‘One word solidifies barbecue’ (and it isn’t ‘Carolina’)

“Bluff City BBQ opened last month — in a New York suburb.

“And there’s Memphis Style BBQ Company. Location:  Seminole, Florida.

“And there’s Porky J’s Memphis Style BBQ in San Antonio.

“And there’s a restaurant chain called Memphis Barbecue Co. operating  in Fayetteville, North Carolina….

“There are, of course, other regional favorites such as Texas beef barbecue, Kansas City barbecue with its thick, tomato- and molasses-based sauce, and the whole-hog North Carolina barbecue featuring a vinegary sauce.

” ‘But the Memphis style is “right up there at the top,” ‘ said [Linda] Orrison, National Barbecue [& Grilling] Association president.

” ‘As far as the consumer is concerned, that’s the one word that solidifies barbecue to them.’ ”

— From “BBQ spots across U.S. lay claim to ‘Memphis’ name” in the Memphis Commercial-Appeal (Jan. 20)


6 thoughts on “‘One word solidifies barbecue’ (and it isn’t ‘Carolina’)”

  1. Another interesting post, Lew. When you talk about BBQ, two restaurants immediately come to my mind. I don’t know if either one claimed the Memphis style, but both served up some fantastic “Q.”

    One is here in North Carolina and is still going strong in its 54th year. It’s “Little Pigs BBQ” at 384 McDowell Street in Asheville. The place is owned and operated by Joe and Peggy Swicegood. And if name Joe Swicegood sounds familiar to some UNC football fans, like me, that just means you’re old.

    Swicegood, who will turn 90 this year, was a center on UNC’s 1947 Sugar Bowl team with fellow Lee Edwards High grad Charlie Justice.

    The other BBQ restaurant was a must-visit place we always checked out during our 20-plus trips to the Kennedy Space Center.

    In the 1970s and 80s, the 528 Causeway into Central Florida, swung south to become A1A, or North Atlantic Avenue into Cocoa Beach. There was a strip of favorite eateries that catered to Cape workers and visiting members of the press. One of those restaurants was “Fat Boy’s Barbecue.” The legendary hangout had autographed photos of every astronaut who ever flew on its walls, taken during lunch or dinner visits, along with some VIP visitors like CBS’s Walter Cronkite, and ABC’s Jules Bergman. And the BBQ was pretty amazing as well. I believe “Fat Boy’s” went out of business a couple of years back.

  2. Two interesting stories, Jack — thank you…. Wouldn’t have expected a barbecue connection with the Space Center!

  3. Lew, I just learned this morning that we have lost another Tar Heel from “the best of times at UNC.”

    Joe Swicegood passed away back on March 22nd, 2018. He was a center, Jersey #21, on the Justice Era teams and was, along with his wife Peggy, a participant in the UNC 50th anniversary Sugar Bowl trip in 1997. He was also a teammate of Justice at Lee Edwards High in Asheville, 1940-1942.

    And of course, he is famous for his legendary barbecue restaurant in Asheville.


    Joe Swicegood was 91-years-old.

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