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Via Media

Dinner Under a Full Moon

In the drive-thru at the Full Moon Barbecue.
Alabama certainly likes its barbecue.  There’s a lot, and most of it is good. Hit a place at the wrong time and you might find some dryness, but not often.
The new thing I’ve encountered is “white sauce” – basically mayonnaise and vinegar. They like that here, too. They can have it.
Oh – and chow-chow was new to me. I’ll keep that one.
They also like fried pickles down here, something that doesn’t tempt me. I have, I hasten to assure you, indeed tried fried green tomatoes – which were very good as I had them at this place. And here.
(The Irondale Cafe, inspiration for the Whistle Stop Cafe of Fried Green Tomatoes fame is not far. Irondale is where EWTN is located.)
Where do you fall in the barbecue wars?
Does anyone disagree that the Carolina’s mustard-based sauce is the worst?
(My goal: to Althousize this blog. Seems like a win.)

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posted November 5, 2008 at 8:44 pm

Wow. I’m completely a fan of Carolina barbecue, though I don’t think of it as mustard-based. I dislike sweet barbecue, and the tangy vinegar of Carolina with the dry rub foundation is God’s love made edible.
And, oh, the memories of eatin’ barbecue at the Fiddling Pig in Ashville listening to live bluegrass. I had no idea I was a mountain girl at heart, but I’m beginning to wonder.

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Tom B

posted November 5, 2008 at 8:55 pm

Wow, calling South Carolina barbecue “Carolina” barbecue that’s asking for a flame war. Yes the mustard based concoction they call barbecue in South Carolina is pretty nasty. But the eastern style North Carolina bbq that’s vinegar based is pretty great. Although Lexington style North Carolina bbq is pretty good too. It’s has some vinegar but is more sweet and saucy than the eastern style.
“that’s asking for a flame war.” – my evil plan uncovered!

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posted November 5, 2008 at 9:11 pm

The best Chow Chow on the market is made by Crosse & Blackwell — highly recommended.
As for barbecue, nothing beats slow-smoked Texas brisket, topped off with Ranger Mel’s sauce.

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Jim McCullough

posted November 5, 2008 at 9:35 pm

North Carolina barbecue sauces go from mustardy “down East” towards our coast, to more tomatoey from the Piedmont to the mountains. It seems to meet right here in Greensboro with the mustard-taste of Boar and Castle Sauce (the drive-in is long gone, but the Sauce is still widely sold in the area) on one side and the tomato and vinegar of local fixture Stamey’s Barbecue on the other. One of the very finest Carolina mornings around here is when an early breeze from the south lightly smoothers my neighborhood with the smell of woodsmoke and slow-cooked pork from Stamey’s large ovens across from the Greensboro Coliseum. Oh my!

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posted November 6, 2008 at 9:01 am

Sauce? Who needs sauce?
Some Texas BBQ joints don’t even have it in the house.
Well-smoked meat speaks for itself.

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posted November 6, 2008 at 10:37 am

Oh, Amy. My family treks to the Outer Banks most every year. As proud Cincinnatians (Porkopolis anyone?), we savor the taste of NC BBQ because the pork is prepared in an oh-so-tender way. BBQ is all about how that pork is cooked. Yum!

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St. Elizabeth of Cayce

posted November 6, 2008 at 11:59 am

My dearest and I are sitting in Boone, NC right now (high school field trip) and the subject of BBQ came up 10 minutes ago in a conversation with complete strangers. We had in a group of 4 people (1) a fan of eastern NC vingergary ‘cue, (2) a fan of Lexington style (western NC) tomato based ‘cue, and (3) me, a fan of the mustard-based sauce from central SC.
(4) My dearest reminds anyone who will listen that BBQ should be about slow smoking of beef (“If it don’t moo, it ain’t ‘cue”) in a tomato based sauce.
So, no agreement here, except on one point: none of us will buy a particular mustard based sauce (produced about a mile from my house) until that man takes down that flag.

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Maclin Horton

posted November 6, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Where I come from, which is about 100 miles or so north of you, Amy, the white sauce only goes on chicken. I think it’s very tasty there. For pork, I like the thin pepper-tabasco-vinegar stuff. I avoid anything that looks like it’s ketchup-based.

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posted November 6, 2008 at 7:01 pm

IMHO, the best BBQ in the world is cooked between Memphis, TN and Paducah, KY.

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scotch meg

posted November 6, 2008 at 11:11 pm

True story about bbq.
When I graduated from high school, my parents brought us back down South (from Boston) to visit family for the first time in 9 years. We walked into my Granny’s house to be greeted with, “Come ahwn in, the barbecue is waitin'”. My dad said,
“Barbecued what?” Everyone in the room cracked up (except for us ignoramuses) and they all accused him of having turned into a Yankee.
When my son graduated from high school, my aunt sent me some South Carolina mustard-based sauce so I could make the real thing for his party. Have to say, I loved it…

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posted November 8, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Unless you’ve done Memphis in May, you may not have fully experienced all that BBQ has to offer.
Thank you for the “if it don’t moo, it ain’t ‘cue” motto – I think I’ll make it into a sampler.
Lastly, when traveling through Alabama, we passed a BBQ place that had on it’s marqee: We will serve NO SWINE before its time. (Based on the old Gallo wine ad of “we’ll serve no wine before its time.) I almost wrecked the car laughing.
Ok, this is really the last thing: I hate you guys for making me want BBQ. There’s only one decent place for miles and it’s far away and expensive. What’s WRONG with you people?

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Franklin Jennings

posted November 9, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Thank God for Maclin Horton!!! Low-Country (mustard based) sauces are awesome (in a bowl of pintos with crackling bread and NOWHERE else!)
And as good as BBQ is, nothing beats putting a whole pig in the ground. Now that is good eats.
Commercial chow-chow is alright, but nothing beats my Granny’s recipe. Again, the best thing in the world with pintos, crackling bread, a couple of slices of fried streak-o-lean, and a quarter of a raw white onion. I could eat like that every day. Unlike low-country bbq sauce, Chow-Chow is also good with everything else.
And I can eat a bait of fried pickles when I get the chance. I’ll sometimes wind up getting a box for my ribs if the pickles is good.

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