I have decided to make a pilgrimage to the Skylight Inn in Ayden in late summer, and see what most 'cue lovers consider the ideal place in the Southeast. I will be in the heart of NC for 4 nites, and I plan to have BBQ 4 or 5 times in 4 days--that's about the most I can handle.
I have also decided on Lexington Barbecue #1 as the only other must-visit place on the way. I get to the Asheville area often enuf, so I need 3 or 4 other places within the area roughly bordered by Asheville, Greensboro, Greenville and Fayetteville (nothing east of Ayden.)
I have the Bob Garner and Jim Early books as well as the Roadfood ones, but I would like to hear from more people who have been to enough places to be able to sort out the wheat from the chaff in this opinionated, admittedly subjective area. In general, I prefer chopped or pulled pork plates, maybe a sampling of ribs and places with good sides as well (slaw, beans, corn bread, Brunswick stew and desserts.) So good 'cue by itself is not quite enough to make the cut.
I am happy to get on the backroads quite a few miles as long as good chow is on the other end. Also, if there are any other yummy,unique things that are available at a given place (like the fruit pies at the counter at Lexington), that would give it extra credit also. And if there's anything I can say or ask for or a name I can invoke at a particular place ("____ sent me) that will stamp me as an "insider", please give details.
This will be mostly during the week-- back home to KY on Saturday to minimize Sunday closings.
Thanx for any and all recommendations. I have gotten more good ideas on this board than I can count.
Let the games begin.