Wink’s King of Barbecue

Review by: ayersian

*This restaurant is permanently closed*

Most BBQ joints in the South display a pig motif on their marquee, but this is not so at Wink’s. The self-proclaimed King of Barbecue and Seafood features a crowned lion on their sign, and their king-of-the-jungle stance over the Salisbury restaurant scene is well-deserved.

The barbecue is mighty fine: the finely chopped, “inside” white meat is mixed with chewy, blackened “outside” strips. Pressed into a steamed bun with a halo of tangy red cole slaw, its smoky, unsauced tenderness delivers in every bite. Add a few squirts of Wink’s vinegar sauce, and the overall taste quotient goes off the charts.

Their homemade pimento cheese is top-notch as well, especially in their toasted (read: grilled) sandwich. Chunks of cheddar remain only slightly melted amidst flecks of white cheese and mild peppers, resulting in a textural masterpiece. Wink’s will substitute pimento cheese for American on other sandwiches, too, and our waitress duly noted, “Now that’s different!” as she brought a particularly handsome sausage, egg, and pimento cheese breakfast sandwich to our table.

Breakfast is also exemplary, and their delicious sausage comes from not one but two different local sources. The sausage links hail from Frank Corriher Beef & Sausage in nearby China Grove, and the sausage for patties comes from Cruse Meat Processing in Rimertown, an unincorporated community between Concord and Rockwell. “Our sausage is similar to what you can buy at Cruse’s,” explained our cashier, “but they do add a little something to our batch to make it different.” Both sausages are utterly juicy and beyond scrumptious, but if forced to choose, we’d pick the links, made dark brown and crusty on the griddle.

Wink’s biscuits and gravy are as rib-sticking as they come, and the biscuits remain flaky underneath the smothering blanket of thick cream gravy flecked with sausage bits. Breakfast would not be complete without a bowl of creamy grits, but room must be left for dessert. Wrapped in plastic at the register are large oatmeal cookie sandwiches with cream cheese icing in the middle. By themselves, the cookies are among the very best we’ve tried, but coupled with the icing, these massive pies deliver a most wicked sugar rush. For fans of pork rinds, Wink’s makes theirs daily in four flavors (BBQ, seasoned salt, salt & vinegar, salt & pepper), and their toothsome crunch and porky tang is nothing like the store-bought kind.

As for their seafood, we’ll have to eat at Wink’s for three meals in order to sample all of their menu items. With BBQ and pimento cheese this good, however, it may be nearly impossible to resist eating these during every visit. Thankfully, the oatmeal cookies are made for takeout!

What To Eat

Chopped BBQ sandwich

Pork Rinds

Pimento cheese sandwich

Oatmeal cookie

Biscuits & gravy

Sausage, egg & cheese sandwich


Wink’s King of Barbecue Recipes


What do you think of Wink’s King of Barbecue?

One Response to “Wink’s King of Barbecue”

Doug Herbert

May 18th, 2023

Wink’s went out of business in June 2020, a victim of Covid.


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