Barbecue ( Discuss barbecue and grilling--southern style "low and slow" smoking of ribs, shoulders and briskets, as well as direct heat grilling of everything from burgers to salmon to vegetables.

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Old 27-04-2004, 05:49 AM
Chef Juke
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Default Lexington, NC BBQ Report....(Day 1)

Dang me...keep changing subject lines on ya...

Well anyway, I am in Charlotte, NC this week for biz and decided to
try some of the famed North Carolina Barbecue in these here parts.
Here is the first day of my trip through Lexington and my stops at 3
of the better known BBQ joints....

Okay, let's see...

Well, first I went to Lexington Barbecue #1. I had tried to go there
right from the airport Sat. night, but pulled up at 9:29, and just as
I turned and saw the sign that says "Closes at 9:30" the lights went
out. Dang!

Spent Sat night and sunday with my Sis-in-law and her family, then
headed out about 11 this morning (purposefully skipping breakfast) for
Lexington again.

Got to Lexington Barbecue about 11:30 and headed inside... Nice clean
place with a lot of friendly waitresses chatting with the regulars.
Got a menu and ended up ordering a Large Chopped Barbecue Tray with
Slaw, Hushpuppies and a glass of sweet tea.

My first taste of Lexington Barbecue was not bad. Not exactly what
I'd expected either. The meat was more chopped than pulled and I
wrote down the following description on my notepad (yeah, I brought a
notepad) "Dry...but juicy". I guess the best way to put it is that
the meat was kinda dry but the vinegar sauce made it SEEM juicy.
Most of the flavor seemed to be more in the kina sweet vinegar sauce
than in the meat. The hushpuppies were moist inside and had a good,
slightly corny flavor. The slaw was different than any slaw I had had
before but was pretty goodl Kinda citrusy ith a kick that I think was
just onions but it hit me as almost horseradishy. The sweet tea was
not as overwhelmingly sweet as most that I've had down south before.

Okay, on to Speedy's....

Speedys I just drove up to the side with the curb service (man, those
hush puppies are kinda filling...I might not be able ot eat much
more...) Got a SMALL chopped tray with slaw and hush puppies...opened
up the wrapped tray to get just a bite before I headed on...MMM..much
juicier meat than Lexington...Slaw was good...a little less bite and
maybe a little more sweet....

On to the Barbecue Center.

On the way I'm munching on Speedy's hush puppies...definitely sweeter
and more corn flavor than Lexington's.....

Barbecue Center I pull up to the Curb Service again and within 3
minutes I have another bag with a small tray and hushpuppies. Take a
quick bite of meat....A LOT more smoke flavor and there's some bark
mixed in (hadn't seen any in either Lexington or Speedy's) slightly
bigger chunks of meat than Speedy's, but dryer throughout. The
Hushpuppies were darker on the outside and dryer on the inside...don't
know if it was just that they were overcooked, but seemed less tasty
and more like dry cornbread mix.

Now, here comes the funny part. I get to my hotel in Charlotte and
meet the main folks I have the biz meetings with this week and we all
go out to the Smokey Bones restaurant across the way...
well first off, I am plumb full already, but I gotta go as it's the
getting to know you dinner. Anyway, I am NOT expecting much when
walking into a chain BBQ restaurant ( went to a Tony Roma's once.
Once. And that will be the only time). Anyway, I start reading the
menu and they SAY that they smoke their pork butts for 12 hours and
hand pull it. Okay, I'll try some...I get the pulled pork and St.
Louis Rib dinner with Slaw and Collard greens.

The funny part? Meat wise, the pulled pork was the best I had today.
Mind you, it already had some sauce mixed in with it (the sauce was
neither here nor there..a memphis sweet molassass type sauce), but the
meat was juicy, not overcooked, hand pulled in bigger pieces than any
of the three Lexington joints I had been in earlier. I was actually
wishing I could try some of THIS pork with some of the sauces and
sides from the other places. The slaw was more of the kind I'm used
to, thinly sliced white & red cabbage with a sweet white sauce (I've
used 1/2 & 1/2 and vinegar). The Ribs were real, but too salty for my
taste. Would have been fine if they toned down the salt factor more.

So, forgetting about the Smokey Bones for a minute, here's my Summary
from the Lexington Joints:

Juiciest Meat.
Best hush Puppies.

Best flavor, Most smoke.

Best Slaw

IF, what I had today was a good representation (If I was REALLY
reviewing, I'd go to each place at least 3 times) then if I had to
choose one of the three to recommend, it would be SPEEDY'S.

My biggest dissapointment overall was the texture of most of the
chopped seemed to be maciated to the point of losing much of
the natural texture of the meat, which I like (if the meat is cooked
right and is juicy and pulled right. It may just be a personal

If I can manage to not eat much between now and Thursday, I may give
some of
these places a second try as well as checking out Jimmy's, Stameys and
whatever else my stomach can put up with. Think I'll
go for the sliced pork next go around....


lex-001.jpg - lex-007.jpg LEXINGTON BARBECUE #1
lex-008 - lex-013.jpg SPEEDY'S BARBECUE
lex-014.jpg - lex-018.jpg THE BARBECUE CENTER

If anybody has suggestions for other places to try in the area.

Thursday I drive to Raleigh, then Friday down I-95 to Savannah, then
Woodbine, GA....

(Still waiting to see if my Dad is up for a trip down to Big Jims in

-Chef Juke
"EVERYbody Eats when they come to MY House!

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Old 27-04-2004, 02:34 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Lexington, NC BBQ Report....(Day 1)

Chef Juke wrote in message . ..
Dang me...keep changing subject lines on ya...

Great post Chef. Get to Stamey's if you can. It might rank in between
Speedy's and Barbecue Center.
If Smokey Bones in Greensboro were open I'd say let's meet up.

Q' 4 All
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Old 27-04-2004, 04:50 PM
Kevin S. Wilson
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Default Lexington, NC BBQ Report....(Day 1)

On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 00:49:29 -0400, Chef Juke

My biggest dissapointment overall was the texture of most of the
chopped seemed to be maciated to the point of losing much of
the natural texture of the meat, which I like (if the meat is cooked
right and is juicy and pulled right.

That was my experience at a half-dozen Q joints in the Research
Triangle area. Didn't care for it much, either.

Kevin S. Wilson
Tech Writer at a University Somewhere in Idaho
"Anything, when cooked in large enough batches, will be vile."
--Dag Right-square-bracket-gren, in alt.religion.kibology
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Old 28-04-2004, 12:17 AM
Nelson Brooks
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Default Lexington, NC BBQ Report....(Day 1)

go to Maurices in west Columbia or to Melvin's in Charleston or Johnny
Harris in Savannah

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Old 29-04-2004, 01:08 AM
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Default Lexington, NC BBQ Report....(Day 1)

Funny you should post this - I was on a business trip to NC earlier this
week and went out of my way to Lex #1 for some Q too. I wish now that I'd
gone to Speedy's or someplace else.... even Burger King.

I can't remember the last time I was that dissapointed in a meal. The pork
was chopped to the point that it looked like it had been run through a food
processor. The sauce had no character whatsoever. Their hushpuppies were
bad joke! They looked/tasted like the frozen variety you can sometimes find
in the grocery store. The slaw was decent enough but, like the pork,
chopped too fine for my taste.

I don't know... maybe I caught them on a bad night - but I won't be back.

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