Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Cast your vote for King of Cue – Eastern Style

Posted August 6, 2008

It’s time to vote for your favorite North Carolina barbecue restaurant. We’ve taken nominations this week. You’ve blogged and emailed more than 75 different nominations in our Best of Carolina competition. I didn’t realize we had so many great pork eateries statewide.

I’m not playing favorites here but I do have some restaurant names that I really like. I’ve never been to Short Sugar’s in Reidsville but I love the name. It made me laugh. Hog Heaven and Boss Hog are two other names that I really like.

Your comments reflect your passion for barbecue. They also say a lot about your knowledge. I appreciate the many suggestions and specific comments on the many side items on the various menus.

I love Lexington barbecue but still I chuckled when I read staggerlee’s comment: “Ketchup goes well with French fries. That’s about it.” Have you heard the ketchup song on Prairie Home Companion? Ketchup is for the good times unless it’s a pig pickin’ in the Coastal Plain.

Speaking of songs I appreciated the tip about The Barbecue Song by Rhett & Link and The Homestead Pickers. That song really sums up the South’s love affair with the barbecue. You can find the video and song on Youtube.

Preferences aside, innocentbystander summed up a lot of our attitudes when he wrote: “I have rarely tasted BBQ that I didn’t like, regardless of style.” And thefensk hit the nail on the head by saying some of the very best barbecue can be found at church, school and VFW fundraisers.

We will have two pork polls beginning with a feast down east. We will crown a King of Cue among restaurants that serve eastern style barbecue. We will have a separate poll on Monday for the Best of the West in our quest to establish the most popular restaurant using a touch of tomato in their vinegar sauce.

The finalists listed in the eastern poll are based on restaurants getting the most nominations via blog and email. Some fine restaurants didn’t make this list but we had to narrow the field. The list was compiled in alphabetical order.

Voting ends at 6:00P.M. Friday



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  • loslosers2003 Aug 14, 2008

    I OBSTAIN! Without Bunn's in Windsor, this is a travesty, I tell you, a TRAVESTY!

  • Reg1 Aug 12, 2008

    Smoky Mountain barbecue in West Jefferson: eastern style barbecue made with the best cuts, consistently great quality.

  • ataylor Aug 11, 2008

    Next time in Greenville or Washington give Boss Hog's a shot. They run circles around Parker's (Greenville Parker's).

  • johnkirby Aug 11, 2008

    How can you eat that stuff?

  • pcratforrtp Aug 11, 2008

    Wow "abart", for someone who has work to do it sure seems like alot of bashing going on. You must be with the Parker's group because it came down to Parkers and Hog Heaven. Both were having votes pouring in all afternoon. What did you do, write down times to the exact minute and votes while timing how fast they came in? You must have way too much time on your hands to bash one bbq restaurant while the other is receiving just as many votes. If you want to pull the boxing gloves off, we all can jab other bbq joints. Don't be a sore loser or a "Raleigh girl". You should have signed it "Parker's girl"... Btw, you can im your husband about this posting and send more pointless postings about something that was done for fun. Everybody has an opinion and mine is you went way too far out of the way just to bash another bbq joint. Out of 100 plus postings total, you were the only one who had very negative thoughts. Maybe you were in need of a bbq sandwich!

  • abart Aug 8, 2008

    Then today at about 11:00am they were ahead by about 300 votes. From 11am to 4pm they only got about 150 votes and by 4pm they had lost the lead by 32 points. About 5-10 minutes later I refreshed the screen to see how it was going and they had gotten 113 votes in less than 10 minutes ! WOW, Hog Heaven must have really really really good barbecue ? So, for curiosity I started refreshing my screen every 2-3 seconds for about 2 minutes. Hmmmm, that's odd ? Every 2-3 seconds they get exactly one more vote ? Unfortunately I couldn't continue watching this amazing saga. I had work to do. I don't know exactly when the "votes" stopped coming in at such an amazing pace. But I do know when I checked after the voting ended that they had gotten 1028 votes between 4:11 to 6:00pm. Wonder where they learned how to vote ?

    It would be really cool if we could have another poll with maybe more accurate results.

    - Raleigh girl

  • abart Aug 8, 2008

    It's a good thing they put the disclaimer ... "Please keep in mind that our polls are for entertainment and are not conducted in a scientific fashion. We make no guarantees about the accuracy of the results"

    There is no way this poll was accurate, as there was some serious ballot stuffing going on. As an NC girl who has eaten her share of bbq all over the state, I was very interested to see if there are some places I have missed out on that I needed to try. I followed this poll the last couple days and noticed every time Hog Heaven started losing some ground, all the sudden they would start getting lots of votes. Literally like maybe 20-30 votes per minute. I noticed it the first day when they were not even in the running suddenly they got ahead by several hundred votes. Noticeable enough that I IM'd to my husband at 4:56 that they had gotten 20 votes in one minute.

  • skifor3 Aug 8, 2008

    Hog Heaven's bbq puts you in pure heaven. You have to try it at least once. It might be a drive for some folks but I am lucky to work in Durham and able to eat often there. I think the chicken is equal to Smithfield. Hog Heaven does not have brisket which makes us go else where for it but when we want good barbeque, we go to Durham, Hog Heaven.

  • songbird Aug 8, 2008

    Oh my....what happened to King's in Kinston?

  • pcratforrtp Aug 8, 2008

    I agree with 2thebeach....Bullocks BBQ is not that good at all. It was not good the last two times my family went there and we haven't been back since. Hog Heaven BBQ and Allen and Son have the best........west of I-95, which by the way doesn't have anything to do with eastern or western bbq. You either have good Que or you don't. I think the bbq chains should not be on the list to make room for more independents, not corporate America.




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