Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Home of BBQ

Within the past couple of years, I've really gotten into BBQ. Cooking, sauces, seasoning, restaurants - it's been quite a tasty adventure. However, one thing I hadn't been able to do was venture outside of Charlotte to experience other places that specialize in pulled pork BBQ, and by "other places" I mean Lexington BBQ.

Lexington BBQ is sacred ground in North Carolina. It's been labeled as the "epicenter of BBQ". It's rich with history and a large number of people swear the best BBQ in the land is served in this small country restaurant comfortably sitting just off of I-85. So after hearing sooooo many good things, I knew at some point I HAD to visit. Just doesn't seem right to call yourself a "BBQ Lover" if you've never eaten there.

Recently my taste buds and I had the wonderful opportunity to FINALLY visit Lexington BBQ! It took a while, but Asha and I were able to schedule a day to eat at the legendary restaurant with one of her good friends, Greg, and his wife Bobbie. (Side note: Greg and Bobbie are absolutely wonderful people. I'm not just saying that because they took us to Lexington either. Greg shares a passion for making slideshows/videos like I do, PLUS, they both happen to watch some of the same TV shows as us. They're both all-around great folks and I'm glad I've had the pleasure to meet them and share some BBQ.)

We pull into the parking lot and I'm 100% ready for deliciousness. My stomach is rumbling, my nose is catching wafts of succulent pork, and my mouth begins to water in anticipation of biting into juicy BBQ. The place is exactly how I imagined - a small building that's borderline "hole-in-the-wall", a full parking lot (always a good sign), and it has tasty history written all over it.

We get to our seats and I quickly scan the menu. It doesn't take long for me to decide on a chopped BBQ plate, fries and baked beans. The food comes (by the way, really fast service which is NEVER a bad thing), I grab my fork, take my first bite and...

It was just OK.

OK, I take that back. It was MUCH more than "just OK". In fact, it was really, really good. Their chopped BBQ was chopped more than I was used to, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing, just felt the need to point out it was different. I was also a little surprised to read that they "only" cook their BBQ for 9 hours. I guess it's because they probably have more people customers than most BBQ restaurants.

The beans and fries weren't anything to rave about. There wasn't really anything special about them. But speaking of special...

That sauce. Oh that spicy, sweet, tasty sauce. I've said before that really, for the most part, BBQ is BBQ and the sauce is what separates restaurants from each other. Lexington's Smokehouse hot & tangy barbeque sauce is just... well I can't think of a tasty enough word to describe it. It was a perfect blend of vinegar, spices, and sugar. If you can't tell, I loved it. I dumped that stuff all over my BBQ too, which cranked it up a notch (BAM!).

Another thing that was fantastically delicious were the hush puppies. Someone did tell me they're hush puppies were great and ya know what... they were. They were nice and light and not greasy... and also tasted great with the sauce.

So my visit to Lexington was definitely a good one. I guess I should explain myself for the earlier "just OK" comment. I think my expectations were set SO high and my excitement level was that of a 6 year old receiving their first bike on Christmas morning. I basically set myself up for disappointment. But let's be clear, my meal was definitely not disappointing. I really wish I was able to try some of the other sides. Guess I'll just have to make another trip!

As I said earlier, if you consider yourself a BBQ lover, you better make a trip over to Lexington Barbecue. Thanks again to Greg and Bobbie for graciously accompanying us on our scrumptious trek to the epicenter of BBQ!

1 comment:

  1. First of all, it was so good to see you both again. It's good to see what's going on with "young people". Did we ever tell you both how nice your parents are?
    Second, I agree completely with your assessment. In a world of fast food, it's good to enjoy a 9 hour cooked meal. Lexington BBQ is tradition. It's good to see young people come along who will keep the tradition for good ole slow cooked BBQ alive.
    Greg and Bobbie