Scott’s-Parker Bar-B-Q, Lexington TN

In March, we drove to Memphis for a three-day visit. On the way out there, we detoured to have lunch at one of the most celebrated barbecue restaurants in Tennessee, and it really lived up to the hype. Continue reading “Scott’s-Parker Bar-B-Q, Lexington TN”

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Speedy Lohr’s of Arcadia, Lexington NC

On my previous solo trips through North Carolina, I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the “tray” style of barbecue with red slaw. This was Marie’s first opportunity to enjoy Lexington-style barbecue in the way it’s most commonly served. Continue reading “Speedy Lohr’s of Arcadia, Lexington NC”

Lexington Barbecue, Lexington NC (take two)

I first visited Lexington Barbecue two years ago on a day when some program on the Travel Channel was shooting an episode of one of their many shows about driving around and eating well, and I’ve wondered ever since whether the food might not be even better when it’s prepared and served outside the madness and chaos of a taping day. What I enjoyed then was really good, don’t get me wrong, but if my experience has taught me anything, it’s that kitchens often don’t do their best work when outside forces like festivals or TV shows are slamming the restaurant. Continue reading “Lexington Barbecue, Lexington NC (take two)”

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”

Bar-B-Q Center, Lexington NC

Here’s another silly reason why this circumnavigation was unlike the three previous ones. On those outings, the best meal of the trip – the life-affirming, revealing, “this is better than I was expecting” visit to a legendary old place – came halfway through the jaunt, roughly at the furthest point from Atlanta. Those were Brick Pit in Mobile, Scott’s BBQ in Hemingway, and Brooks Barbecue in Muscle Shoals. However, the high point this time out came at my fourth stop, Lexington’s Bar-B-Q Center. This was an astonishing little meal. Continue reading “Bar-B-Q Center, Lexington NC”

Lexington Barbecue, Lexington NC

As I drove toward Lexington, home of the legendary Lexington Barbecue, I had a feeling that, even with an early afternoon arrival, I’d find a pretty good crowd. Yet I was still quite surprised to find their lot much more than full. I parked along with ten or eleven other cars on the side of the road beneath the lot and began trudging up the hill. This place was more popular than I imagined! Or, well, you know, they may have let their regulars know that today would be a good day to be on TV:

Oh! No wonder there was such a mob! Continue reading “Lexington Barbecue, Lexington NC”

City Barbeque, Lexington KY

It’s not accurate to say that our dining out on this trip went off without a hitch. We hit every restaurant that we hoped to visit but one: the Tolly-Ho in Lexington. The plan had been to visit the Explorium Children’s Museum in that city on the way home, but first, we got a later start than we thought, since our visit to Jungle Jim’s was such an adventure. Then, as we crawled down the street in that city we were directed down, through bumper-to-bumper traffic, we saw that the Explorium didn’t have a dedicated parking lot, and all the surface lots were a steep $15-20 to park! Hideous traffic, very high parking charges, and twenty thousand people walking around in blue and gray… yes, that’s right, I forgot to check the sports schedules of the cities we’d be visiting. Continue reading “City Barbeque, Lexington KY”