Having just had some very good BBQ at Big Pig, I decided to try one of their competitors-Carolina Kitchen in Sparks. This may not be a totally fair assessment as I picked up, did some errands, and got it back home up at the Lake a couple hours later. However, I've found that BBQ I've made and rewarmed the next day, and even frozen and rewarmed at a later date, is just fine. If it's good when it's cooked, it will be good when rewarmed.
We had a sampler of just about everything including ribs(spares), shredded pork, shredded beef, hot link, cornbread, red beans and rice, and black eye peas.
I've never had Carolina BBQ before so I can't judge how this rates with the best. I'm more familiar with Memphis and Texas style.
The ribs were overcooked and dried out. Not very fatty but definitely left on the smoker too long. The shredded pork was pretty good, but dried out. That was my fault as I should have thrown some sauce on the pork when rewarming. I was expecting some nice slices of brisket with a beautiful smoke ring but instead was served this shredded brisket which seemed overcooked, stringy, and funky tasting. The star of the evening was the hot link, which had wonderful texture and smoky flavor and a bit of heat to let you know it's there. The black eyed peas were wonderful but the red beans and rice should be sent to New Orleans for a facelift. The sauce, a mild and a hot, were tomato based, and thinner with more vinegar than a typical Memphis sauce. I found the mild somewhat cloying, but the hot(not very) quite good. The cornbread I also found too sweet. Don't get me wrong, I love sweet, but usually for dessert, not my main course.
IMO, Big Pig lords over Carolina Kitchen. I'd pick up some brisket and pulled pork, bake beans, and then head over to Carolina Kitchen for hot links and black-eyed peas, and call it a day. Or even better, save the drive to Reno, fire up my smoker, and do it myself.
Carolina Kitchen & BBQ
950 Glendale Ave.
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