Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Barbecue Chapter 2!

Last week I gave you some background in my love of Carolina style barbecue. This week I am able to continue the pursuit of this passion. Work takes me to Winston-Salem, NC which is in the very center of Carolina barbecue country! I arrived about 7pm on Monday evening and leave first thing on Thursday morning. The trick is to partake as much as I can and still attend to the required business.

My master plan included dinner Monday night at Stamey's of Greensboro, since I flew into the Greensboro airport. After picking up my rental car, I set the GPS for Stamey's and started driving. Unfortunately, in the last year, there has been a lot of road construction around the Greensboro airport and some of the roads were not recognizeable to the "lady in the box". She was definitely confused! I knew that if I spent too much time trying to "unconfuse" the lady, I wouldn't get any barbecue that night at all. I therefore abandoned my primary objective and went to my fall back objective.

My fall back objective was Mr. Barbecue in Winston-Salem. This is a tried a true barbecue restaurant that I have patronized many times over the last 30 years. It didn't disappoint on this ocassion either. I ordered a chopped plate that consisted of a generous portion of barbecue, red slaw, hush puppies and fries. All washed down with sweet tea. Not only was it soul satisfying but it was on special too! $4.75 for a barbecue dinner that would make the hardest critic weep! Day #1 was a success.

Tuesday was planned to be the highlight of the trip with lunch scheduled at Lexington #1. How can I describe the reputation of this restaurant among Carolina barbecue afficianados? Mecca, Stradivarius, Gibson, Rolls Royce, Champagne all come to mind.
I had arranged to meet a business associate there at 12:30 for lunch. At a little after 11 am I got a call from him on my cell phone. He said he was running early and did I want to meet him at 11:30 instead and "beat the crowd". Since I was only a few minutes away from the restaurant I immediately agreed. When I arrived I discovered that you don't "beat the crowd" at 11:30 as the parking lot was already almost full.
Lunch was another chopped barbecue plate with plenty of 'cue, slaw, fries and hush puppies and again washed down with sweet tea. The picture at the top of the story is my lunch plate. Note the slaw on the upper part of the plate. I described this as red slaw in my description of the Mr. Barbecue dinner. This slaw is made with cabbage and vinegar instead of mayonaise...hence the reddish color. I will tell you that it is an acquired taste as it is quite "tart" but once you have "acquired" the taste there's nothing that pairs with the sweetness of the barbecue better.
I have one full day left and now the question is, will I be able to squeeze in one more meal of barbecue? If I am unable to because of business commitments I'll at least be consoled with the accomplishment of having barbecue twice in the last two days.
Stay tuned for more!

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