USA Today released its list of the 10 Best Barbecue Restaurants in North Carolina last week, and apparently their judges and readers like western North Carolina's sweeter sauce better than the vinegar-based eastern North Carolina kind. Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge on E. Dixon Blvd. in Shelby was named #1 in the list, chosen by readers from 20 nominees selected by the 10-Best panel. Readers were allowed to vote once per day for their favorite from the list of nominees.
The 10 Best were:
Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge - Shelby
Willie Brooks BBQ - Waynesville
Midwood Smokehouse - Charlotte
Stamey's Barbecue - Greensboro
Southern Smoke BBQ - Garland
City Barbeque and Catering - Multiple Locations
The Pit - Durham
MeMa's Chick'n & Ribs - Burgaw
Haywood Smokehouse - Waynesville & Dillsboro
Buxton Hall Barbecue - Asheville
The USA Today list is quite different from the list compiled for Southern Living magazine's article "The Best 65 Miles of Q," which lists restaurants east of I-95.
There were no other restaurants from our area other than Red Bridges included in the list of 20 nominees. That list included two restaurants from Asheville, two from Lexington, and two from Durham. One of the Asheville locations made the 10-Best list and one of those from Durham, but neither of the Lexington locations.
Many newspapers and magazines compile similar lists of retail businesses judged the 'Best Of' in their area. In many cases, to participate, businesses either have to be advertisers with the publication or pay an entry fee.
The Lincoln Herald is going to do our own 'Best Of' for our area--and since the USA Today list has just come out, we might as well begin with barbecue. There's no entry fee; and the winner can be any restaurant that serves barbecue (or bbq if you prefer) in any form--pork, beef, chicken; sandwiches, briskets, ribs--at a location in our service area: Lincoln, Gaston, Catawba and Cleveland counties. They don't have to be primarily a barbecue restaurant; they just need to sell barbecue in one form or another.
To nominate a restaurant, you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on Facebook on this or other articles posted there about the competition. The winning restaurant will be given a month's free advertising on the Lincoln Herald website--a $500 value. The winner will be decided by our judges based on the comments we receive from readers (not necessarily the total number of votes for a particular restaurant).
Sign up for our FREE email service and we'll send you an email every day with links to our articles posted since the previous day's email. That way, you won't miss the latest news, obituaries, sports and other items of interest for Lincoln, Gaston, Catawba and Cleveland counties.