Olivia Dish

Mapping the Barbecue World-Grady’s

In Barbecue, North Carolina, Restaurant on May 13, 2009 at 1:30 pm
Grady's Bar-B-Q

Grady's Barbecue

I have yet to find barbecue I like more than Grady’s…. a name pronounced in this part of eastern North Carolina like Daddy’s lunch not Brady Bunch. I’ll get to the story on that pronunciation in a moment.  First the important stuff.

You can smell the goodness when you step out of your car.  The barbecue is slow cooked over a wood fire and dressed with a simple, spicy vinegar sauce (more like a marinade or a splash I’ve always thought, but say that out loud and wait for the locals to hoot with laughter).  Then, the very best part–little bits of crispy skin are chopped into the pork.


Secret ingredient


Near Sleepy Creek NC, outside of Goldsboro

The barbecue straight up is delicious.   But I like mine on a soft, warm, white hamburger bun.  I’m not sure why that’s such an irresistible combination; somehow, the bun absorbs the goodness and amplifies it in a way only white bread could.

Grady’s is not easy to find.  Frankly, if you never find it, fine…keeps the line at lunch shorter.  But if you are up for the hunt, make your way to 3096 Arrington Bridge Road, outside of Goldsboro NC.


Does this mean they deliver?


Barbecue worth waiting in line for

Now about that Grady with the short “a”.

I am a descendant of Gradys in eastern North Carolina and according to our family lore, the pronunciation isn’t just a goof or a product of Earl-like ignorance. (Jaime Pressly was born just down the road from Grady’s, btw.)   Many of the early settlers in North Carolina spelled their last name “Graddy.”  Somewhere along the way, people started dropping the second “d” but kept the short “a” pronunciation.


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