Little Richard’s Lexington BBQ, Winston-Salem NC

In the past, when I’ve taken these little trips, I’ve usually gone on a Friday and Saturday. This time, I did it on Thursday and Friday, because I took my daughter to see the campus of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. She really liked the place, I’m glad to say. Her grades need a little more of a kick in the pants to make it into such a good school, but at least in the short term, she came back motivated and started reporting some higher test scores. She still has a little time to get that GPA looking better. Continue reading “Little Richard’s Lexington BBQ, Winston-Salem NC”

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Stamey’s Barbecue, Greensboro NC

I was last in the Piedmont Triad two years ago, and could not find a hotel room for love nor money. I eventually settled on an awful, awful place in Winston-Salem that was so grim that I couldn’t wait to review it at Expedia and warn whomever would listen that it was, literally, the Bates Motel. Of course, had I checked those reviews before I left, then I would have seen that four of ten previous reviewers had already called it that. Continue reading “Stamey’s Barbecue, Greensboro NC”

Fuzzy’s Bar-B-Q, Madison NC

Just as I will never get used to how wide Tennessee and North Carolina are, I will also never get used to how quickly you can get from the south part of each state to its northern border. We left Lexington and it seemed like we were in Madison, twenty miles from the Virginia line, in the time it took for the awesome flavor of Smiley’s to pass on. Was it worth traveling so far north? Absolutely. As much as I enjoyed Smiley’s, I liked Fuzzy’s even better. Continue reading “Fuzzy’s Bar-B-Q, Madison NC”

Smiley’s Lexington BBQ, Lexington NC

So my daughter and I were visiting North Carolina together, and the third stop on our barbecue tour was at one of the ninety-something places in the city of Lexington that specialize in smoked pork. That is only a mild exaggeration. The city of 20,000 people is the home of about twenty different barbecue joints – about one for every thousand residents. This was only my second stop in the city, and I’m aware of a simple walking tour that takes in five of them. Just have cash handy if you try it; many of these places do not take plastic. Smiley’s also stands apart from most in town because it’s open on Sunday; very few of the others are. Continue reading “Smiley’s Lexington BBQ, Lexington NC”

M & K Bar-B-Q, Granite Quarry NC

People frequently ask us where we hear about the restaurants that we visit, and the honest answer is “lots of places,” but we have a great resource when it comes to this state. The North Carolina Barbecue Society features a famous Trail Map with, at present, 23 restaurants on it. At the conclusion of this trip, we’ve now visited 20 of them. I scheduled six new-to-us stops on this drive from their trail, but, and this is no exaggeration, my daughter and I also drove past at least nine other barbecue joints that we could easily have tried. Plus, Our State magazine has a BBQ NC app that will help anybody in the Old North State find something good to eat. Continue reading “M & K Bar-B-Q, Granite Quarry NC”

Bill Spoon’s Barbecue, Charlotte NC (take two)

In February, I took another two-day barbecue tour, and on this one, I spent a little more money than I sometimes do, because I brought my daughter along with me. She’s seventeen, a high school sophomore thinking about her college options. Or, more specifically, her old man’s thinking about her college options while she’s complaining about boys on Snapchat. Anyway, I dragged her along to North Carolina and visited seven new-to-me places and revisited a couple that I wanted to try again. First up was Bill Spoon’s, which Marie and I visited on our honeymoon road trip seven years previously. Continue reading “Bill Spoon’s Barbecue, Charlotte NC (take two)”

Regional Treats in Gastonia NC

And so the question was asked, what should we eat next in Charlotte? Queen City Q was probably the obvious choice, but they’re located right by the local arena, which was hosting a Hornets game that night. The next choice would be a place that I actually visited once before, Kyle Fletcher’s in Gastonia. The girlchild, her older brother, and I had lunch here while passing through on our way to Toronto in 2006 and I would love to try it again. Unfortunately, this restaurant is just insanely popular on Saturday evenings. We were lucky to find a parking place, and after milling with several other guests inside the door, concluded that the hyper three year-old couldn’t wait the 45 minutes-plus that they were quoting, so I took a picture of the sign with the nice sunset behind it and activated Plan C. Continue reading “Regional Treats in Gastonia NC”