Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Restaurant Ratings

Recommended Google Map to all Recommended Restaurants
Hursey's - Burlington and Graham
Danny's - RTP, Morrisville and Cary
Allen and Son North - Chapel Hill
McCall's BBQ and Seafood - Clayton
Bud's Barbecue, Cumnock
Short Sugar's - Danville VA
Stamey's - Greensboro
Fuzzy's Pit Cooked Bar-B-Q, Madison
Clyde Cooper's - Raleigh
Jackson Brothers BBQ, Sanford
Neil Holden, Youngsville
Dixie Bell's, Apex
Bar B Q King, Charlotte
Bob's Barbecue, Creedmoor
Byrd's Bar-B-Que, Durham
Hog Heaven - Durham
Backyard BBQ Pit - Durham
Ole NC Barbecue, Durham
Smithfield's BBQ and Chicken, Garner
Country Barbecue, Greensboro
Smoky Joe's, Lexington
Lexington #1, Lexington
Speedy's, Lexington
Smokey's BBQ Shack - Morrisville
Barbecue Lodge - Raleigh
Ole Time Barbecue, Raleigh
Short Sugar's Drive-in - Reidsville
Stamey's Barbecue of Tyro, Tyro
Hog Heaven, Washington
Stephenson's Bar-B-Q, Willow Springs
Barely Acceptable
Tony's BBQ, Hillsborough
Good Barbecue from Non-barbecue Restaurants and Others
Brookwood Farms, Siler City
Cook-Out - Durham
Refreshment Stands at the Smith Center - Chapel Hill

NC Pork Producers tent at the NC State Fair
On the list to try
Pik N Pig - Carthage
Grady's - Dudley
Jimmy's, Stamey's, Smiley's - Lexington
Hawg Wild - Pisgah Forest
Bridge's - Shelby
White Swan - Smithfield
Fire Pit - Wake Forest


Anonymous said...

Dave, get to Allen and Sons in Hillsborough (not Chapel Hill)...right away!! Great BBQ, the best fries around and a superb hamburger. What's takin you so long?

Dave said...

Allen and Sons has been visited and recommended.

White Swan is on the list to visit now.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Anonymous said...

I can vouch for Danny's and Dixie Bell's.

Danny's has good BBQ, but their St. Louis ribs and their fried catfish are outstanding. And my wife just loves their fried corn nuggets. Clean restaurant. Good, friendly service. And Danny himself is usually wandering around chatting with folks.

Dixie Bell's I've only been to a couple of times, but I was seriously impressed on both occasions. Excellent barbecue, brisket and ribs. Generous portions. And they have a "sauce bar" where folks can choose from a whole array of hot sauce, Texas-style BBQ sauce, and vinegar mop sauces.

Dave said...

roy - I just got to Dixie Bell's, so a review is forthcoming. I didn't see the sauce bar, so I just used what was on the table.

And I love Danny's.

Thalia said...

Hi. I enjoy the blog. Thanks for the recommended list. My family eats at Danny's in Morrisville quite often. The service is great and they also offer several kids eat free nights each week which is a plus for us. I was just wondering do you rate ribs too?

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable, a NC BBQ critic that has never been to the best BBQ restaurants in North Carolina, first on the list is Keaton's BBQ in Statesville, NC, i grew up on this stuff, you cant get enough of it. second is B's Barbecue in Greenville, NC, It is ridiculously good. Third, you need to go to whitakers BBQ in scotland neck, nc, close to rocky mount. you really have got to try these three places if you are going to be a BBQ critic

oakland heidi said...

I love it. I'm going to have to revisit your site... I'm thinking of moving to NC in the next few months...

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite places is Little Richard's Bar-B-Que in Yadkinville, NC. There are 2 or 3 other locations in Winston-Salem that I haven't been to, but I've heard are just as good as the Yadkinville location.

So if you're ever in that area of the state, I reccomend trying one of their locations.

Hogwild said...

I grew up in NC and lived there until 03'. I hate to see A&M with such a low rating. I went to high school in Mebane (88 - 92) and they were acceptable back then. I haven't been there since 95 or so, though, so I'll take your word on it.

Anonymous said...


A couple of places I visited recently on a trip to the mountains, may be kind of out of your usual circuit, but both got my thumbs up.

Tar Heel Q, on Highway 64, right on the Yadkin River between Lexington and Mocksville, serves up a fine Lexington-style pig, with the pit belching lots of wood smoke. I wasn't real hungry when we stopped there, so just got a sandwich. It was piled so high as to be just about impossible to eat by hand, and came with barbecue slaw. Hush puppies on the side were so-so.

The truly delightful surprise was Hawg Wild Bar-B-Que in Pisgah Forest. I have ordered Eastern-style barbecue in mountain places and gotten pulled pork with Lexington-style sauce...not that there's anything wrong with that, and maybe Eastern is a relative thing when you get that far west. Hawg Wild, though, has an Eastern-style 'cue that is the real thing, not a hint of a tomato in sight, nicely smoked, and with a tangy, but slightly sweet vinegar sauce. They also serve a Western-style, but it seems to take its inspiration from Memphis, as it comes with no sauce, and the western-style sauce on the table is thick sweet red stuff. They have a little smoker on the back of the building that doesn't look big enough to handle a day's worth of pig, but they swear it's all done with wood. According to their website, the owner learned to cook when he was in the Air Force and stationed in Goldsboro. The large East/West combo is more than an ordinary mortal can eat in one sitting. They're on Highway 276, just before it gets swallowed up in the National Forest.

Anonymous said...


I applaud your goals here, but I am a bit concerned with your reference to "Lexington Style" with regard to Country Barbecue and by extension Stamey's and "Greensboro Barbecue". I think you are insinuating that these barbecues are the same, when in fact the "Greensboro Style" barbecues you are referencing are much more similar to Eastern Style than Lexington Style. While the GSO joints dont' often use whole hog, they dress their meats in the Eastern style. The defining characteristics of Lexington style are 1) it's use of shoulders, and 2) it's tomato-added sauce. While historically (some) Lexington BBQ came from Greensboro via Stamey's employees who moved to Lexington, there is a significant difference in the Lexington style. Frankly, I'm not sure where or if there is a "line" when the Lexington Style prevails, other than the Lexington city limits, perhaps? Even Keply's BBQ in High Point is more Eastern Style in my mind than Lexington Style, and they are virtually next door to Lexington . In fact, I think they are on the intersection of Main street and Lexinngton Avenue in High Point!

Also, I would strongly encourage you to expand your travels a bit off the hwy 70/85-40 corridor. Try Parker's BBQ in Wilson or Greenville, and Gardner's in Rocky Mount. Go to Roanoake Rapids and check out the buffet at Ralph's (really in Weldon, about 1 mile east of I-95). And Wilbur's in Goldsboro? Finally, I should even mention The 'Q Shack in Durham (and I think there is at least one location in Raleigh); admittedly not Eastern NC style, but still really good.

Good luck, and make sure you go eat some Lexington style bbq that is actually in Lexington, just for a baseline. It will them be unmistakable. Just don't go too far west (or south), or you might run into mustard based sauces! Blasphemous!

Anonymous said...

Putting Danny's on your list compromises every other decision on there. Not even close to acceptable. And there is no Allen and Son BBQ in Hillsborough, it's just on HW 86 towards Hillsborough. Where's the Falls River Smokehouse or The Pit? Wilber's? Speedy's or Jimmy's in Lexington? At least you don't like the Cue Shack.

Anonymous said...


I enjoy reading your blog and wanted you to know I have linked to it from my new NC BBQ blog(see the "Oinks" or links section of If you would be so kind, I'd appreciate you adding a link to my website when you get a chance. If you're not willing to link to the page, no worries. Oh, and I'll TRY and forgive you for your lukewarm reviews of Lexington joints.


Dan aka "Porky LeSwine"

Southern Ape said...

You should also try Kerley's in Welcome, NC. Although I'd take Fuzzy's or Honey Monk's barbeque, Kerley's has the best okra.

Rachel said...

Bullock's in Durham... Why aren't they included?

Anonymous said...

I haven't had the opportunity to go yet, but I wanted to try Holden Barbeque, which is on US1 between Wake Forest and Rolesville. I have no opinion, but thought you may want to add it to your "to try" list.

Anonymous said...

Outlaw BBQ Shack in Matthews, has you all beat. It's a small (take-out-only) place with awesome BBQ. Ribs are the best I've ever eaten ANYWHERE! No frills, hardcore barbecue joint. Definately a must try if you're in the area.

SuziQCat said...

You should head to Shelby, NC and go to Bridges BBQ. There are two restaurants in town, run by brothers, but the one near the hospital is the better one. The slice Q is great...get there early because they will run out.

Anonymous said...

Next time you're in Charlotte, check Mac's Speed Shop. Melt-in-your-mouth brisket and pulled pork.

Anonymous said...

Man, what kind of America-hating communist are you, anyway? You recommend Hursey's, but put Hog Heaven in Durham on the "acceptable" list? Hursey's is a godawful commercialized tourist trap. Even my friends from Burlington don't like it. And everybody knows that Hog Heaven is the best Barbecue in the Triangle.

...Although nothing beats Jimmy's in Lexington.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you haven't done Jimmy's in Lexington. I've eaten at a lot of BBQ joints in my quest to try every place in Norh and South Carolina and Jimmy's is in my top 5. It's up there with Allen and Son, Hurseys, and Stamey's. You need to go ASAP.

genbee said...


Alston and Red were not related, and the current operators of the Bridges restaurants in Shelby are not brothers.

Just a correction from an inlaw to the Alston Bridges clan.

Anonymous said...

you are omitting several gems. There is of course Gary's in China Grove NC. it is right outside Salisbury and had been a staple of Rowan and Cabarrus county families for many years. Also there is The Cabarrus county Oasis Temple. They host an annual fund raising BBQ and offer perfectly smoked sandwiches and shoulders that you can buy whole or by the pound .

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