Saturday, November 17, 2012

Alston Bridges Barbecue North Carolina

Thursday the competitors were just arriving at the City Park in Shelby for the Hog Happnin'

Of course I'm going to drag out my trip to Shelby, NC as long as I can just to keep you in suspense. The wife and I went down primarily to see how a good Kansas City Barbeque Society festival is run for when we do HoggingUp next June. We learned from the best, HogHappnin in Shelby. Joyce and Jerry have been doing their event for 21 years.  We were supposed to be there Friday and Saturday, but we arrived on Thursday. Keep in mind the annual event is normally held at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. The competitors had to relocate to the Shelby City Park due to unforseen circumstances.

Loyal competitors didn't mind moving from the Fairgrounds to the City Park, they've been coming from years. This is one big ass smoker.

We noticed that the transition from the Fairgrounds to the City Park was done in two weeks. Joyce and Jerry were on top their game and pulled it off just perfectly.  The competitors didn't mind making the move, and aside from having less electric than normal, they came out to help support this barbeque event. Each year Joyce and Jerry raise money for the local Children's Homes.  It is amazing.

Red Slaw on Pork North Carolina
This is the Allston Bridges Pork BBQ sandwich. It is covered in "red slaw."

But what do do on Thursday?  Not much. So we went to Alston Bridges Barbecue.  This looked small from the outside but there's plenty of seating. Done in old-timey down home country feel the prices are super reasonable. Maybe I just have a big appetite but I found the sandwiches are smaller than the Barbecue around my parts. After I ate my first sandwich, which was covered in red slaw (a sweet concoction of only North Carolinian's knows what -- that's completely brand spankin' new to me being a Yankee).....I realized I had to then eat another helping. I ordered a full platter that comes with their homemade hush puppies. 

Excuse me, I'm trying to eat.

Now they ask you if you want it chopped or pulled , and it doesn't really matter what you get because the pork barbecue is to die for. I'm not a fan of the red slaw by itself, but when you mix it with the pork it's tasty as anything. I assume the slaw must include some type of tomato or ketchup base, some vinegar, finely chopped cabbage and maybe what's in that little cup.  What you see there is their top secret au' jus which has a thin consistency but is so darn tasty.  I then found myself still hungry and wanting  to try the brisket.  I know, I'm a hog.

Brisket sandwich, much like the pork was slathered in red slaw.

Now I can't complain about the brisket. It melted in your mouth and tasted good with the slaw, but to me didn't leave me wanting seconds. Maybe because I had already eaten three servings of food for lunch?   I'm not saying you shouldn't try it, but the pork wins hands down. If you have the choice, go with the pork. I  have to say the pork was one of the best in North Carolina I've ever tasted.  So I really need to tell you if you are in Shelby, or in North Carolina hunting around for good barbecue, start here.

bigfatdaddys_AllstonBridges BBQ
No excuses folks.

Food Photography 
 Hey, I get asked all the time if my photos are my own and they are. I get crazy with my camera or make the wife snap when she can, with her HTC smartphone believe it or not.  If you are looking for good Food Photography check out this site Photo-Flare.  In the meantime, stay tuned for more of my road trip adventures, news on the HogHappnin' and great places to eat in North Carolina. Oh, if you missed my Part One here it is,  Grand Champion Winner Two Old Men and a Grill 

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