Carolina BBQ Breakdown: Eastern Vinegar Style
If you are new to the Carolinas or have lived here all your life, one thing you had better know is Barbecue. Down here in the South, people are divided into two categories; those who like Lexington style or those who prefer Eastern style. According to John Shelton Reed, the co-author of Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue, barbecue got its start in the Caribbean, where islanders would simmer meat slowly over a low flame, basting it with lemon and peppers. But since fruit was hard to find, vinegar became a ready substitute throughout the United States. Lexington-style came along in the late 1800s with the introduction of Heinz ketchup. The other significant difference between Eastern style and Lexington style is that Eastern barbecue uses the entire hog while Lexington style only cooks the pork shoulder. Although you will find legions of fans who will argue the merits of their favorite pork sauce, Eastern style is the original 'cue. If you want to see what the fuss is all about, check out these must-visit Eastern-style barbecue joints:
With three locations in the Outer Banks at New Bern, Winterville, and Morehead, Moore's Olde Tyme Barbeque, is a family owned establishment with over 100 years experience in slow cooking barbecue. Moore's smokes their meat daily over real wood until it is so tender it falls off the bone. Their Eastern style plates are served with homemade slaw, hushpuppies, and all the fixins'.
If you're not looking, you may just miss Wilber's Barbecue outside of Goldsboro, North Carolina on the side of Highway 70, but once there you will see why it garners loyal followers from all over the state. Hand cooked by Wilbur since 1962, this sublime chopped barbecue is served with slaw, fries, and on-the-house hush puppies. Wilber's offers a family atmosphere with down home cooking that's hard to find anywhere else.
If you want an authentic dining experience in rural Carolina, Grady's BBQ in Dudley, North Carolina is the place to go. Most barbecue places today cook with gas or electricity, but Grady's cooks the old fashioned way out back with wood over open pits. Grady's has been featured in Our State Magazine and USA Today for its famous smoked barbecue served with fries, coleslaw, hushpuppies, and sweet tea.
If you want to try lots of different Eastern Carolina barbecue, head to the 10th annual Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown in downtown Rocky Mount, North Carolina. This professional cooking event offers competitions in chicken, pork ribs, pork, and beef brisket with 58 opportunities to win. Held October 13th & 14th of this year, the BBQ Throwdown has live music including Who's Bad, the Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band, exhibitions, beverages, and of course, delicious barbecue.
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Before visiting some of the Carolinas' best barbecue joints, visit your local AAA Car Care location for all of your car maintenance needs, including battery checks. If you plan to stay overnight, visit your local AAA travel agent to help make your trip planning easy with hotel discounts, reservations, and TripTiks, AAA's exclusive travel planner. A road trip is always a good time to make sure your insurance is updated, so call your local AAA insurance agent and they can walk you through the best options. You can easily manage your AAA Membership online or call 1-866-593-8626 while on the road.