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BBQ road trip - torn between Smiley's or Red Bridges Lodge for last stop

dwkayak | Feb 23, 201503:03 PM     2

I am going on an all too brief (Friday-Sunday) BBQ road trip, making a big circle through the Carolina's starting (and ending in Atlanta). I want to hit some of the best examples of the major styles. Current plans are Jackie Hites (Friday Lunch), Sweatman's (Friday Dinner), B's (Saturday Lunch), Grady's (Saturday Dinner), Wilburs (Sunday Lunch)……and then I need one more, which would need to be a Lexington Style place on my way back to Atlanta. My primary choices are not an option as places like Lexington#1 are closed on Sunday. I have identified two possibilities however: Smileys in Lexington and Red Bridges Lodge in Shelby. If anyone has experience with both places, I would love to hear your opinion. Or, if you think that there are places better than these two that are also open on Sunday and on the way back to Atlanta (from northeast North Carolina), I'll be happy to consider other options. I like Red Bridges because it's a bit closer to Atl (I could have dinner a bit later and still get home in time to relax before going to bed), but I think Smiley's might have some better, or more varied sides (after 3 days of 'cue, I will be wanting to have some vegetables, or at least stew). Thanks in advance for your input.

Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge
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