Just back from our trip from Maryland to North Carolina, and wanted to report. On the Q front, we enjoyed back-to-back lunches in Lexington at Lexington Barbeque and Speedy's. It's really a toss up - both served up generous portions of juicy lean pork with just the right balance of dip flavor. Lexington has their own bottled sauce on the table which is a bit zippier. Speedy's serves a side container of their own tasty, slightly red dip sauce. Both offer chopped or sliced meat, but Speedy's also serves up "coarse chopped" which isn't really chopped, but rather consists of very large cubes or chunks of tender meat. We were in Q-heaven at both places, but we took some of Speedy's home.
The real find of the trip was in Winston-Salem, where Larry, the innkeeper at the Zeveley Inn in Old Salem (a wonderful place to stay)recommended his favorite restaurant, Sweet Potatoes, at 529 Trade Street, downtown. This is in the newly developing arts district. This small (under 50 seats), stylishly decorated southern-style eatery simply served up some of the best contemporary southern cooking we've ever eaten. I mean, this place food-wise is on a par with Louis'in Pawleys Island, Snobs or Magnolia in Charleston, or the Trellis in Williamsburg. We were blown away with the presentation and tastes, from the basket of fried green tomatoes and fried ochra for starters, to the barbequed duck with red and white sweet potatoes and the grilled salmon over sweet potato cornbread. And then there was the sweet potato cheesecake with praline topping for dessert! Run, don't walk.