Our BBQ Tour
In August 1998, Nicole and I went on a two-week BBQ tour of the south.
We visited BBQ restaurants, some famous and some not-so-famous,
throughout North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and even
West Virginia. In all, we ate at 14 restaurants, one of which we ate
at twice. Although that averages to only one place per day, we had
some intense BBQ days along with some non-BBQ days.
This page is a compilation of our impressions of the places we
visited, with photos of all but one. (Our camera broke right in the
middle of our tour of Luray Caverns in Virginia, and so we didn't get
to take a photo of the last place we visited, which was in West
We chose our BBQ destinations by several methods.
- The primary inspiration for the tour was the book Smokestack
Lightning by Lolis Eric Elie. He and photographer Frank Stewart
visited BBQ joints from Chicago to Texas to Georgia. They
mentioned a few that we wanted to try.
- We also used Eat Your Way Across the USA by Jane and
Michael Stern. We found that their recommendations sucked big time.
The only place they recommended that we liked was Dreamland (Tuscaloosa, AL), and we had
corroboration on that from Elie. We also went to a couple of non-BBQ
places they recommended and were thoroughly unimpressed.
- We also took advice from H. Kent Craig's
North Carolina BBQ page (I don't remember how I found it)
Lexington Collection (ditto).
- I posted to alt.food.barbecue, asking for suggestions, and the BBQ
mavens of that newsgroup sent a few responses. Thanks to Bernie
Spencer, Bill Loftin, Bill Bates, and Dan Brown.
- We also took suggestions from folks we met along the way.
- Sometimes we just stopped at a place that we were passing by.
- And we were influenced by Hurricane Bonnie, which prevented us
from visiting Wilbur's BBQ in Goldsboro, NC and Em-Ing's on
the eastern shore of Maryland. It sent us inland, where we
completed the Lexington Six-Pack.
Here are the places, listed in the order we visited them, except that
I've lumped the six places in Lexington, NC together onto one page.
- The Lexington Six-Pack
- Carolina BBQ, Cashiers, NC
- Johnny Ray's, Birmingham, AL
- Dreamland, Tuscaloosa, AL
- Dobb's BBQ, Dothan, AL
- Old Clinton BBQ, Clinton, GA
- Maurice's Piggy Park, Columbia, SC
- Bullock's BBQ, Durham, NC
- Little Ponderosa, Harper's Ferry, WV
Thomas H. Cormen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Last modified: Wed Sep 19 14:03:02 2001