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Hannah's Bar-B-Q

137 Blowing Rock Rd., Lenoir, NC - (828) 754-7032
Posted By Michael Stern on 12/8/2004 3:22:00 AM
Hannah’s serves Eastern North Carolina style barbecue: pork shoulder that is finely hacked into something almost like a hash, with occasional shreds of dark, chewy “outside” meat among the soft, pale “inside” pork. The taste is slightly smoky, slightly sweet, and the meat packs a luscious moistness that is virtually intoxicating.

This superb pork is available three ways: in a sandwich, on a tray with slaw and a handful spherical hushpuppies, or on a plate with slaw, hushpuppies, and a choice of French fries or barbecue beans. The menu also lists ribs, chicken, and beef, even corn dogs and cheeseburgers, but for us the only item of interest other than the chopped pork is Brunswick stew, a hearty vegetable and meat melange that is especially suitable to accompany pork in cool weather.

The pork is served plain, and is delicious that way, but Hannah’s also supplies two kinds of sauce. One is known here as Texas-style, although we have never tasted anything quite like it in Texas. It is an opaque red stuff that looks like ketchup, but has a bit of a spicy tang. For us, it was overwhelming on the delicate-flavored pork, but just right for dipping French fries. The other sauce is more typical of this part of North Carolina – a thin, vinegar sauce with lots of spice and a certain sweetness that does add another welcome dimension to the good meat.

Many of Hannah’s customers use a drive-through window, picking up individual meals or the “Feed 4” feast of 24 ounces of pork, 24 hushpuppies, slaw, and beans along with tea by the half-gallon. We much prefer sitting at a table indoors, where whole meals are presented on unbreakable partitioned plates, and where the friendly waitresses constantly refill your glass of ice tea (presweetened, of course). Here, we can sit and admire manager Barbara Hilton’s spectacular collection of pig figurines. Wherever you sit at Hannah’s, images of porkers are all around you!

There are two other locations of Hannah’s, in Claremont (459-9889) and Hickory (322-3711).

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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This is the way barbecue is served in a wide orbit around Lexington, North Carolina -- chopped fine, sided by hushpuppies, slaw, and potatoes. To drink: sweet tea, of course
"This is the way barbecue is served in a wide orbit around Lexington, North Carolina -- chopped fine, sided by hushpuppies, slaw, and potatoes. To drink: sweet tea, of course"
Michael Stern





Hannah's mascot is a regal porker named Bobby Q, who wears a superhero cape and carries a fork for a sceptre.
"Hannah's mascot is a regal porker named Bobby Q, who wears a superhero cape and carries a fork for a sceptre."
Michael Stern


Images of pigs are everywhere inside Hannah's.
"Images of pigs are everywhere inside Hannah's."
Michael Stern


Deep religious conviction and excellent pork barbecue often go together in the South.
"Deep religious conviction and excellent pork barbecue often go together in the South. "
Michael Stern


Car hop service is no longer available, but many customers use the drive-through aisle to pick up pork dinners for home.
"Car hop service is no longer available, but many customers use the drive-through aisle to pick up pork dinners for home."
Michael Stern


For under $20, four people can feast in their car. 'HP' on the sign stands not for 'Higher Power,' but for 'Hush Puppies,' the crisp-fried cornmeal dough balls that always accompany barbecue in this region.
"For under $20, four people can feast in their car. 'HP' on the sign stands not for 'Higher Power,' but for 'Hush Puppies,' the crisp-fried cornmeal dough balls that always accompany barbecue in this region. "
Michael Stern



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