Category Archives: Sausage

City Barbeque Charlotte, NC (Ballantyne)

City Barbeque (Ballantyne)
11212 Providence Rd W
Charlotte, NC 28277

I’ve visited City many times, this location probably a dozen times; and another location in Garner, NC a few times which was my first experience. They’re a chain and yes, I know that you find better BBQ in the smaller places. But sometimes those smaller places are convenient, but you still want some BBQ. What I’ve found with City Barbeque is that it is a very good chain of restaurants. Management will matter if you go to a different location, and who is running the “pit”. Ok, it’s not a pit. But you know what I mean.

Because City has so many different offerings of meat, and I like them all. You’ll see additional reviews as I get around to eating there AND trying a different meat. I may also write if I attend a different location.

On this visit my wife was with me; we decided to share the City Sampler. I’m really trying hard to cut back on my quantity of input of calories; while maintain a certain level of quality input of taste! The Sampler comes with Brisket, Pulled Pork, Sausage and Turkey. The sides we selected was watermelon and Baked Beans with Brisket with Texas Toast as the side.

One of the reasons we made this visit, I wanted to give City’s Banana Pudding ONE more chance. After all Paula Deen cannot be wrong, can she? Read on for that answer.


City Barbque Ballantyne Charlotte, NC Brisket, Pulled Pork, Sausage, Turkey
City Barbque Ballantyne Charlotte, NC Brisket, Pulled Pork, Sausage, Turkey

The Sides

Watermellon – My wife wanted the watermelon. It was good, what are you going to say. This is probably as hit or miss as anything. All they do is buy the melons and cut them. They can try to select good melons obviously.

Baked Beans with Brisket – Look at them in that picture. Don’t they look good? Well they are, they are very good. My favorite side at City Barbeque. And it doesn’t hurt if you drop a little meat from your plate into it. I’ve tried other sides, this is my favorite by far. One of the better baked beans you’ll get anywhere. No not the best, but pretty darn good stuff right here.


The Meats

City Barbeque Ballantyne Charlotte, NC Brisket up close
City Barbeque Ballantyne Charlotte, NC Brisket up close

The Brisket – Let’s get this one out of the way first.  I’ve either ordered or had some of someone elses brisket from here almost every visit. There is variance in the final product you get. Sometimes it’s excellent, sometimes it’s just very good. This visit I’d say it was only very good; it was just a little drier than what I like to give top bill. Here we had good smoke hit and a decent bark on it. The cut was a little leaner than I’d ask for; give me a little of that fat in there.

I’ve had some excellent brisket over the past month, so it’s making it harder for others to step up to that level. But understand, I am only talking about a couple of places right now having better brisket, and none of them are in Charlotte. They do have the best brisket I’ve found in Charlotte.

Verdict: you Like brisket, you’ll really like theirs.

The Pulled Pork – Pulled Pork is one of my favorites. Growing up in North Carolina, we’ve had pork all our lives. Brisket is relatively new for our area.  I like City’s Pulled Pork. It’s moist, good smoke and they have a very nice North Carolina Piedmont/Lexington Style Sauce. It does a great job complementing the Barbeque. They also have a pretty good Eastern North Carolina style sauce as well. City may not be from North Carolina, but they’ve adapted nicely I’d say.

Verdict: This is excellent Pulled Pork

The Sausage: This is something that is hard to find. It’s something you’ll not find often in the “local” barbeque places that have one location. You’ll also find people try to offer it and they just don’t get it right. OK, City Barbeque does sausage right! No, not the best. I am hopeful to have a review next week of my absolute favorite. But this is one of the better that you’ll find in Charlotte people! If you’ve not had a good Texas Smoked Sausage, then you should give this a try. These are juicy, and have a very good flavor along with a hint of smoke.

A tip, I like putting that North Carolina Piedmont/Lexington Style Sauce on it after I cut them up into slices. You may prefer the other thicker sauces, they are good too with the sausage.

Verdict: This is actually my favorite meat at City Barbeque.


The Turkey: Oh man, this was the first time I’ve had their turkey. My picture may not properly represent the moisture that has been retained in the meat. It had a nice light smoke hit. I played around with different sauces trying to find the right one that paired with it. They were all good.

Verdict: City has something for everyone; if you don’t like beef or pork… well there you go. A very good turkey offering!

For Dessert

City Barbeque Charlotte, NC - Ballantyne - Banana Pudding.jpg
City Barbeque Charlotte, NC – Ballantyne – Banana Pudding

The Banana Pudding: I’ve tried their banana pudding several times and… During one of my last visits a sign was up about how Paula Deen had named this to a list of “10 to try”. I’ve tried to find this list but I cannot. I’m pretty good using search engines too by the way; so it must only be available to subscribers. Paula, if you think this is a must try banana pudding… I’m sitting here shaking my head. You had something different than what I’ve been getting.

I’ve got to say this, I don’t get it; and no, it’s not the caramel that throws me off. Yes, that is different and not traditional Banana Pudding. My problem doesn’t start there, it starts with the pudding itself. It’s not that special. It isn’t horrible, it’s an OK dessert. But there is nothing about this banana pudding that puts it over the top. And those that know me, know I’m a banana pudding freak. I’m also a banana pudding snob and I admit it. You can deviate from the norm, but your deviation best be spectacular.

They put the caramel on it, they also go for a caramelized crumbled, I guess nilla wafer maybe? But really, the pudding just doesn’t get it done for me. And how about putting bananas in this thing?

I really wish they had a banana pudding here that I could say that I like and I’ll get every time. But until I hear there has been a change to how this pudding is made, it’s not for me. You might like it so you should at least try it one time.

Verdict: No more for me until there is change. I’ll save the calories for something else!

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit – Plymouth, MI

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
44741 Five Mile Rd
Plymouth, MI 48170


It’s hard to find good barbecue in Michigan folks. It’s not like North Carolina where you can probably find a great barbecue place in every county, and many counties you can find many. That doesn’t mean there isn’t good or even great que up here, you just must hunt it out. Well, I didn’t have time to go seeking out barbecue. I had to work and was able squeeze in Dickey’s which was close by where I was working.

Dickey’s is a chain and there are several in North Carolina; including one in my area. What you tend to get with most chains is consistency, but not necessarily the best end product. i have friends that poke fun at me because I’ll eat at the chains. Up here in the Northville, Plymouth area there isn’t a lot of competition I gather.

We arrived just after 12:00PM, went in and looked the menu over. I hunted for banana pudding but couldn’t find it.  I knew the probability was higher now that this would not be an awesome experience. So, I lowered my expectation to good and hopefully nothing worse. Good and I’m happy.

My buddy asks me what he should get. I suggest trying brisket or since he likes sausage he try that. He goes ahead and gets both. He’s not a big guy so great, I’ll get some sausage. I’ll trade him some pulled pork for that. He gets baked beans and green beans; I get baked beans and potato salad.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit Plymouth, MI Brisket and Sausage
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Plymouth, MI Brisket and Sausage


The Barbecue Beans – I thought they were OK, nothing special. Threw the pork in and yes they were a bit better. Done right these can be as good as getting a dessert. These were just average. They were NOTHING like what you see on their website on the menu. Not sure why the difference.

The Potato Salad – Like the barbecue beans it was OK, a mustard based potato salad. Nothing over the top. Yes, you can get over the top potato salad. Read my other reviews.

The Green Beans – I didn’t taste them, Steve said they were alright. He didn’t seem to be excited about it.



The Brisket

My brisket was a bit drier than Steve’s was. He had more fat in his, and he had a little more of the bark. It had a hit of smoke but fell short here. While the meat wasn’t tough, it wasn’t the most tender brisket either. This is a hard meat to get right, overall, I’d say they did OK. They’ll get 3-stars on Yelp for the brisket. Is this normal, I cannot say. Even the places that I’ve found awesome brisket can have bad days where it is only good, not awesome.

The Pulled Pork

Again, nothing outstanding. Probably had a little more smoke hit to it. Sorry I cannot rave about it. Stacked up against all the pulled pork I’ve eaten, it falls into the good but no great category. Their sauce is similar, but not exactly like what we find in the Piedmont of North Carolina, maybe a little thicker with ketchup. I’ve read where this is a supposed to be a “Texas Style”.

The Sausage

I like sausage and was fortunate that Steve was willing to trade a little pork for a little sausage, a polish kielbasa. It is my opinion that this was the best of the meats. Not over the top, but a solid good. It would have been nice if it were a little juicier, but seems everything here today was a little drier than expected. Which of course either means higher heat or left in too long. Since we were at lunch time my guess is a higher heat.


Overall, I’d say it was worth the visit if you’re after barbecue. In this area, I don’t know what your other options for barbecue would be.

The Smoke Pit Concord, NC – The Sausage, and some desserts

The Smoke Pit – Concord, NC
796 Concord Pkwy N
Concord, NC 28027

The Smoke Pit Concord, NC – The Sausage, and some desserts

Well, I convinced my wife that we should drive up to Concord to visit The Smoke Pit. That was a week ago, I hate there is such a delay in the review. I’ll just jump right in…

On this visit, I made the decision to get a two-meat deal and share with my wife; she wanted pulled pork and I wanted to try the sausage. I couldn’t load up on meats like I sometimes do; trying to control my weight and get it down more. But because they give you SO MUCH MEAT, I was able to get some pulled pork.


Sides included green bean casserole, white slaw and Smoked Pork BBQ Beans. Desert was peach cobbler and banana pudding.


Let’s get those sides out of the way first…


Green Bean Casserole

Good stuff right here if you like Green Bean casserole. We enjoyed and would order it again. I’m hoping you know what a Green Bean Casserole is. Green Beans, French fried onions, maybe some pepper, cream of mushroom soup, some people put cheese – No cheese here -. Thrown in the oven. I don’t one myself, but my wife does.

Verdict: This is one great side item here


White Slaw

Why white slaw? Because my wife likes it. I like to take white slaw and mix the BBQ sauce in, if it’s vinegar based. It’s a good white slaw.

Verdict: If you like white slaw, you’ll not be disappointed.


Smoked Pork BBQ Beans

I got them again this time because I liked them the last time. They are very good. I do add a little extra pulled pork to them though.

Verdict: Great, I may get them every time.


The meats are up next, the main reason we came… well sort of.

Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork

I’ve already review this. But I’ll add, my wife really like it too. Agreed it might be the best she’s had. This is right up there with the best in North Carolina Period. And I really like their Lexington Style sauce which makes the pork even better. As I said before, juicy meat; great hit of smoke – not too much -. Get a little bit of that outside bark as well. Love it.

Verdict: some of the best pulled pork you’ll get anywhere.


The Sausage

One of the reasons I wanted to come back so quickly. On my first my visit I saw some had gotten this and it looked great. Well, I’m here to say that it is great. Very juicy as you should be able to tell from the picture. I really like smoked sausage, one of my favorite meats. And this is a very good one. I’ve got to get back to City Barbecue and The Que Shack and compare theirs again.

They provide a mustard Sauce for you to dip the sausage in, which is good. But I also found their other sauces to be just as good with it. So… go with what you like here.

Verdict: If you like sausage, then come here and get some!


The desserts are up next, I always get Banana Pudding when I can. I was anxious to try theirs since I didn’t notice it was available before. But all good barbecue places have banana pudding. The wife again gets Peach Cobbler.


The banana pudding

The Smoke Pit Concord, NC Banana Pudding - Top
The Smoke Pit Concord, NC Banana Pudding – Top
The Smoke Pit Concord, NC Banana Pudding - Side
The Smoke Pit Concord, NC Banana Pudding – Side

So, they do have a banana pudding! It’s HUGE! Far too much for a single person to eat. And it looked good before digging in. The pudding was very runny. I was not pleased with the pudding at all. Nilla Waffers, where are the Nilla Waffers??? I had something crumbled up on top; so small of a quantity that it was hard to tell if they were Nilla Waffers or not, Nothing down in the pudding. The banana’s were also over-ripened. You can see that from the side view actually.

No I wasn’t happy with the banana pudding. No award winning stuff here.

Verdict: I’ll give the pudding one more try just in case I happen to get an out of the norm not so good pudding.


The Peach Cobbler

The Smoke Pit Concord, NC Peach Cobbler
The Smoke Pit Concord, NC Peach Cobbler

Good, nothing extra ordinary about it. Still not the style that my wife likes.  He likes that dough to be a bit crispier. One of the reasons I don’t get cobblers too often is because, the dough isn’t crispy very often like a pie can be. But it was good, had a decent amount of peach in it.

Verdict: Hard to say since I’m not a cobbler guy. It’s good and, if I were getting a desert here I’d get he cobbler over the banana pudding.