Carolina ‘Cue

Celebrate the launch of a new section in the magazine. Take the barbecue quiz, register to win great prizes, and find bonus barbecue recipes!


Beginning in January, Our State launches a new section in the magazine. Responding to the overwhelming conversation among our readers about our September story “Carolina ‘Cue,” we will now incorporate barbecue into each and every issue of Our State! This special section is devoted to the search for the people, places, and plates behind our favorite tradition. To kick off this new section, take moment to play around, read the stories and take our special barbecue quiz. Have a favorite location we should cover in our “Carolina ‘Cue” series? Point us in the direction of perfect barbecue in the comments section below.

Featured Stories

Each month, one barbecue restaurant is featured in the magazine. We’ll update this list with each new issue. Click the link to read the story.

Barbecue Quiz

Created just for this occasion by Our State quiz master, Alan Hodge, this new quiz will test your barbecue brilliance, your sauce savvy, and just how much you know about North Carolina’s favorite food. Click here to take the quiz.

Bonus Barbecue Recipes

Looking for more than a pulled pork sandwich? Try these barbecue recipes from the Our State archives!


Want the original Kings of Barbecue tour? Download the TRAVEL NORTH CAROLINA app, powered by Our State, and you’ll have it as you travel the state. As new stories run in the Carolina ‘Cue section, we’ll add them to the tour. The app is free to download and is available for iPhones and Android devices. Click here to download.

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29 Responses to Carolina ‘Cue

  1. EDinNC says:

    You will finally get around to BBQ Joe’s in High Point. A lot of planning and knowledge went into opening of this restaurant a few years ago. It’s done right. Your choice of Joe’s sauce, Lexington sauce, DownEast (vinegar based), or South Carolina (mustard based).

  2. Turbo says:

    Bob Melton’s was absolutely the best in the 60’s. We would stop there every year on family vacations. The barbacue was the best and the hush puppies out of this world, not to mention the cole slaw. The atmosphere inside the restaurant was great with the wooden floor and the paneling on the walls. A great place and too bad it is gone

  3. Charlie says:

    I have no problem admitting that I do not, in any way, understand anyone that doesn’t realize that the HoneyMonk (Lexington #1) in Lexington is the best BBQ in the entire state…perhaps the entire WORLD! You bring any mayo-based side anywhere near my Cue….and we can’t be friends.

    I ate at the Skylight Inn in Ayden….not even close.

  4. 99trider says:

    I have eaten BBQ from the coast of North Carolina to the Colorado Rockies but nothing beats true eastern “whole hog” BBQ. Not knocking anybody else’s preference but I personally do not think you can get great BBQ west of highway 95, good and acceptable maybe, but if you want the best you have to go east. My two favorite places are Grady’s outside Dudley NC and Bum’s in Ayden. A 120 lb BBQ pig should be our state animal!!!

  5. There can never be too much written about North Carolina barbecue, thanks for making 2013 the Year of the Pig for Our State. (Ain’t it always?)

  6. Sam Webb says:

    I grew up in Winston-Salem and my Dad drove for Hennis Freight Lines. He was always bringing us the good BBQ from Lexington when he came home from the road. When he didn’t have a chance to stop, we would head down to Mr. Barbecue on Peters Creek Parkway to get a sandwich and some sweet tea. I’ve been eating their BBQ since before I could see over the counter and it’s a stop we always have to make each time I go home. Now, I live near Fayetteville and I used to work at the regional airport south of town. One of my favorite places for lunch was Bruce and Mickey’s, great BBQ and some of the best fried chicken anywhere.
    …and I agree with a lot of the others – let’s see that BBQ flag for sale!

  7. Barbarainnc says:

    I’d proudly fly the NC- Carolina ‘Cue Flag at my house, if you sold it !!!! :) :) :) NC Eastern Style is my favorite food. Matter of fact, I had some tonight. YUM YUM. I could eat BBQ 3 times a day.

    Please sell the flag!!!! :) :)

  8. donna goforth says:

    brushy mountain smokehouse north wilkesboro nc has the best

  9. Dale Isom says:

    We have a great bbq place up here in Wilkes County. It has been featured on the Food Network and is also home to some of the best homemade ice cream anywhere. It gets it’s name form the beautiful little mountain range that hugs the county… Brushy Mountain Smokehouse. Check it out.

  10. Max Hopper says:

    Yes, I know I added an extra “s” to the Bridges but they are clearly as deserving as the Court of St. James’s; being among the Bar-B-Que royalty of North Carolina.

  11. Max Hopper says:

    The Bridges of Cleveland County:
    The Q from both the Bridges’s (Red Bridges and Alston Bridges) restaurants sets the standard for Western NC. I have travelled the state for many years sampling and searching and eaten many fine examples but none better.

    I, too, want the flag!
    Earl, NC

  12. Beth says:

    Must try Grady’s in Dudley and Lewis’ in Clinton. Growing up in Mount Olive, I remember eating at Cannon’s until Mrs. Myrtle retired….always fabulous barbeque!

  13. G Foley says:

    Hard to beat the Carolina style. We have even brought it to Florida. We have a comprehensive line of sauces, a mighty good Rub and a seriously fun competition BBQ team cooking in the Florida Bar B Q Association – FBA ( ). We stay truer to our roots….born in North Carolina, raised in Florida ! Check us out at and Find us on Facebook !

  14. Teddy Witherspoon says:

    There is a barbeque food truck in Apex that is pretty darn good. Jonathan Berner has RedEye Barbeque in a bright yellow truck/trailer. Even though he is a Texan, he makes good Carolina ‘cue. Has all the fixings, fresh.

  15. Paula Davis says:

    Grew up eating Bob Melton’s in Rocky Mount, NC during the 60s. Lived only a few blocks from resturant and with $.25 stored in my shoe from picking up empty Pepsi bottles, would ride my bike and purchase a sack of hushpuppies. Friends and I would enjoy good eating down by the natural spring of cold water! My aunt, Myrtle Joyner, ran a family resturant in Mount Olive called “Cannon’s BBQ” on Main Street. She always hand-typed the “menu for the day” each morning, prepared a home-cooked blue-plate special, along with fresh cooked BBQ and the trimmings. Sweet memories and a wonderful place to spend the summer. We enjoy Bill’s BBQ in Wilson, but our all-time family favorite is Parker’s in Wilson. We eat there or get a family-style box of everything to enjoy at home…it doesn’t matter, it’s always delicious!

  16. Ed Hobbs says:

    Make sure to try Tarheel Barbeque in Eure, NC in Gates County at some point in time. A favorite of flks around here for many years. It is at the intersection of US 158 & US 13 at a location referred to on maps as “Tarheel.”

    Also, when you share the articles, you may want to try to offer a way for your subscribers to order pounds of BBQ from the restaurant covered.

  17. Leslie King says:

    Thanks Our State for putting Kings BBQ in Kinston in the 100 Foods You Must Eat issue – we hope you’ll make us a staple in your new Carolina ‘Cue section!
    We’ve got customers nationwide who are already gearing up for Superbowl Sunday because we ship our ‘cue, ribs, sauces and sides nationwide via FedEx. We’re one of the few ways to get Eastern NC BBQ no matter where you live.
    Come visit us and enjoy Kings BBQ in person! Be sure to say Happy Birthday to the founder’s wife, Ma King (a spry 90 years young) who still works the checkout!

  18. Becky Lee says:

    My favorite home recipe is a boston butt in the crockpot with a bottle of George’s Bar B Que Sauce or Wells Bar B Cue Sauce and cook on low all night or all day until meat falls off the bone. Serve with slaw, cornbread and applesauce all homemade, of course. Great sandwiches with leftovers.

  19. Ernie Cox says:

    When in Denver, NC on NC Buisness 16 stop at LakeShore BBQ for a tasty meal. They serve both chopped and pulled BBQ pork, and excellent Brunswick Stew also. The best is eastern style, but for those others they have the thick sauce, too.

  20. Sandra Walker says:

    Check out Prissy Polly’s Barbecue on Hwy 66 in Kernersville (between I-40 & Business 40). They do both Eastern & Lexington style. They are the only location I know of in the Piedmont Triad to do both types. The resturant is run by the Whaley family. Portions are big. They do BBQ Chimichangas. Not to be missed!

  21. Wes Spain says:

    What a great idea! As an expatriate in California, I miss the food of my homeland. Now I’ll have something to look forward to every month! And I agree with the suggestion to market that Carolina ‘Cue flag. I’ll take a dozen!

  22. Tom I Davis says:

    Stephenson’s Barbecue on Highway 50 in Johnston County, just a short drive north from McGee’s Crossroads, is not to be missed.

    I personally pass by Wilbur’s east of Goldsboro, and take a left at the next stoplight to get some of McCall’s delicious ‘Que. If you want some of their fine fried chicken wings, just ask your waitress to bring a basket with 5 or 6. You will be glad you did!-+

  23. larry steffee says:

    the red white and blue carolina ‘cue should be a flag sold by OUR STATE mag.

    • Pam says:

      The BEST Bar-B- Que restaurant in my opinion is “HENDICK’S BAR-B-QUE” in Salisbury, NC. They give a HUGE amount on your sandwich, & it is sooooo good.. the slaw is great & their curly fries homemade & delicious.. We stop when my husband has to go to the VA Hospital for a check-up.. If you are passing through Salisbury, it is so worth a stop.. good service too, & a 50’s – 60’s atmosphere with old sign’s etc.. LOVE IT !!!

  24. gus sams says:

    Every person who lives in North Carolina should be versed in the finer points of bar be cue. To fail to do so shows a lack of upbriniing, and ignornace.

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