Hillsborough BBQ Company
236 S Nash St
Hillsborough, NC 27278
I hit another BBQ place that I had not visited before in the Raleigh Durham Area, this time it was Hillsborough BBQ Company. This time met up with a friend, Jim West. This is his “neck of the woods” and his suggestion. Google Maps did some stupid routing and cost me at least 10-minutes on my trip from Durham over to Hillsborough. I wanted to throw that in.
One of the things that I’d like to identify is the location of the best brisket in North Carolina. Brisket ain’t pork you say, I know; keep in mind, cows and brisket isn’t reserved to Texas either. I may have already found the best, but the quest continued this evening.
So this time around I ordered the following:
Pulled (chopped) Pork
The white slaw is, white slaw, nothing special here. I order white slaw and then add whatever vinegar based BBQ sauce they have. They have what they call a Midwest Red – more on it later -, that really didn’t change much. Their Eastern NC style sauce was OK like this. Yes, I know you can order a Barbecue Slaw, theirs is a Lexington style.
Did you notice how I gave it its own heading here? That’s because it can stand on its own, meaning it is very good. Those that do not know what Brunswick Stew is I’ll tell you. It’s something that you’ll find in many BBQ restaurants in the south. The best way to describe it is that it is a very thick vegetable soup that is typically loaded with some smoked meat, for instance pulled pork. This Brunswick stew is very good, I enjoyed it.
Verdict: Next time I’ll get a side other than White Slaw, I’ll get the Brunswick stew again!
Now let’s get to the meats
Barbecue is all about low and slow and getting the Smokey wood flavor into the meat. With brisket, you need to the heat low and to get that smoke into it, but you also want to render some of the fat into the meat. Also, you want to leave some fat. So that temperature at some point goes up from low. How long and how much long will determine the final quality of the product. It’s a hard meat to smoke, this I know. Many times, you get brisket and it is overcooked, so the meat will be drier and fall apart.
This brisket was good. It had a nice hit of smoke and good flavor. I do think that it might have been left just a little too long at a higher temp. Still, it is better than most brisket you’ll find. The Midwestern sauce, was a nice touch on it as well. Was it the best I’ve had in North Carolina? No.
Verdict: Yes, if you like brisket then you’ll want to get this.
The pulled and chopped pork was good. The Eastern NC sauce worked the best on it. This was not drive out of your way good, but definitely a good meal if you like smoked pork.
Verdict: Good, not over the top great.
They had two sauces, a Midwestern Sauce which worked well on the brisket. I’m not certain what it is Midwestern to, North Carolina? It was kind of a like a Lexington Sauce but thicker, heavier on the ketchup, there seemed to be some vinegar in it but no twang from it. The vinegar sauce is an Eastern NC style sauce.
Oh my. This stuff was good, very good. AND, they make the pudding which is an egg custard style pudding. They crumble the nilla wafers up into the pudding.
Verdict: Get this, it’s one of the best banana pudding’s in NC. At least I like it, and I love banana pudding.
Afterwards, Jim and I walked in the River walk along the Eno River.