Tag Archives: Chopped Pork

Randy’s Bar B Que – Troutman, NC

Randy’s Bar B Que Troutman, NC SauceRandy’ Bar B Que
103 N Main St
Troutman, N 28166


No website, they do have a Facebook page.


Last week I made a trip to Detroit for business. I had stop overs going up and back in Charleston, WV. I ate BBQ in Charleston, WV and Detroit. I was ready for good North Carolina Que. I wanted something on my drive AND something new. I had heard about Randy’s but never made the trip. So, I plugged it into the Maps and headed out of Charleston, destination late lunch in Troutman.

Randy’s is located at a street corner on Main Street. Parking for me was on the side street beside the restaurant. I arrived shortly after 2PM, so I didn’t have to fight any lunch crowds. There were however a few people sitting at the counter and two other people in a booth. This is a place that you could get a great breakfast I bet! I did note that they serve breakfast.

I sat at a booth and looked the menu over; I decided on a Bar-B-Que plate. I substituted the fries with fried okra. And, I noted they have banana pudding. My expectation of nothing less than good were set.


Randy's Bar B Que Troutman, NC pulled chopped Pork Baked Bean Okra Slaw
Randy’s Bar B Que Troutman, NC pulled chopped Pork Baked Bean Okra Slaw

The sides

The Slaw

I think I remember her asking me if I wanted a red or white slaw. I like to get white slaw and add the sauce they have at the table if it’s a vinegar based sauce – it was -. It’s rare a slaw is over the top and this slaw wasn’t, but it was a good solid white slaw. Slaw is typically either good or bad. I like more mayo in my white slaw, but I guess got to be healthy, right?

The Fried Okra

A friend on Facebook saw my picture of the meal and commented that she’d prefer the Okra to have been frozen. Yeah, you can tell that kind of stuff from the picture. All the pieces of Okra looked the same, with the same amount of heavy breading on them. Regardless, it was good stuff. Someone can correct me if it wasn’t frozen.

The Hushpuppies

They are good. I like hushpuppies and these are up there. They aren’t stuffed with anything, apparently some people think you need to put cheese or something else in a hushpuppy; based on a comment I saw on my twitter feed last week. Nice and crips on the outside, and not doughy on the inside. However, please note that I don’t eat the entire hushpuppy. I cut back by eating the outside. Sorry, but I love the outside and figure I cut a few calories. I did eat one whole one just to get the full impact.

The Baked Beans

These are very good! Yeah, I like baked beans. I also like to have some meat in mine! I took some of the pork and added it. This is good stuff. Yes I’ve had better, but not in Troutman.  When I return here I’ll get them again.

Randy's Bar B Que Troutman, NC Sauce

The Chopped Pork

Not only am I back in North Carolina, gee I could swear I’m in Eastern, NC. I noted a Piedmont Looking sauce, but the pork came out chopped and had some vinegar already in it. This is an Eastern, NC thing for sure. So, I tried some of the meat before adding the nice looking red vinegar sauce on the table. Yes, as it hit my mouth I enjoyed it. The meat was very tender, had a nice hit of smoke and it had a little tang from the vinegar. I put some of the red sauce on, which was red from pepper in it, I like it.

Verdict: If you live near Troutman, you need to check this place out. I’m certain I’ll be back again; I hate I’ve missed out on such a great place!


Randy's Bar B Que Troutman, NC Banana Pudding
Randy’s Bar B Que Troutman, NC Banana Pudding

The Banana Pudding

Alright now. The best way to finish up good smoked pork is with a nice banana pudding. What would I get? What I got was a darn good banana pudding. Much better than the one I had last night that Paula Deen named as one of the top-10. I seriously question her research. I’m not saying this is a top-10 in the South banana pudding. But it’s a solid better than most dessert. It could be top-10 or so in North Carolina, and I’ve had a lot of good banana pudding here in North Carolina


Kyle Fletchers BBQ & Catering – Lowell, NC

Kyle Fletchers BBQ & Catering
4507 Wilkinson Blvd
Gastonia, NC 28056

No website, but they do have a Facebook page!

One of my favorites in Lowell, NC. OK, it’s a favorite in Gaston County as well. If it’s lunch time and I’m nearby, then I’ll probably stop in here. My favorite here is their banana pudding. I like their pork and I’m a huge fan of their smoked turkey.

If you arrive here at or close to lunch time, you’ll find yourself standing in a line. It’s not a large restaurant, seating is limited. Also, you need to bring cash. Also, be prepared to be hit in the face with South Point High School stuff along with UNC!

This trip I had pork, baked beans, slaw, fries and hush puppies; the standard offering. I finished with banana pudding, you didn’t think I’d leave that off, did you?


Kyle Fletcher's Lowell, NC Chopped Pork
Kyle Fletcher’s Lowell, NC Chopped Pork

The Pulled and Chopped Pork

This is good stuff, is it the best I’ve had? No, but it’s good stuff. Their process leaves the meat a little drier than I prefer; but it comes to you without sauce. This allows you add sauce as you like. Their sauce helps compliment the meat, and it doesn’t kill the nice smoke hit the meat took in. They do have a nice vinegar sauce and there is a thicker Eastern NC style sweet sauce. My preference is to not put the thick stuff on pulled pork.

Kyle Fletcher's Lowell, NC Bake Beans, Slaw
Kyle Fletcher’s Lowell, NC Bake Beans, Slaw

The Sides

Bake Beans

I like their baked beans. However, I also like to take some of the pork and put it into the beans. I think it makes them better.

The Slaw

The slaw is nothing special. You’ll note from the picture that it’s swimming in BBQ Sauce, I like to do that with any white slaw. I prefer doing that to getting the Barbecue Slaw.

The French fries

Really nothing special. So un-special that I don’t waste the calories on them. They’re not bad or horrible, just not special

Hush Puppies

I like their hush puppies. But then I do like hush puppies.


Kyle Fletcher BBQ Banana Pudding Gastonia, NC
Kyle Fletcher BBQ Banana Pudding Gastonia, NC

The banana pudding

Piece de resistance … yeah that’s right, this is good stuff. One of the better banana pudding’s you’ll find. No good barbecue place should be without this dessert! And it’s great when I find a really good banana pudding. This here folks is a really good one.





The Smoke Pit – Concord, NC

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


Well I’ve heard of this place, even had a friend recommend it to me. But never got around to going to it; it was on my list of BBQ places to try. As I was driving back from the Raleigh-Durham area, I was getting hungry as I approached Salisbury. I pulled off to go to the location in Salisbury since they stayed open longer; but I couldn’t find a place to park so I went back to the interstate and decided it was probably best to try the original anyway. I could get there by 7:30, plenty of time to get my order in.

Holy cow, the line was out the door; but it only took me 12-minutes to place my order. Mainly because the woman in front of me… well I’ll say no more. I did hear that they didn’t have brisket; and since I was late and in a bit of a hurry I decided to just get the pulled pork. My order:

Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork – Regular size
Baked Beans
Texas Toast

The Smoke Pit Concord, NC Hickory Smoked Pulled pork
The Smoke Pit Concord, NC Hickory Smoked Pulled pork

The Side Baked Beans

These were great, even had some meat but I added some more! What more can I say?

Verdict: You like baked beans, you’ll really like these!


Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork

Yes, you can use other woods, but really in North Carolina? Sorry, I thought it was funny. You can use other woods. But in North Carolina most people use Hickory. I ordered Regular size because I’ve eaten so much BBQ this week. But the portion of meat was huge; maybe regular means only the one side. This pork had a little bit of bark chopped in, and I like that! The meat had the right hit of smoke and it was tender; I need to get here earlier in the day next time to taste it at it’s best. And their Lexington NC sauce, oh yes I like it. Very similar to mine; only mine has more kick.

I like the touch with the pickles!

Verdict: Yes I’ll get this again, and again.


Texas Toast

I had to throw this in, theirs is very good

Gee it’s a short review, I’ll be back

Hillsborough BBQ Company – Review

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
Brunswick Stew
White Slaw
Banana Pudding

Hillsborough BBQ Company Hillsborough, NC Brisket, Pulled Pork
Hillsborough BBQ Company Hillsborough, NC Brisket, Pulled Pork

The Sides

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.

Brunswick Stew

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.



Pulled Pork

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.


The sauces

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.


Hillsborough BBQ Company Hillsborough, NC Banana Pudding
Hillsborough BBQ Company Hillsborough, NC Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding

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.

Jim Hillsborough River Walk
Jim Hillsborough River Walk

Johnson Family Barbecue – Durham, NC

Johnson Family Barbecue

5021 Wake Forest Rd Ste A
Durham, NC 27703

Again, I’m trying to find new places in the Durham area. So more searching kept bring up how great Johnson Family Barbecue is. After my experience the previous night at Bullocks, I just didn’t know. But I decided to give it ago based on the written review I found. It promised to at least be a BBQ restaurant.

As I arrived at the location I wasn’t disappointed; there was smoke, and lots of it! As I got out of the car, the smell hit me! Awesome I thought as I made the walk up and inside.

It’s a small place, with limited seating. I went up to the counter to place my order. They distract you by having the menu played on a monitor but then it changes to something else. I made a comment and was told that was why there were menus placed on the counter, in a not so “friendly” tone. Oh well, I’m an idiot I guess. She then told me that it was brisket day. I think she said they make brisket every other day, and Wednesday was a brisket day. I asked if they had banana pudding; she said not today but they had cakes. I passed on desert.

I placed my order:

Chopped Pork
Baked Bean
Brunswick Stew


I paid, left her a 20% tip even though she made me feel like an idiot; and filled my cup with drink, sat down and waited. I people watched as a few more came in and ordered; then my plate was set before me. She informed me that they Smokey sweet sauce was for the brisket and the vinegar sauce for the pork.

Johnson Family Barbecue Durham, NC Brisket, Pork, Brunswick Stew, Baked Beans
Johnson Family Barbecue Durham, NC Brisket, Pork, Brunswick Stew, Baked Beans

Everything looked good and there was a bonus, hush puppies! I love hush puppies and these were very good. What to eat first? I tasted the sides first.

The Brunswick stew was good and loaded with pork, the baked beans were better. And the beans got “more-better” after I put a little brisket and pork in them.


The Brisket

It was almost spot on. Maybe slightly overcooked, but not much. Just a “touch” drier than I’d like. But it came without sauce!  This allowed me to taste the meat by itself first. Great hit of smoke in it, not overpowering but close. Like I said, just a touch drier than I’d like but I was able to find fat so it wasn’t all dried up. Overall a very nice flavor. There was even some bark or burnt outer, I like that!

Then I put a little of the sauce on it, not much. I really liked that combination. Their sauce works well with the brisket.

Verdict: This is one of the better briskets you’ll find in North Carolina. Yes, if it’s brisket day and I’m close here in the future, I’ll stop in and get some.


The Pork

I liked the Pork, like the vinegar sauce on it. It had a similar hit of smoke to it and there was a bit of bark as well. Overall, I liked it.  The vinegar sauce needed a little something more; maybe a better vinegar.

Verdict: yes, I’d eat this again!


The Pit – Durham, NC

The Pit Durham, NC
321 W Geer St
Durham, NC 27701

While in Durham I’ve been seeking new places I’ve not been too. After a lot of off-line evaluation, I decided to go to the Pit in Durham. I’ve been to the Pit in Raleigh, NC. But I didn’t connect the dots until I was inside. This isn’t a bad thing, The Pit in Raleigh was good, just expensive for a BBQ place.

Parking is not good in this area of Durham. The Pit does have complimentary valet parking, which I did not use. I parked instead, up the street by a park. This turned out to be a good thing and I need to make some extra steps to burn some calories!

Alrighty then, I got inside and seated. No wait but then this was a Monday evening. As I sat there looking at the menu I decided to have a beer. They had many North Carolina selections, I went with Pig Pounder Boar Brown Ale. Pig Pounder is a brewery in Greensboro, NC.

Pig Pounder Boar Brown Ale
Pig Pounder Boar Brown Ale

I did my normal thing of ordering multiple meats. I do this so that I can sample as much as possible. They were not able to give me a good mixture, without overloading me. I had to go with their normal three meats offering. You’re going to learn that I don’t normally get Turkey or chicken as one of the meats. My order was for the following:

Eastern North Carolina Chopped Pork
Lexington Outside Brown Chopped
Potato Salad
Baked beans
Banana Pudding


The Pit Durham, NC Brisket, Eastern Pork Lexington Outside Brown
The Pit Durham, NC Brisket, Eastern Pork Lexington Outside Brown

Eastern NC Chopped Pork

For those of you from outside of North Carolina, this is one of the more traditional offerings for BBQ. Eastern style is chopped different ways. This wasn’t chopped as fine as many do. Kind of a cross between chopped and pulled. Nice hit of smoke, with an even nicer tang from the vinegar; I love vinegar. I was however, just a little disappointed with their Eastern NC vinegar sauce.

Verdict: If you like Eastern NC style chopped pork, get it. I’ll eat it again.


Lexington Outside Brown Chopped

I like some “bark”, so when I can get it, I order it. They also have Lexington-Style Pork Shoulder. This was very good, better than the Eastern NC Style. Their Lexington style sauce didn’t quite get it done for me. I don’t know if it’s the vinegar they use – I think it is – but it could have been better. I had a debate with my waiter about what was used in the sauce. He said it was white sugar. I told him that sometimes people put white sugar in Lexington sauce; but always brown sugar, he said no brown sugar. After checking in the kitchen, he apologized and said, yes they use brown sugar and not white sugar.

For those that don’t like a big tangy hit from vinegar, a Lexington style sauce is for you. It’ll be a little sweeter. The sauces are cut with ketchup and brown sugar and then it’ll vary. I spice my Lexington style sauce up a bit.

Verdict: This was the best of the two Chopped Pork offerings I had. I’d get it again.



The Brisket came to me with a little more sauce on it than I would normally like; I want it to come with NO sauce, and then I can see and taste the brisket before sauce. I can then enhance the taste by adding as much sauce as I feel is needed. So, that put me off on the first bite or two of the brisket; and at that point I was sort of underwhelmed with the meat. But I finally hit a little fat and that changed everything. The brisket turned out to be the best meat that I had.

Verdict: Give it to me un-sauced, I’ll have to remember to ask for that next time I am here. If you like brisket, I suggest you give it a try.


The Pit Durham, NC Banana Pudding
The Pit Durham, NC Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding

Yes, they had banana pudding on the menu; and it had meringue to top it off! I was assured that there were nilla wafers in the pudding. The process is to put four of them on the bottom and then add the pudding and banana. I didn’t think, the consistency was that of a a hard gram cracker crust used for cheese cake. The flavor was somewhere in between. This must have happened in the baking process for the meringue.  Don’t get wrong, this desert was a winner.

Here is a look inside the pudding…

The Pit Durham, NC Banana Pudding Inside
The Pit Durham, NC Banana Pudding Inside

Verdict: Get the banana pudding. You just ate barbecue; banana pudding is a great finisher.


Overall a bit pricey. But this is one of the top Barbecue places in Durham.

Bobbee O’s BBQ – Charlotte, NC Review

Bobbee O’s BBQ
9401 Statesville Rd
Charlotte, NC 28269

June 24, 2017

This was my first time to eat at Bobbee O’s BBQ. I was inspired to go after seeing tweet listing top BBQ in Charlotte, and it was listed 3rd, meaning it must be that person’s third favorite. Since I’ve already been to the other two listed, I decided to add this one to my list. I should eat every location in my home town at least, once shouldn’t I?

So Becky and I head up to Bobbee O’s, which is about a 20-25 minute trip for us. This was a Saturday evening, arriving around 8PM I figured they’d be packed; they were not. There was only one person inside.

Once inside we see that you order at the checkout counter. We take a menu and look it over to decide what we will have. About this time, I notice they have some deserts in a display case. But missing is banana pudding. Now for me, this is a yellow flag. I have always said, I maintain; all proper barbecue joints offer banana pudding.

Becky decides that she’ll get pork – which happens to be chopped pork – and her sides are slaw and sweet potato fries. Great, I don’t have to order chopped pork, I’ll get some of hers! That’s the way I like it!

I order Brisket and ribs; this allows me to knock out 3 of the main meats I always like to try. Missing was sausage. My sides were baked beans, mac and cheese.

As we go over to get our drinks filled I hear blues playing; ok that helps with the atmosphere. But this lack of banana pudding is worrying me a bit.

We sit down, I see no sauces on the table? Finally, our food is brought to us, in Styrofoam to go boxes. This isn’t a problem for me as I’ve had similar service in many BBQ joints.

I open the box up, and I see my two sides in to go containers, two slices of bread and some sauce in containers. Peel back the foil to reveal my meats.


The Brisket

I’m disappointed to see that the brisket is somewhat chopped – not fine – and it is covered in sauce. The brisket was overcooked, perhaps the result of arriving at 8PM, but the place advertises open until 11PM. It wasn’t horrible, I’d say average. Putting some more sauce on it made it better, but now I’m liking sauce and not brisket.

Verdict: I’ll not order brisket next time I come here.


The Ribs

It’s ok that the ribs had sauce on them. I eat them wet and dry. And sometimes put sauce on dry rub ribs. But, they were also overcooked; and dry. The meat was too chewy.

Verdict: I’ll not order the ribs next time I come here


The Chopped Pork

OK, this turns out to be the best of the three meats. The flavor reminded us of the pork that Byrum General store in Shopton – in Steele Creek – used to serve before they shut down. We liked Bryum’s and we liked this. This probably makes a great BBQ Sandwich! Although I’m not a fan of putting sticky type sauce on pork, their sauce was decent with the pork. I

Verdict: I’ll order this next time I come here.


The Sauce

The sauce is a thin red sauce that looks like a thin jelly when you first look at it. It is sweet, and not really hot. They say a little sweet and a little hot. probably a little less hot.


The Sides

Sorry I didn’t take pictures of the sides.

The best of the sides was the Mac and Cheese, it was a little bit salty but had great flavor and loaded with cheese.

The baked bean just really didn’t stand out. They were good, but were like heavily buttered pork and beans without the pork. Dropping some of the brisket and chopped pork in the beans made them much better.

The Sweet Potato Fries were, about what you’d expect

The slaw, we have is a mixed verdict on it. Becky liked it; I thought it had a fish flavor to it. Which if you aren’t expecting it…

Bobbee O’s is place I’d go to if I were local to the area and didn’t want to drive far for BBQ.  Understand that I’ve eaten at many places that I’ll never go back to, under any circumstances.