I guess I just don’t notice any other restaurants when I’m that close to getting a large tray of "Honey" Monk’s lean brown, hushpuppies and a bottle of Cheerwine in front of me at Lexington # 1. I’ll have to give Tarheel a try sometime.
Tar Heel is on US Hwy 64 W about 2 miles past NC Hwy 150. Left side of the road before the bridge if you’re coming from Lexington.
I just moved back to NC last year after being away for about 10 years, and I never ran across "Tar Heel Q". Where is it located?
Welcome back to NC. Tar Heel Q is also one of my favorites. Their coarse chopped trays are extraordinary!
Thanks for the advice. I’ll try Smokin’ Eds. And Jim in NC – that was a perfect description. It was my own fault with the mayo on the sandwich – I didn’t read the descriptions on the board and it honestly never entered my thinking that they might even consider putting a condiment – any condiment – on the sandwich! It’s totally unrelated, but I’m actually moving back to NC next week. My personal favorites are either Lexington #1 (naturally) or Tarheel Q (mostly just for the conveniece being so near my hometown and all!) My favorite part is the BBQ slaw and I think Tarheel Q does a great job.
Jim, right you are. Quality seems to vary greatly at Whitt’s, from store to store. The one I like best is in Tullahoma.
As for Smokin’ Ed’s, I have a gallon of his HOT sauce in the break room at work. We pour it on everything. It separates the men from the boys.
As a long time imbiber of both Ed’s and Lexington #1, I don’t find a lot in common. Love ’em both, but they’re not that similar.
I’ll put Smokin’ Ed’s on my visit list next time I’m in the area. Sounds like my kinda place.
I stopped at a Whitt’s in Clarksville last week and was surprised with the barbecue. (Turned down the mayo on my sandwich.)The meat was tender and moist without being greasy. Wood burning pit was on the back of the building. The smoke flavor in the meat was light to moderate but the barbecue flavor was pretty good. Wood cooked pork needn’t be overpowered with smoke. (That can be done with wood chips in a gas or electric oven.) From my limited exposure to barbecue joints in the area, it seems that Whitt’s cooking methods may vary among stores or franchise owners.
Nearly forgot — Ed’s is take-out only.
Thanks Jim in NC. Given that description, it doesn’t sound that much different from what is available at Smokin’ Ed’s in Smyrna with the exception of the sides. Ed’s shoulder is chopped (not finely), but the meat is well smoked and not via gas-fired anything. Ed’s sides are nothing to write home about but nothing is served on the sandwich unless you ask for it. Ed’s mopping sauce is mostly vinegar and pepper. His serving sauce may have a bit more tomato and sweetness than what you have described, but just ask for it on the side (the meat doesn’t need it). You’ll find Smokin’ Ed’s in a small shack on the right side of Murfreesboro Road as you head south out of Smyrna (just pass Nissan).
Whitt’s may have some similarities to what you’re looking for in that their sauce is mostly vinegar (not sure it has any tomato at all) and their meat is chopped finely, but I’ve never detected any hint of smoke flavor in their meat.
Lexington style is strictly shoulders cooked over coals burned down from oak and hickory logs. It is served chopped, coarse chopped or sliced. It is rarely pulled. The sauce, or dip, is vinegar-based with enough tomato product to turn it red. Black pepper, red pepper and sugar are added. The sauce complements the barbecue. It does not stand on its own. On sandwiches, the meat is topped with barbecue slaw. The slaw is served as a side on plates and trays and is made with barbecue dip which has been sweetened. Hushpuppies or rolls are the norm. Unfortunately, no cornbread as in central TN. The pups are usually "onion-y" and not very sweet. A tray is barbecue, slaw and hushpuppies. A plate adds fries. Sweet tea or Cheerwine seems to be the drink of choice.
We’re spoiled here in NC. Nothing like Lex style in Nashville. Whitt’s is acceptable but you must specify no mayo or slaw. (What the hell is up with mayo on barbecue???) The meat is pulled and the sauce is a thin vinegar based concoction that is a little like what is found down east. Hog Heaven is cooked in a commercial "smoker" and is inferior. Mary’s was good last time I was there 5 or 6 years ago. Like Hillbilly said, just appreciate the differences.
Well, then I stand corrected. Shoulder or ribs is pretty much all that gets done here in pork. Perhaps a quick description of what is unique about Lexington-style would be helpful…
Lexington style is not whole hog–it is strictly pork shoulder meat. North Carolina "eastern style" (which is rarely served west of Raleigh) is whole hog.
There is nothing remotely similar to Lexington-style Q near Nashville.
Then again, there is nothing remotely close to Tennessee Q in Lexington. Go figure.
If you are looking for whole-hog barbecue, you will not find it in Nashville. There are several places that are better than Whitt’s, but the style will probably be different from what you’re used to.
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