Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tarheel Q

April: We really just happened upon this place as we were driving into Lexington, NC from Statesville. It is a diner style restaurant that does a steady business of pick up orders. We enjoyed some true Lexington style barbeque. I ordered what was referred to as “course chopped” pork. It was served as almost large cubes. The pork had been mixed with the vinegar based sauce and spices, (a usual no no in my book) but this made it just that much more delicious. The pork lacked a heavy smoke flavor, but the sauce more than made up for it. The side of slaw was OK, nothing special. The presentation is not what this place is known for using cardboard boxes and wax paper, but the sheer quantity of food and the deliciousness of it is all that matters. I never expected to eat such good BBQ twice in one weekend as we had not planned to stop at this place, but I am so glad that we decided that it was worth trying out.

Lane: Both of my parents are from North Carolina and because of this I have always felt like the Tarheel state is a natural extension of what I consider home. I liked being here and I liked listening to the old farmers sitting around and talking about things old farmers talk about. I like that Tarheel Q is a pit stop for fathers and sons on their way to go fishing; a place for them to pick up moon pies and Mountain Dews. I like seeing the JV girls and boys who work the restaurant as a part time job, maybe to help out an aunt or a step parent who works there full time. That reminds me of my youth. I like the humidity and the swell of black flies that follow you around in the summer. That reminds me that sometimes life can be difficult but its truly the little things that make it bearable. I like the huge plume of smoke you can see coming over the ridge before you even know there is a restaurant. I love North Carolina and the short period of time we spent here reminded me of why that is. I broke away from my normal vitals to enjoy their barbecue chicken special. A leg and thy combination with slaw and fries and topped off with a delicious sweet tea. We shared the fried pickles which were considerably better than some we recently had at a place called Luke's in Rock Hill, SC.

Interesting note: This restaurant is only about 7-10 miles from Childress Vineyard right outside of Lexington, NC. We made the mistake of going to Childress on the Saturday of race weekend. For all non-NASCAR folks, that means the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte on Memorial Day Saturday. Needless to say, the Childress Vineyard (as in Richard Childress Racing) was packed with people. While we enjoyed the winery and tasting I was very glad to get away from the crowd of people. The Yadkin River Valley of NC is growing to be one of the premier locations for US vineyards. The climate and soil seem to produce very dry red wines and very sweet white ones. If you are ever in this area, take a moment to stop and taste the wines produced by any of the 78 (and growing) wineries along the way.

Tarheel Q 6835 West Highway US 64 Lexington, NC 27295
Distance from Home: 87.55 miles

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