The Barbecue Trail: 500 Miles of Eating

The season for great barbecue is upon us. Here’s another barbecue story to add to Gadling’s mix of barbecue (or barbeque) options. North Carolina has The Barbecue Trail. This means 25 restaurants, deemed the barbecue best, are dotted along 500 miles of the state’s roads.

These aren’t the only barbecue joints in North Carolina, there are 100s, but these are the ones chosen by the North Carolina Barbecue Society to represent the state’s varieties. Each place has been in business for at least 15 years, makes its own sauce, and has barbecue that is distinct from the others. If you go to each place, you’ll cover the flavor and style gamut.

Steve Stephens, the editor of the Columbus Dispatch traveled these miles over three days licking his fingers while chowing down on pork. He discovered that his initial idea of just sampling at each place was futile. He couldn’t stop himself and basically ate like a pig. Here’s a link to the video on the trip.

The appeal to me about this trail is not just the food, but the variety of the places and people that serve up barbecue. This is one way to see some back country and meet folks who are passionate about what they do. If you want to take this trip yourself, or to see if on your way to somewhere else you might pass by one of these places, check out the barbecue society’s website. You’ll find a map and more.