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Going back for a college reunion Thursday of this week, and leaving Sunday night, and hoping to get the best barbecue sandwich of my dreams: vinegary, peppery, smoky pulled/chopped pork on a soft white bun with cole slaw. We will do a lot of eating this weekend, but I'm really just interested in the best 'cue joint in Durham, or within 45 minutes (or so) of Durham.
To be clear, I am looking for Eastern NC-style "barbecue". I am not really interested in eating brisket, ribs, chicken, etc. (although all those things can be delectable, I know . . .), or even in the sides (though some good green beans, brunswick stew, etc. would not be unappreciated). I prefer the sandwich delivery method of said barbecue, but if bread is non-existent, I will happily eat a plate of barbecue. Ugly, low-brow joints are ok, as are high-brow places, but I am usually skeptical of high-brow barbecue places.
We fly in to RDU on Thursday morning, and I've been looking at both Backyard Pit BBQ close to the airport and Stephenson's, south of Raleigh. Don't know if hounds recommend either one for what I'm looking for, or if there's a clear better option? I don't really want to drive all the way out to south of Garner since we are staying in Durham, but I will if it's good.
I am planning on going with friends on Thursday night to Bullock's in Durham for old time's sake, though it doesn't seem to get many mentions here. Haven't been in 8 years, but that's the style/flavor I'm craving.
Another friend wants to hit the Original Q Shack in Durham on Saturday morning . . . I read ok reviews, but nothing great about the Q. Any opinions on that place?
I also saw Picnic being mentioned in various places, but don't know if hounds have an opinion on that. I don't mind paying those higher prices if the food warrants it, but I'm just not sure.
Lastly, I plan on eating barbecue Thursday - Sunday, in case that helps with advice on hours, etc., and we will have car to travel anywhere within 45 minutes of Durham. Thank you!
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