On a recent solo trip to Noble’s Grille in Winston-Salem I had the opportunity to add a couple more BBQ joints to the “Pig Pen Trails.” This particular week I took the I77 to I 40 route to the twin city and had my first stop in Mooresville at Lancaster’s BBQ. Their claim to fame is that they are the only whole hog BBQ smokers in the “Western NC” group. As far as I know that’s true (not to mention that these guys are no “fly by night” operation – these guys are serious BBQ folks: a noticeably successful and large restaurant. They must be doing it right.) I had a chopped BBQ tray with hushpuppies and an unsweet tea. Now, I don’t know why I try to drink unsweet tea (with Splenda or Stevia) when I am eating BBQ, but I suppose every little bit helps. I understand that Lancaster’s is a hot BBQ joint for the racing business that seems to have a great toe hold in Mooresville. This also appears to be a great family place as well. Well done.
My next stop was in Mocksville, NC. When I was a kid we would take a trip to visit Granddaddy’s family “up in the country” in Iredell county – before Iredell county was cool! You remember my Granddaddy Stamie Stroud (my Mom’s Dad) from my restaurant blog on tomatoes and summer. He was the local tomato king in Guilford County. Well anyway when Stamie was 16 he moved from Iredell county to the big city of High Point and got a job with Globe Parlor Furniture Co. Granddaddy was good with his hands and did a great job, eventually becoming the Cabinet Room Foreman. He grew up between Mocksville and Harmony on NC 901 where we would go to visit every so often, taking Aunt Beaut with us – her name was Beulah, but we called her Beaut. This was before I40 was completed so we would go down I85 to NC 64 and drive through Mocksville, where Aunt Ruth lived (she was a Hoot! who loved life and the Lord and had a continual and contagious laugh). There is a square in the middle of downtown Mocksville that had an old drug store on the corner where we would stop and get “real” fountain cokes. Just in case your wondering how old I am, this was in the 60’s when I was just a tot. Once we finally got to Grandpa and Grandma Stroud’s home we would always find a plate full of “local” fried chicken (local from the back yard because there was no other place to get it) and stacks of homemake biscuits. Wonderful, and probably the reason I love fried chicken today (see King’s Kitchen menu). It is amazing how food reminds you of places, times and smells from your past.
Back to Mocksville and Q! Deano’s Barbecue is right near the square in Mocksville and well worth the trip. If you are in Mocksville, you need to stop in. They are cooking with wood and the Q is good. Deano’s is owned and operated by Dean Allen who started in the BBQ business in 1961 as a curb hop for Buck Miller at Buck’s BBQ while still in high school. He opened the current restaurant in 1998 in a hewn log building. I understand from Jim Early Deano’s serves a “mean” pimento cheeseburger along with a long list of sandwiches. I’ll go back for the bologna, Philly steak and house made pimento cheese.
Next stop, an interview with Wayne Monk of Lexington #1 – the King of Western North Carolina BBQ.