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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Lexington-style BBQ

Posted August 10, 2009

No need to fire up a full fledged debate about who makes the best barbecue in North Carolina but I did want to tell you about a place I visited over the weekend. We were headed to the mountains for a potluck dinner party. We decided to take barbecue as our dish. Why not pick some up on the way in Winston-Salem.

I checked the internet and noticed lots of five star reviews for a place called "Little Richard's." Good choice. We picked up a couple of pounds of Little Richard's chopped barbecue. It was the hit of the party. Great taste. Nice slaw, too. Bring cash. They don't accept credit cards. But the price is right and the food is fabulous.

Little Richard's, which bills itself as a Lexington-style barbecue restaurant, is located on Country Club Road in Winston-Salem. It is a small and unpretentious building. The food is delicious. I highly recommend it.

What is your favorite Lexington-style barbecue restaurant? Please share.

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  • shellrocks2000 Aug 11, 2009

    yall need to get on down to Johnston County and eat at White Swan. Now that is BBQ!!

  • ujstdontgetit Aug 10, 2009

    jonejet621 ... You are exactly right ... LOL!!! """SPEEDY'S""" is what I meant. Got it mixed up with Snappy's. Snappy's is pretty good too but nothing compared to SPEEDY'S. THEY'RE THE BEST. THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE CORRECTION.

  • localyokal1 Aug 10, 2009

    Celt, I don't think I saw an answer to your question, about the difference between eastern style and Lexington. I will attempt.

    Eastern style is whole hog, Lexington is shoulder only. Eastern style is vinegar based sauce, while Lexington is ketchup based, with a few other minor things.

    Personally I like both because I like great food.

    If I messed up on my analogy, I apologize in advance.

  • fernvalley Aug 10, 2009

    Oh boy Bill...you know how to generate the responses! Being a native of eastern NC who married a Lexington native, there have been tense times (such as the first time I saw that red BBQ slaw at my inlaws in Lexington.) Favorite Lexington style joint is TarHeel Q (Hwy 64 at Yadin River, west of Lexington). Speedy's, Sonny's, HoneyMonks, Barbeque Center, Jimmies, there are several that serve up a good Q. Course chopped is excellent in comparison to regular chop. I won't venture to make a decision as to East vs. Lexington...it would start a family war.

  • todmax Aug 10, 2009

    Comparing East versus West BBQ styles is like comparing apples and oranges. All I know, is if you start with slow cooked hog, you have a good shot at ending up with something pretty darned tasty. I grew up with the western style (which is NOT mustard based by the way, that is SC) and never had Eastern style until adulthood. The first time I had it (Bubba's in Hatteras area), I was expecting the sweet flavor I was used to. The vinegar was a surprise and I frankly didn't like it at all. After living here the last ten years, I've come to really like th Eastern style. I also spent a few years in texas, where they look at you crazy if you talk about making anything except sausage from a pig and you only grill beef, and learned to love their styles as well. BBQ is like chili, lots of ways to do it, and if you have an open mind about it you will eat a lot of good but different meals. Limiting yourself to one style just deprives you of some mighty good eats.

  • racinjunki Aug 10, 2009

    Gingerrush -- "Barbeque in Arkansas/Tennessee is closer to the Lexington/Western style and is what I grew up on, but any of it is good!"

    You better not let anyone from Arkansas hear that, you'll have a fight on your hands. My wife and all her family are from that area, they wouldn't dare be caught making BBQ out of a pig ... heaven forbid! My wife has come to her senses since moving to NC some 30 odd years ago, she knows what good BBQ is made from now.

  • JerryO Aug 10, 2009

    As a famous writer once said, " anyone who would put ketchup in BBQ sauce and feed it to young children, is capable of anything" Eastern is the only NC BBQ and the best is Wilbers in Goldsboro. End of discussion

  • GoldenLover Aug 10, 2009

    I have to admit that I don't know what "Lexington style" BBQ is. Is it vinegar based? Tomato? I'm a huge BBQ fan, I should know this.

  • eyesblue Aug 10, 2009

    To Brian Shrader....one taste is not enough to make a decision until you just didn't like the difference at all. There are as many different nuances in Western style as there are in Eastern. I am very much pro Western, but there's a few places where I like the Eastern very well...and others I just can't stand. Give Western some more chances !

  • eyesblue Aug 10, 2009

    C's in Mocksville has been dishing out the good Western style stuff since the 50's at least. Hillbilly's in the Gastonia area is also very good. RO's in Gastonia....very much off the beaten path...still has curb service and is where the locals go. By all means..have the Q with a Cherry Lemon Sundrop ! In the Salisbury area, by all means Winks and Hendricks. Gary's and Porky's in the China Grove area...just off I-85. Needless to say...I'm a Western NC native.

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