It’s a new year and the perfect time for a little bit of reflection on 2010. Without a doubt, my favorite new dining experiences over the past year had one thing in common: I had to drive an extra mile (or 50) to seek out traditional, wood-cooked barbecue at places like Grady’s in Dudley, Wink’s in Salisbury and The Skylight Inn in Ayden. Unfortunately, I also ate a lot of mediocre ‘cue, and almost all of it was made in electric or gas-fired cookers.
There was a time when mediocre barbecue was good enough for me; I suppose that pignorance is bliss. But the more barbecue I eat the less tolerant I am for so-so swine. Unless it is doused with a terrific sauce and served with outstanding sides, in my experience electric/gas-cooked pork is rarely better than okay. After a year of eating more than my share of forgettable barbecue, I am looking forward to focusing on eating at the traditional pit-cooked ‘cue joints as time allows, while passing over most of the faux ‘cue. Consider that my first BBQ Jew Year’s resolution. My other resolutions include:
-Finally write reviews of several restaurants that I dined at awhile back and still haven’t reviewed, in large part because I really don’t enjoy writing negatives things about someone’s livelihood.
-Continue to interview interesting folks for the BBQ&A section of this site, as that has been my favorite part of running this site for the past two years. Look for a BBQ&A with NC barbecue legend Bob Garner, as well as others, soon. If you have any suggestions for BBQ&A interviewees, let me know.
-Convince some friends and strangers to contribute guest posts to mix things up. After all, it’s hard work reading your own words three times a week.
-Most of all, enjoy another year of rambling on about the incredible, edible world of North Carolina barbecue.
Best wishes for the year ahead,