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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Cradle of the Cue

Posted May 21, 2007 8:22 a.m. EDT
Updated May 21, 2007 9:01 a.m. EDT

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:

Wilber's-Goldsboro
Stamey's-Greensboro
Stephenson's-Benson
Bullock's-Durham
Gardner's-Rocky Mount
Hurseys-Burlington
Bum's-Ayden
Danny's-Cary
Woodland's-Blowing Rock
Cook's-Lexington
Billy's-Beulahville
Bubba's-Charlotte

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