Just read an article about the best barbecue in every state, plus DC, The 33 Best BBQ Joints in America.
.No doubt this is just someone's opinion. And opinions are like "you know what", everybody has one! Barbecue is personal, unique in different regions and the customers of a particular establishment are fiercely loyal.
For my home state of North Carolina, the Skylight Inn in Ayden, NC was chosen as number one. As you can see from the website, Skylight Inn has been in business a long time. And the folks in that area love the barbecue at the Skylight Inn. The barbecue here is what I call Eastern NC style. It is whole hog, and if any sauce is used, it is mostly vinegar.
Now I reside in Lexington, NC where barbecue is also pretty well known. Lexington style bbq is different than Eastern NC style But when I'm on the road selling hot sauce I often stop to try different bbq restaurants. I've tried the 'cue at Skylight Inn and while it was ok, it's nowhere near my favorite. The main thing I disliked is they chop up the crispy skin from the hog and mix it with the meat. So you have these crunchy bits in the barbecue. In Lexington they mostly use pork shoulders or butts and the skin is not mixed in the meat. You can however get a skin sandwich or a box of skins. Skins are excellent like this but not necessarily mixed in the barbecue. Again, that's just my opinion. And I'm sure people in Ayden, NC would argue that's how the skins should be used.
In Lexington there are numerous barbecue restaurants to choose from. Some my personal favorites are Speedy's Barbecue, Lexington Barbecue #1 also affectionately known as Honey Monk's, The Barbecue Center and Smokey Joe's BBQ. I also enjoy Bib's Downtown in Winston Salem, NC, who also have great ribs. For Eastern NC style barbecue I stop in at Wilbur's Barbecue in Goldsboro, NC on my way to sell hot sauce the NC Seafood Festival in Morehead City(link), which takes place this year October 2-4. And I've got to mention The Original Q Shack in Durham, NC(link). This was a favorite spot for my daughter and I while she was attending college. And while the pulled pork is good, I really go there for the ribs and chicken wings!
As I continue my travels across NC spreading the joy of hot sauce, I plan to enjoy barbecue and many other fine establishments in NC like B's Barbecue in Greenville, NC and Allen and Son Barbecue in Chapel Hill, NC.
I can't wait!