Olivia Dish

Archive for the ‘Barbecue’ Category

Fate and Fried Pies

In Barbecue, Dallas, Local Flavor, Restaurant on June 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm
Fried Pie Window

Pity the poor soul who's never had a fried pie...then buy him one.

You miss out on so much when you don’t spend time in the South. Case in point–fried pies.

I was traveling across Texas with two globe-trotting military experts. Every morning as we drove to a secure location just down the road from Fate, Texas, we saw it: a giant billboard beside the interstate proclaiming “fried pies.”

One of these worldly fellows pondered aloud, “I wonder how they fry the pies. Can you fry a key lime pie?”

Gracious. The man thought you submerged a whole, circular pie into the deep fryer.

Fried pies, y’all, are turnovers, I told them.  Empanadas. “You mean like hot pockets?” the other one asked, eyes wide.  Yessir, I do.  Where’ve you been?

The poor fellows had never had fried pies. They’d never even heard of them.  Might I add, neither of them were that young.  It seemed a shame. And I’d been craving fried pies since the first time I laid eyes on that billboard.

Seemed like fate was directing us to take that exit and dig in.

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Mapping the Barbecue World-Wilber’s

In Barbecue, North Carolina, Restaurant on December 29, 2009 at 9:21 pm
Wilber's Barbecue Goldsboro NC

On Highway 70 in Goldsboro, NC

If you’re interested in eastern North Carolina barbecue, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Wilber’s.

It was 13 miles down the road from our farm, so of course I’d heard of it.  Wilber’s was the source of Saturday lunches and tailgating food for N.C. State games, the place the rich kids stopped off on their way to Camp Sea Gull.  I didn’t realize how famous it was until I left home.

Wilber’s had been, for many years, my prime destination every time I came back. I didn’t want to unload my suitcase. I wanted to head over to Highway 70 for a barbecue sandwich.  I knew I’d smell the wood fire when I drove up. If I was lucky, fighter jets from the nearby air force base might skim over the parking lot on their way to landing.  Did it get any better?

Then, one fine Saturday, my mother introduced me to Grady’s and a lifetime of devotion took a detour to Sleepy Creek Road. (Sorry Wilber.)

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Mapping the Barbecue World-Fuller’s

In Barbecue, North Carolina, Restaurant on October 31, 2009 at 4:02 pm
Fullers bbq

Off I-95 in Lumberton, NC

I’ve been driving past the Fuller’s Barbecue exit on I-95 in Lumberton for twenty-some years.  Today I finally stopped.

fullers bbq exterior

Front porch at Fuller's

Why now? Well, first, I was hungry.  And second, I’d read a brief write-up about it in John T. Edge’s book Southern Belly.  If the cute, clever Mr. Edge liked it, then why wouldn’t I like it too?

Maybe John T. had better luck, better timing, or was even hungrier than I was.  I knew something was off when I didn’t smell any evidence of a wood fire on the premises.

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Mapping the Barbecue World-Watford’s

In Barbecue, Restaurant, South Carolina on June 1, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Watford's in Bishopville, SC

My friends Whit DeSpoon, Dizzy Frummunger, and I have been known to drive a few miles to find a little barbecue, which makes us rather like most Southerners we know.

Here’s a place I’ve eaten a couple of times, in Bishopville, South Carolina.  Watford’s is not far off I-20, between Florence, SC (I-95) and Columbia.  Just take exit 116 and head toward Bishopville on Highway 15 (Sumter Highway).  You will see it on the right.

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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.

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