Friday, March 23, 2007

Short Sugar's - Postcard from the Road

Short Sugar's in Reidsville is featured in a Postcards from the Road article in the News and Observer. The history of the Short Sugar's name is well featured, but no mention is made of the other Short Sugar's in Danville VA.

The slideshow is tremendous. It gives a good representation of visiting the place.

Hog Heaven voted "Best Caterer" by CitySearch

From a Durham News news article, Hog Heaven on Guess Road in Durham has been voted Best Caterer by CitySearch, a Triangle web-site. Hog Heaven makes decent barbecue, but has never been made a good enough impression to get a top rating on this site.

Congratulations to Hog Heaven. It is good to see a barbecue place recognized for something other than its red-neck charm.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

"What's your beef" by Greg Cox

In yet another pro-Rub's posting, Greg Cox from the N&O lauds their beef brisket sandwich.

Executive Summary
The beef brisket sandwich at Rub's is good enough to be considered Carolina barbecue.
The beef brisket sandwich at Rub's is pretty good. It's chopped and has more personality than their barbecue. The competition for a good beef brisket sandwich in the Triangle is pretty slim. Would-be contenders are Danny's (my favorite), Jim's Original / Red Hot and Blue and the Q Shack.
If it's not pork, it is not Carolina barbecue, period. Beef brisket, Austin-style, is my favorite, but you have to go to Austin for that.

"Smokin'" by Greg Cox

Greg Cox posted this opening review of Rub's Smokehouse, Morrisville, on his blog, the Epicurean for the Raleigh N&O.

Executive Summary
Loves the ribs.
The chopped pork is decent.
Having not had the ribs (yet), I would temper my enthusiasm.

"Where to get your barbecue fix" by Greg Cox

Greg Cox, the food critic in the Raleigh News and Observer, publishes a blog called the Epicurean. He recently posted Where to get your barbecue fix about Triangle barbecue restaurants.

Executive Summary
Greg recommends four restaurants: Allen and Sons (north), Rub's (Morrisville), The Barbecue Joint (Chapel Hill) and the Q Shack (Raleigh).
The two barbecue restaurants in Chapel Hill are superb. Rub's is alright. We agree on three out of four.
My experience with the Q Shack has only been in Durham. I will need to check out the Raleigh location. I would have exchanged the Q Shack with one of the Danny's restaurants (RTP, Cary, Morrisville).

I will continue to track Greg's blog and post here his comments on barbecue restaurants.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Openings and Closings

Dan Murray's on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh is closed.

South House Cafe, formerly Lewis's, in Morrisville is closed.

A new barbecue buffet restaurant, "The Big Pig", has opened on Hillsborough Street near 15th in Durham. The building was a Mexican restaurant and before that a Chinese restaurant. Last week, there is a taqueria wagon parked next to building, reflecting its Mexican heritage. The building still looks like a Chinese restaurant from the outside. It'll be interesting to see how it looks on the inside.

AW's has been sold and renamed Backyard BBQ Pit, but has kept the same barbecyue chef.

Acceptable - Hog Heaven, Washington NC

Address - 1969 W 5th St, Washington, NC Map
Style - Sit-down restaurant

Some barbecue restaurants sell t-shirts or jars of their sauce at the cash register. Hog Heaven appears to have be a gift shop behind the cash register. It looked a little tacky.

The waitress brought a plate of hushpuppies and corn sticks before ordering. Both hush puppies and the corn sticks were dry and just edible. I ordered a barbecue plate, which came with slaw and bread (the hush puppies and corn sticks). When the plate came, it was just covered with a layer of barbecue. The slaw came in a separate dish for serving family style. The amount of slaw seemed to be small for the size of the party (as was the number of hush puppies and corn sticks), but in both cases, it didn't matter due to lack of interest in the food. The barbecue was acceptable, typical eastern style, with a nice note of vinegar. The quality of the meat earns this place an acceptable, but just.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Recommended - Fuzzy's Pit Cooked Bar-B-Q, Madison NC

Address - 407 Highway Street, Madison, NC 27025 Map
Style - Sit-down restaurant

Fuzzy is not a word I'd like to apply to barbecue, but Fuzzy's in Madison has been serving barbecue since 1954. Originally a drive-in, now this restaurant has sit-down, carry-out and catering. The building is wrapped in windows, so reflective that you cannot see inside. The only indication that it is a restaurant is the sign at the street. The woodpile next to the building by the catering entrance shows that the smoker is a wood burner.

The menu boasts that they only use lean pork and smoke over hickory. The resulting product is excellent. I ordered a sliced pork tray, which came with red slaw and hush puppies. The pork was among the best I've had at any restaurant. The slaw was very good, with just enough sauce. The hush puppies were made in long strands, which broke into irregular lengths. The only off note was that the hush puppies were unevenly cooked, with most of the hush puppy cooked right, with some parts overcooked to dry. Overall, this meal was a good experience.