Carolina BBQ Breakdown: Piedmont-Lexington Style
What is the biggest rivalry in the Carolinas? The Clemson Tigers versus the University of South Carolina Gamecocks? The Duke Blue Devils versus the University of North Carolina Tar Heels? Nope, it's barbecue. Piedmont style versus Eastern style is hands-down the Carolinas' greatest feud, and devotees will root for their favorite flavor on every possible occasion. The Piedmont-Lexington style is pork shoulder cooked over hickory coals then chopped or sliced and topped with a ketchup-infused sauce. Piedmont barbecue is red, vinegary and a bit spicy, unlike it's sweeter ketchup-less rival, Eastern style. Before you decide what camp you fall in, check out these Piedmont-Lexington-style barbecue joints in North Carolina:
Known by locals since 1962 as the "Honeymonk" after founder Wayne Monk, Lexington Barbecue is the truest form of Piedmont-Lexington style pork shoulder barbecue. Lexington Barbecue slow cooks their famous meat for 10 to 12 hours over oak or hickory coals. Named by USA Today as one of the top 10 best Southern barbecue restaurants, Lexington proudly serves vinegar-based red barbecue sauce with their signature red slaw (no mayonnaise) and North Carolina's most famous soft drink, Cheerwine.
Head to Shelby, North Carolina to Red Bridges Barbecue to sample the lost art of pit-cooked barbecue. Bridges slow-cooks pork over hickory coals all night long to bring out the true old-fashioned flavor of the meat. Family owned for three generations, Bridges prides itself on friendly service, hot hushpuppies, and the best vinegar-based barbecue in Shelby.
Speedy's Barbecue in Lexington offers delicious barbecue as well as curbside service so you don't even have to leave your car. Family run by the Dunn brothers since 1978, Speedy's maintains its loyal following by consistently offering the 3 Q's of quality, quantity, and quick service. Countless locals make their weekly pilgrimage to Speedy's to enjoy their mouthwatering barbecue, generous portions, and friendly service from waitstaff who are like family.
Head to Clemmons, North Carolina to the Original Little Richard's Lexington BBQ for a taste of hickory-smoked, hand-chopped traditional pit barbecue smothered in their secret sauce. Opened by Richard Berrier in 1991, Little Richard's boasts an old-time feel with rocking music, vintage advertising signs, and local folks bonding over their love of Lexington-style barbecue. In addition to barbecue chopped or sliced any way you like it, Little Richard's also offers burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, and more.
While you are in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, make time for a second stop at Mr. Barbecue. This traditional family restaurant has been serving Lexington-style barbecue since 1962 with no sign of slowing down. Try their genuine pit-cooked "Q" with fresh hushpuppies, BBQ slaw, and fries.
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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.