Ugly and Delicious

I’ve never accused North Carolina barbecue of looking pretty, but it sure is tasty.  Exhibit A is this plate of ‘cue at Wilber’s in Goldsboro:

A hot mess.

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Wilber the Bunny

Thanks to reader Burgeoningfoodie for making the BBQJew.com News Room aware of the recent story on Playboy’s website about America’s best barbecue joints.  (Actually, for the record, technically Burgeoningfoodie alerted us to a post about the Playboy article that appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer’s Mouthful blog.)

If you are reading BBQJew.com somewhere other than work, I recommend you see the full Playboy article here and the section on Wilber’s here.  If you are currently at work, rest assured the article is 100% nudity-free, but it does contain some graphic depictions of near-naked barbecue covered only in slaw and a bun.  Still, BBQJew.com’s Legal Department recommends you save the article for home, unless you work somewhere that considers it kosher to log onto Playboy.com (in which case, you probably work for Playboy).

The last time a pig and bunny got together.

The last time a pig and bunny worked together.

America’s Largest Pork Display

America's Largest Pork Display

This sign was all I needed to lure me to Nahunta.

I saw the billboard pictured above and it made me crave knowledge and enlightenment (and some pork).  Specifically, I wanted to understand what was meant by, “America’s Largest Pork Display.”  Could I be so lucky?  Could this statement really be true?  And what the heck does “pork display” mean anyway?  These questions burned in my mind like a pork shoulder over hot hickory coals.  So I decided to turn off Highway 70 just west of Goldsboro and follow the road to Nahunta Pork Center.  I’m glad I did.

The Pork King is a benevolent dictator.

The Pork King is a benevolent dictator.

The Nahunta Pork Center (NPC) has been around for over 30 years, and the story goes back  even farther to a 1950s hog market and slaughterhouse located in the small Wayne County township of Nahunta.  It’s hard to believe that anyone could run a successful business in NPC’s off the beaten path location–five miles off the main highway, out in the country and just past the race track, to be specific–for a year let alone half a century.  But judging by the amount of pork I saw for sale at NPC, they must be doing brisk business. 

When you walk in the front door at NPC, you immediately understand why they claim to have America’s largest pork display.  Also, you wonder where else in the world there might be a larger one.  It’s truly a scary thought.  I’m about as far from vegetarian as I can be short of injecting hog fat directly into  my bloodstream, so I’m not easily impressed by the sight of meat for sale.  But one glance at the pork display at NPC is enough to make the most devout carnivore hope to the heavens that God is not, in reality, an angry vegeterian (is there any other kind?).  If He is, I can at least take solace in the fact that the road to hell is paved with good swine.  Continue reading

BBQ Jew’s View: Grady’s BBQ

3096 Arrington Bridge Road, Dudley, NC
919.735.7243
No Website
BBQ Jew’s Grade: A+
Porky Says: “I can now die happy.”

A sneak peek inside the pearly gates.

A sneak peek inside the pearly gates.

I thought about leaving my review at this: go to Grady’s.  That would have been enough said, but the folks at Grady’s deserve a little more good (albeit virtual) ink.  As far as I am concerned, Grady’s is among an elite few of the best barbecue joints in the state.  Unfortunately, their off the beaten path location has kept them in relative obscurity, even though they’ve dished out terrific barbecue for more than 20 years and many well known joints can’t hold a pig’s wax candle to Grady’s pork.

Luckily, it's what's inside that counts.

Luckily, it's what's inside that counts.

To say Grady’s is unassuming at first glance is an understatement.  Let’s start with the location.  Grady’s is in the tiny town of Dudley, about 15 minutes south of downtown Goldsboro–a town featuring the well-known joints Wilber’s, Scott’s and McCall’s–and just a few hundred yards north of a road called Squirrel Ridge Drive.  The building itself (pictured above) could easily be missed were it not standing all by itself on a quiet stretch of windy road, and were it not for the prominent Continue reading

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