BBQ ROADTRIP!!! : Little Richards Lexington BBQ - Winston Salem, North Carolina
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Some people get the short end of a stick when it comes to any tasting competition. The worst place to be is definitely the last guy. By the time the judge reaches you, they're already on palate fatigue. Little Richard's was my 3rd BBQ stop of the day in North Carolina in the span of 4 hours!!
Yes you read that correctly, I've basically ate BBQ on the average of slightly over once an hour. Little Richard's didn't have a chance, or did it?
The first you notice pulling into Little Richard's parking lot is that it looks and smells exactly like a Carolina BBQ joint should. Huge stacks blowing out hickory smoke and evaporating pork fat. Large no frills area that should look like a place dedicated to BBQ and just a diner that serves pork.
The owner definitely loves his tobacco. Rightfully so as the North Carolina economy was basically built by tobacco. Her major Universities like Duke, UNC, NC State and Wake Forest were all funded by tobacco money. There are old tobacco ads EVERYWHERE. It's a cool little kitch design. I happen to smoke cigars and not cigarettes but I could easily see how an anti-smoking activist might get a bit irate at the decor. I liked it anyhow. Great pieces of Americana.
As tradition - Chopped BBQ, Slaw, and hush puppies. As we're in Winston Salem, Little Richards is a Lexington Style joint. Their dip is definitely spicier than others I've tried. The pork was moist and beautifully smoked. It could stand to get some salt though but otherwise a fantastic representative of Piedmont Carolina barbecue. Same goes with the red slaw, the spiciest slaw I've had on the trip. I'd definitely recommend their dip as an introduction to Lexington BBQ for it's robust memorable character.
What really really separated this joint out were the Hush Puppies!! Keep in mind I was really really stuffed from eating all day. What's the hardest thing to eat after you're stuffed? Starch. Ever want a pizza for dessert? Me neither. Yet these were the platonic image of the perfect hush puppy. I don't normally prefer them round but these were round without being donut like. It had a pleasantly chewy texture and was slightly sweet. I simply could not stop eating them. I happen to not like my hush puppies tasting like a cake donut. This style is pretty popular Mid - North Carolina, it's most famous proponent being Allen & Sons. I could have eaten more of the hush puppies if I had a travel partner but a drive to South Carolina awaited me and I needed to stay awake on the road.
Winston Salem doesn't get enough props in my opinion as a great barbecue city. But between Little Richards and Hill's Lexington, it's one of the finest BBQ eating towns in the country.
Some pictures (see top link for more)