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In addition to our regular order (one sandwich, hushpuppies, and sweet tea - pictured), we got another sandwich, a side of potato salad, and Brunswick stew (not pictured) because we weren’t going to have another opportunity for barbecue later. The first thing we noticed about the sandwich was the generous portion of meat, and that it had some sauce on it already (although there was more available on the table). We liked the sauce a lot - a good, typical Lexington-style sauce (or “dip”, as they call it). The sweet tea was very sweet - I thought I could taste some tea flavor but Nick didn’t. The hushpuppies were very good - we liked their small size, and it seemed like maybe there was small bits of onion in them.
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This barbecue was great! You could smell the difference as you were walking in from outside. We ordered a sandwich to share and a half dozen pups. We noticed on the menu that hushpuppies could be bought individually (for $0.35) and discovered why when they arrived at our table - they were huge! This was the first time, upon ordering, that we were asked whether we wanted white or red slaw on the sandwich (and we chose red). The tea was good - very sweet - and the meat was easily the best of the day, but the pups still stole the show for their size and their crispy, crumbly outside contrasted by a soft, light inside. YUM!
Deano’s has a much more small-town feel to it than the places we visited earlier today, but that’s no surprise since Mocksville is a much smaller community than Burlington or Greensboro. The cue here was the smokiest of the day so far, and the red slaw had a nice flavor to it, too. Most noticeable was the larger amount of meat on the sandwich as compared to the other two BBQ stops today. The hush puppies were what you’d usually expect to get at a BBQ place - crispy on the outside and a little bit cakey on the inside, with a hint of sweetness. The tea was pleasantly sweet. We saw a sign for pineapple upside down cheesecake and were tempted to try it but restrained ourselves since we had one more food stop to make.
We each had a sandwich with slaw and split a small order of hushpuppies. Nick added a sweet tea to wash it down. The menu listed both a chopped and sliced option for the sandwich. We did not specify which one, but the waitress correctly assumed chopped. She did, however, clarify that we wanted slaw on our sandwiches. The slaw turned out to be creamy. We found the barbecue decent but not exceptional. It was not as flavorful as others. It was particularly lacking in smokiness. We tried some of their sauce which was on the table and found it to be sweeter and thicker than what we’re used to. The hushpuppies were lackluster as well. We agreed that they were too soft and doughy. There was no crispiness on the outside, but they did have honey butter that complemented the pups. The tea was perfectly sweetened; it was plenty sugary but not so much that it masked the tea flavor.
This barbecue was easily the blandest of the trip and had the same bun and same red slaw as everywhere else today. The tea was also un-noteworthy, although that might be attributable to the fact that our taste buds are pretty shot at this point in the day. But! The hushpuppies were amazing, some of the best of the trip. (They would’ve gotten top marks from me had they been a bit smaller so they had a better crispy outside to cakey inside ratio, but Nick said they were his favorite.) They were remarkable not only for their size but also because they had a unique ingredient: small bits of chopped onion. Richard came over while we were eating and said, “Only one sandwich? What the hell?” to which Nick explained that we weren’t too hungry (to put it mildly!) and just wanted a little bite to eat. He then made the mistake of complementing him on his hushpuppies, which provoked Richard to say, “We’re supposed to be famous for our barbecue, but everyone likes these hushpuppies!” Apparently we weren’t the first to comment on the pups and without first mentioning the cue.
The same buns reappeared at Wink’s, and it seemed like the hushpuppies were made of the same batter as Darrell’s - they were identical in taste but differed in size. These were actually the first ball-shaped hushpuppies of the trip, and the only ones served with butter other than Wilber’s. The tea was sweeter than Darrell’s but not in the same echelon as yesterday’s sweet teas.
M&K’s Barbecue. Granite Quarry, NC. It was closed but since it was right on our way to Salisbury we stopped to take a picture.
These people had the same bun as Bridges in Shelby! Do the bun-making companies cater to eastern and western NC distinctively? This sauce was slightly more vinegar-y and less viscous than Bridges with a nice bite to it without being hot. The slaw on the sandwich had the same sauce. The tea was probably the least sweet of the trip. And OH WOW, their hush puppies are out of this world!! We both enthusiastically agreed that they were the best pups of the trip, no contest. They were huge, incredibly light, and had a great flavor. I’m afraid we can’t do them justice in a tumblr post!
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