My son and I just got back from a trip to North West, Florida and pretty much lived on a diet of barbecue and seafood. We spent much of the time off the Interstate system seeking out yard sales and local BBQ joints on the way to the Gulf Coast and coming home. At the coast, I especially, honed in on consuming local sea creatures, fried, steamed, and grilled. I even managed to get down a sample oyster on the half-shell.
As many of you know I have for years been on a quest to find the best pulled pork on earth and the search has been very enjoyable and made for some good memories and tales of conquest. But since it began, back in the mid-80s, much of the luster has been lost. There are several reasons for this and the newness rubbing off is probably a major factor. Other reasons have to include there only being so many ways to smoke a hog, the increase in the number of BBQ joints, and, to twist a phrase, that we have gotten pretty damned good at pulling our own pork.
The one thing we both agreed on is that Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro, NC remains our personal, all-time, favorite with Hill’s Lexington BBQ, north of Winston-Salem, NC, running a possible close second. We also agreed that good BBQ never came out of a big chain restaurant with a modern building just off the Interstate. The best que is found in old concrete block buildings with knotty pine walls, oil-skin covered tables, and a big pile of burning hickory logs out back from which the glowing embers are used to convert swine into swell.