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Happy eating and wandering!

13 days.

10 cities.

3200 miles in a 1992 Toyota Corolla.

Pork, pork, and more pork.

This BBQ tour focused on two of the four reputed barbecue styles in the US: Carolina and Memphis.  In North Carolina, we savored the subtle yet distinct differences between Eastern style (vinegar based) and Lexington/Western style (vinegar with a hint of ketchup).   In Memphis, we debated wet vs. dry. We also picked up a few ribs, pork sandwiches, and other delights along the way, with stops Richmond, Savannah, Birmingham and Nashville.  We can safely say, we now know what constitutes a true “bbq joint.”

There is no way we could choose a best overall; the styles are just too different.  Besides, comparing North Carolina and Memphis BBQ is like comparing apples and oranges (or, uh, pulled pork and ribs).  But a clear winner in each category did emerge.  Here were our favorites:

North Carolina: Lexington Barbeque – Lexington, NC. You just can’t get much better than the chopped pork, hush puppies, and bbq slaw they serve here.  And once you make friends with the locals waiting in the line that is spilling out the door at lunch time, you won’t mind the wait one bit.

Coarse chopped pork at Lexington BBQ

Coarse chopped pork and slaw at Lexington BBQ

Memphis: Interstate Barbeque. There ain’t much to be said about the service or the decor, but the rib bones that fall out of the meat will have you ordering more, even after you’ve gorged on a plate full of them and downed a side of bbq spaghetti, a Memphis specialty.

Rib and pork dinner at Interstate BBQ

Rib and pork dinner at Interstate BBQ

There were of course many other joints that we thoroughly enjoyed stuffing ourselves at.  We’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Fried chicken and bbq plate, Smithfield Chicken and BBQ

Fried chicken and bbq plate, Smithfield Chicken and BBQ, Clayton, NC

Pulled pork on texas toast, The Bar-b-que Shop, Memphis

Pulled pork on texas toast, The Bar-b-que Shop, Memphis

Barbecue spaghetti, The Bar-b-que Shop, Memphis

Barbecue spaghetti, The Bar-b-que Shop, Memphis

Wet and dry, The Bar-b-que Shop, Memphis

Wet and dry, The Bar-b-que Shop, Memphis

Cozy Corner, Memphis

Cozy Corner, Memphis

New Year's Eve ribs at Jack's, Nashville

New Year's Eve ribs at Jack's, Nashville

Many thanks to our family and friends who aided and guided us along the way!!  We couldn’t have done it without your guest bedrooms and local culinary insight!  You all will always have a place to stay and a few foodies to show you around New York City anytime!