Memorable | One of the Best
Bill Spoon’s Barbecue
Review by: Michael Stern
*** THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED ***
A sign on the front of Bill Spoon’s announces “We’ve cooked the whole pig since 1963.” Whole pig really is a big deal. As swell as butts may be when they are slow-smoke-cooked, they cannot match the rousing diversity of hacked-up whole hog, from creamy to crunchy, which you can here have on a partitioned plate with a couple of side dishes or packed into a bun and crowned with bright, pickly mustard slaw.
Spoon’s Brunswick stew is so dense with meat and vegetables that you can clean the bowl using only a fork; and tubular hushpuppies with vivid onion punch provide cornmeal counterpoint to the spice of barbecue or barbecue-laced beans. If there is a pork-frowner at your table, Spoon’s chicken, cooked moist and ultra-tender, encased in succulent skin, is a fine alternative.
To drink: sweet tea, refilled approximately every 90 seconds by a roving member of the waitstaff. For dessert: banana pudding loaded with slices of ripe banana and streaks of cookie that had me excavating for more with every spoonful.
It all adds up to an archetypal barbecue meal, just what you’d hope for in a place that’s built a grand reputation for more than half a century. Founder Bill Spoon learned the barbecue trade from John Skinner, who learned his craft at North Carolina’s first sit-down barbecue restaurant, opened by Bob Melton in Rocky Mount in 1924.
Note: Dinner is now served Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings until 8pm.
Directions & Hours
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|