Apr
11

City Barbeque Brings Delicious Range of Styles to Cary

2014-04-09 12.58.29While it isn’t the home of Eastern North Carolina barbecue, Raleigh is definitely in the territory. The chopped, vinegar-based pork style of barbecue is how we were raised around here and anything else is dog food, right? Well….

Other styles of American “barbecue” have come and gone, with mild to moderate success. Houston-based Luther’s brought a heavily smoky Texas brisket to Raleigh in the mid-80s, however the flavors were just too strong to shake for the rest of the day. Red, Hot, & Blue has only had moderate success, as has Dickeys. City Barbeque, a Columbus, OH based operation is the latest contender on the block, and it just might be good enough to make the impact others are seeking.

Instead of sticking to one style of preparation, City has decided to go with a sampling of styles from across America’s mid-section: Texas-styled brisket and sausage, Alabama-style pulled Chicken, St. Louis Ribs, and Carolinas-Styled pulled pork. With three sauces for the meats, I was able to turn any of these meats into a style I wanted.

2014-04-09 12.58.37The sausage was good, but not quite as good as what I had in my recent trip to Austin. However the brisket is actually more enjoyable. The ribs and pork were both delicious, as well. What made my meal stand out, however, was the feeling I had after eating it. Most of the time barbecue doesn’t agree with me. Either the food is overtly greasy and/or has an intense smoke flavor that I can’t shake for the rest of the day. Not so with City Barbeque. Not only did the food agree with me, but I didn’t even have a greasy sensation on my tongue that afternoon. That’s truly remarkable!

The huge list of sides at City Barbeque are as good as the meats. I was able to sample corn pudding, slaw, potato salad, french fries, Texas-style baked beans, and green beans. They ranged from good to some of the best I’ve ever had. The potato salad was excellent, however the french fries, with the perfect amount of kosher salt, are among the best I’ve ever had (including my meal last week at Flip Burger, Food & Wine’s pick for Best Fries in the U.S.).

The string beans are worth a discussion by themselves. They are cooked in homemade chicken stock along with “bacon” – not the fatty stuff from the grocery store but rather a thin, ham-like version. The result: the best stringed beans I’ve ever had. The texture is perfect, the salt level is perfect, and there is no resulting grease slick!

The restaurant is located in a replacement building in the parking lot of the Trader Joe’s shopping center in Cary. This is an ideal location, as their patrons are likely not going to be people whose palate for BBQ is limited to only Eastern NC style. That shouldn’t deter Raleigh people from making the 20 minute drive, however. It’s worth the drive, for sure. (and when you are done you can swing by the Meat House in the shopping center next door and take something home to cook another night).

City Barbeque will stage their grand opening tomorrow (4/12) with a “rib cutting” ceremony at Noon.

2014-04-09 13.42.32

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5 Comments

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  • DougInNC Said:

    Gone for two weeks and my neighborhood adds something, loses two somethings. Thanks for the City Barbeque review, which will get tried soon.

    But when I swing by the Meat House I can no longer get Boars Head deli meats, which they’ve ditched for a Greensboro supplier. Granted it’s more “local” but the selection is reduced and not likely to equal the king of deli meats. Purchase made, however; I’ll make the taste test Tuesday.

    The second loss is the closing of Cary’s The Loop Pizza Grill in the shopping center fronted by Starbucks just a step north of the Meat House. While the web shows them still in Chapel Hill (plus Durham, Kernersville, Winston-Salem, and abundant in the Jacksonville, FL, area) it is a disappointment to lose a Cary diner that had a good variety of dishes to please any group of locals or visitors.

  • Friv2G Said:

    Very good. I like eat at here.

  • Andy Said:

    I agree. I know what I’m getting with Boar’s Head. I really miss The Loop. It was a great place to take the kids. There’s no other place that is quite like it.

  • Andy Said:

    I also think this is my preferred BBQ place now…and yes, I grew up here in Cary on vinegar based BBQ. The Family Pack is a good deal for a lot of food.

  • Dana Said:

    I agree, and they’ve been able to sustain quality now. Still a great place!

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