Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Cradle of the Cue

Posted May 21, 2007

I know they've been debated and rated many times but what is your favorite barbecue restaurant?

I pose this question today as Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker gather for a barbecue summit on the Capitol Grounds. The event is sponsored by the NC Barbecue Society. The group is pushing the Tar Heel State as "Cradle of the Cue" and the Barbecue Capital of the World.

The NCBS has crafted a map featuring what it calls the 25 best barbecue places in NC. Society founder Jim Early says those honored restaurants are the ones still cooking with wood or charcoal over open pits. Early should know. He traveled across the state visiting and critiquing 228 barbecue places.

Early wants to start a fall festival at or near Manteo where barbecue would be celebrated. It would be called The Lost Barbecue Party.

Here are some of my favorite barbecue places:

Gardner's-Rocky Mount
Woodland's-Blowing Rock

Also, if you know someone who cooks great barbecue outside the restaurant scene feel free to mention them.


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • lilbittyt13 May 23, 2007

    Bunn's in Windsor ! It's so good we used to skip school to go get a sandwich and a pepsi .

  • jdlewis76 May 22, 2007

    B's in Greenville is the best, hands down.

  • jchalmersnc May 22, 2007

    A&M Grill-Mebane

  • rthompson120 May 21, 2007

    The BBQ Center in Lexington is great...still cooked with hickory!!!! It is one of the few places that one can still order a "lean chop brown" and they don't look at you like you're speaking a foreign language. The term "brown" desiginates the outside meat that has that heavy smoked flavor.

  • Danceswlabs May 21, 2007

    I like eastern NC BBQ, but I LOVE Lexington BBQ. Straford BBQ in King, NC is my favorite. For Lexington BBQ fans in Raleigh, the Raleigh Moravian Youth Fellowship will be will be holding a BBQ next Friday (June 1) all day at Raleigh Moravian Church, 1816 Ridge Road. This has become a yearly tradition that helps to fund the youth group's mission trips. Ya'll come!

  • packfan79 May 21, 2007

    Kepley's on North Main St., High Point! Melts in your mouth!!!!

  • press box May 21, 2007

    Billy's in Beulaville was very good, but closed about three years ago. Sidney's in Beulaville packs them in every Saturday and as far as an individual, my cousin Michael Miller beats anyone hands down. Last year, he cooked over 200 pigs for various functions and has already cooked 63 through March of this year and he is not even in the business, but he should be. By the way, his secret sauce is what makes it!

  • pearsonk1 May 21, 2007

    Born in Goldsboro but not living there in 38yrs, I stlll rate Wilber's best. BUT, you have not eaten BBQ until you try The Skylight Inn in Ayden and The Jason Grill in Jason (you find Jason near metro LaGrange)............

  • 2thebeach May 21, 2007

    Another one of those great places that are no longer around is Ranolph's in Snow Hill. That was the best tasting barbeque I've ever had and the skins - oh my!

  • luvtoshag May 21, 2007

    I wonder why they want a BBQ Festival in Manteo? I under the Lost Colony but bbq? Anyway, I am all about celebrating it, I just think it should be in Eastern NC or the middle of the state for those who like eastern NC and those who like Western NC bbq. Just a thought.




Meet the Author
Bill Leslie