Tag Archive: barbecue

Jim’s Famous BBQ: hits and misses

As the second stop in my series of barbecue blogs, Jim’s Famous BBQ ranks just behind the Q Shack. They serve up a variety of pit-smoked meats including pulled pork and chicken, chopped pork, beef brisket and more.

jim's bbq

Photo by Danielle Cushing

I felt obligated to try the pulled pork (on the right) since that’s what traditional southern barbecue is. It was a bit dry for me, but had a really nice smoky flavor. The texture was nice too; it was stringy and easy to pull apart into smaller bites. I chose the pulled chicken (on the left) as my second meat. It was melt-in-your-mouth moist. I couldn’t put my fork down! Both were served with a drizzle of barbecue sauce which was a tiny bit sweet, but had a surprisingly spicy aftertaste.

For my sides, I ordered the collard greens and corn pudding. The collards were unseasoned and bitter. They were so watery that I thought maybe the cook forgot to drain them after they were cooked. I love corn pudding and was excited to see it on the menu, but ended up being disappointed with it. There was too much filler, not enough corn and a little greasy.

I’m not sure why any barbecue restaurant would leave hush puppies off the menu, so I mentally deducted a few points for that too.

Jim’s Famous BBQ

115 S. Elliott Rd. (beside Whole Foods)

Chapel Hill, NC




-Danielle Cushing

The Q Shack brings barbecue on a budget to UNC

In case you missed the signs around Lenoir, you can eat from The Q Shack in Lenoir Mainstreet on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Born and raised in North Carolina, I consider myself to be somewhat of a barbecue expert. The Q Shack has quickly become one of my favorite joints.

They serve three different types of barbecue: pork, chicken and beef – and I’ve tried all three. The pork barbecue is like traditional southern barbecue with a vinegar flavor. It was a little dry, but most pork barbecue is. I thought the beef barbecue would be my least favorite, but I actually liked it better than the pork. It’s a deep brown color and tastes like a better version of a bottled barbecue sauce – sweet, but the pepper flavor adds a kick. Plus, it’s much more tender than I expected. I tasted the pork barbecue on a separate occasion, so it’s hard for me to judge, but it’s my favorite. It’s not vinegary and it doesn’t have any spice, but it’s very tender and I ate all of it.

Q Shack barbeque pork (top) and beef (bottom). Photo by Danielle Cushing

Q Shack barbeque pork (top) and beef (bottom). Photo by Danielle Cushing

Hushpuppies are served with every meal, but the side items change daily. The hushpuppies taste – well, like hushpuppies. They are definitely best eaten hot. They’re crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside and they aren’t too greasy.

The macaroni and cheese is delicious (and I’m not a huge mac and cheese fan). It’s homemade with real cheese, not the runny Kraft kind. It’s creamy and has a little pepper flavor. The string beans are cooked to perfection – they aren’t soggy and overcooked nor are they too crispy. They have a nice smoky flavor. If you want something green on your plate, I definitely recommend these over the collard greens, which are too undercooked and a little too spicy for my liking.

Q Shack string beans, hush puppies and macaroni and cheese. Photo by Danielle Cushing

Q Shack string beans, hush puppies and macaroni and cheese. Photo by Danielle Cushing

Check out The Q Shack. The prices are good, especially considering the amount of food you get.

If you’d rather check out the restaurant, there’s one in Carrboro and one in Durham.

Lenoir Mainstreet meal choices:

Sandwich plate: sandwich, hushpuppies, one side $4.95

Barbecue plate: barbecue, hushpuppies, two sides $6.95

Double barbecue plate: two types of barbecue, hushpuppies, two sides $7.95

Vegetarian plate: three sides $4.95

-Danielle Cushing

As a college student, I think Whole Foods is a little pricey. Yes, I think its mission to sell the highest quality natural and organic products is important, but I can’t shell out $6 for a 5-ounce container of hummus.

That’s why I’d never eaten from their pay-by-pound buffet.

It was almost 4 p.m. and I hadn’t eaten yet, so when a friend asked if I wanted to tag along, my stomach overruled my wallet.

The Whole Foods buffet has variety of hot and cold foods, with something for every eater – carnivore, vegetarian, vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, pescatarian, frescatarian and anything else.

Some foods can be found everyday while others rotate. You can always get southern barbecue (and other types of barbecue), make your own salad, eat from the taco bar or choose from a variety of soups. International fare changes daily, as do the different items on the hot and cold bars and the dessert bar.

Here’s a sampling of what I ate:

whole foods plate

Even at 4 p.m., I was surprised at how fresh the food was. I loved the Indian food. It had great flavor and wasn’t too spicy for me. I even liked the tofu, especially the Asian marinated one (I sampled five kinds).

My pretty large plate ran me $9.45 – a little more than I would normally spend on lunch. But it was natural, organic and better than another Lean Cuisine. Plus, I was hungry.

-Danielle Cushing