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