gone on to try some ‘cue from other joints that do more justice to the ‘cue NC has to offer.  Still, if you can manage your expectations, you shouldn’t be disappointed by the overall dining experience at Bullock’s.  I’ve always enjoyed my trips there because of the friendly atmosphere, the large and diverse crowd of diners, and the fact that Bullock’s really is a Durham institution.  As long as you don’t go to Bullock’s looking for a great plate of barbecue you’ll enjoy yourself.

For an interesting post on the history of Bullock’s Bar B Cue, see our pal at Endangered Durham’s post here.

BBQ Jew’s View: Scott’s

 

1201 N. William St., Goldsboro, NC
(919) 734-0711
Scott’s Website
BBQ Jew’s Grade: C
Porky Says: “Pay Scott’s your respects, or just buy a bottle of their sauce.”

A Proud History
I’ve been traveling to Goldsboro for work for the past couple years and finally was able to catch the legendary Scott’s on a day when the dining room was open.  The owners had recently recovered from some health problems that had kept them from running the restaurant for several months.  They are now open a couple days a week for lunch.  Although the barbecue was middle of the road at best (alas, it has been years since Scott’s wood-cooked their ‘cue), I am very happy to have made my way through Scott’s doors.

Scott’s has been selling barbecue for over 90 years, which is an amazing feat in itself and makes it one of the oldest barbecue joints around (and likely one of the longest running family-owned businesses in NC). Many people know Scott’s for its sauce, which is the most widely available of NC barbecue sauces, but may be unaware of the restaurant.  It sits in a modest building right next to a large but unassuming bottling facility, where Scott’s peppery hot vinegar

Alas, these days no wood is harmed in Scott's pit

Tree huggers rejoice, it has been years since any wood was harmed by Scott's pit

concoction is made and distributed.

 The history is palpable at Scott’s, especially with the portrait of founder Rev. Adam Scott on the walls and the fact that his grandkids run the place today.  This kind of family legacy is what NC barbecue is all about.  Rev. Scott was an African-American preacher who started selling barbecue out of his home in 1917.  According to Holy Smoke it was not long before Rev. Scott decided to close in his porch and call his home a restaurant.  In the late-1940s, after a Continue reading

BBQ Jew’s View: White Swan Bar-B-Q & Fried Chicken

Multiple Locations around Johnston County, NC
Multiple Phone Numbers
One Website 
(with multiple menus, multiple photos, & more)
BBQ Jew’s Grade: B (about the highest we’ll go on gas/electric-cooked)
Porky Says: “Gas-cooked pig at a gas station, but it’s good.” 

Running on Empty
“What kind of idiot stops for barbecue at a gas station?,” I asked myself. And then I answered my own question.

Logo from H. Kent Craig's NC-Style BBQ Site

Logo from H. Kent Craig's NC-Style BBQ Site

I had driven past the two gas station-embedded White Swans alongside Highway 70 between Raleigh and Goldsboro several times before this particular day. I had never before had a good meal at a gas station, and I didn’t see any particular reason to try and change that history. Furthermore, I am skeptical of chain restaurants in general and barbecue chains in particular, and White Swan has six locations (six is a heck of a lot by BBQ standards and is five more than most good joints). Plus, there really is nothing about the White Swans on Highway 70 that stands out. Perhaps if the gas stations that house the White Swans were rustic old service stations with overall-clad mechanics pumping gas from a one handled pump I’d have been more intrigued. But these are just dull, modern, no-service stations. Still, today was different: it was dinner time and my gas tank was desperately low. I decided to order a plate of good old fashioned pork grease biofuel along with my tank of 87 Regular. Continue reading