I had to think a bit about this week’s topic, but then I realized I had never shared the details of our BBQ through the states adventure.
First, you should know that I am from Eastern North Carolina which means that BBQ is a noun and not a verb. BBQ is made from pork that has been slow roasted on a large grill or ‘pig cooker’ , pulled or chopped, and topped with a vinegar based sauce.
Our BBQ Adventure Begins
This spring our family was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Lake Charles, LA to help with some disaster relief. Most of the group from our church flew into Louisiana, but our family made the drive and turned it into a new family adventure.
We decided that we would take most of the food for breakfast and lunch but eat out each evening of the trip down to Louisiana. Our family loves BBQ and as a bonus it is normally a fairly reasonably priced dinner.
So, we decided to try to eat BBQ in as many different states as we could along the way. Many southern states have their own style of BBQ (North Carolina has an ongoing Eastern and Western style BBQ war).
On the first day of our trip we were in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. We have had South Carolina BBQ before and we really were not huge fans of their mustard based sauce, but everyone should try it once.
Since the first day was a long day of travel, we ended up just picking up food from a drive through and not getting BBQ in Georgia.
Our second night we had our first BBQ of the trip in Alabama. We scoured the internet to figure out what BBQ locations were on our route, family friendly, and had good reviews. We also wanted a place that was more local than chain.
We found The Meat Boss and I am so glad that we did. It was a friendly local place, with good food, and outdoor seating. That was the perfect set-up for a big family with a tired and messy toddler. They offered pork and beef along with a wide variety of sauces. We tried a variety but focused mainly on the white sauce which is typical of Alabama BBQ. Honestly, it was one of the best meals of our trip and we would definitely eat it again if we went back through Mobile. We even bought a bottle of their sauce to bring home and share with family members.
In Louisiana we ate most of meals without team and enjoyed some local cuisine including boudin and crawfish. We also had the chance to enjoy some jambalaya and gumbo. However, we still wanted to try a little Louisiana BBQ.
Our friends helped us out by picking us up a BBQ sandwich from a local restaurant. My son ate most of the sandwich, but we all tried a little bit. It was pulled pork, with a little more smoke than in North Carolina. It was enjoyable but not something we would go out of our way to eat again.
When people talk about Texas BBQ, they are most commonly referring to beef brisket. While we did not have to travel through Texas, it was only about thirty minutes from where we were staying in Louisiana. Since the children had never been to Texas, we decided it was worth a little side trip.
Before leaving, we researched BBQ restaurants in the Texas. We found one that looked like a great mom and pop place to get brisket. Unfortunately, when we arrived that Sunday for lunch they were having a special that day for crawfish and did not have any brisket.
Thankfully we found another local restaurant with brisket. The brisket was tasty but not the best. It was tender but the sauce was a bit too smoky for my taste. We feel like we might not have chosen the best place to try it, so we are thinking that we will try Texas brisket again if we ever make it back to Texas.
Tennessee BBQ is best known for Memphis ribs. We decided to grab a lunch of ribs in Memphis on our way to visit family in Nashville as a stop on our journey home. We picked Corky’s because they were open for lunch, close to our path of travel, and had good reviews. While they also have pulled pork sandwiches, we focused on the ribs.
They had three different styles of ribs: wet (BBQ sauce), dry (dry rub), and muddy (both). We got some of each and shared them so that everyone could try them all three ways. We needed to get to Nashville that evening, so we ate them in the car. It was a bit messy and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that part of our decision, but we did really enjoy the ribs.
As a North Carolina girl through and through, I still can’t really consider the ribs BBQ but they were very good and I would happily eat them again.
Home Sweet Home
Finally, after almost two weeks on the road we arrived back in our home town. It was dinner time when we got back and we were too tired to cook. So, we decided to finish up our BBQ through the States tour in our home town. We picked up BBQ from the Smithfield’s BBQ restaurant. It was delicious as always.
All in all, we really enjoyed our adventure, but my favorite BBQ is still the North Carolina style BBQ cooked by my daddy or my husband using my grandfather’s special sauce recipe.
Is your home state known for a particular style of BBQ? What is your favorite style of BBQ?
Check out the other BBQ Posts by clicking on the graphic below.
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