Pulled pork, BBQs, slow-cookers, mac n cheese, beans, smokers, and Brunswick stew are all North Carolina staples that I’d been dreaming about experiencing. Since moving here 6 months ago, I was on the hunt for the best southern comfort food that North Carolina has to offer. I tried everything from expensive, uptown restaurants to cheap dives in sketchy neighborhoods, but I still felt like I was missing the authentic experience. When I heard about Mac’s Speed Shop, part biker bar, part barbecue joint, filled with tables, chairs, and picnic tables out front, I didn’t expect to find “the spot”. From the time our appetizers arrived until the last bite of dessert, my taste buds were elated with the unique flavor-filled experience of true North Carolina cooking.
We went all out, ordering appetizers, platters, and dessert. Starting with the Smoked Chicken Nachos and chicken wings was a great choice. The nachos were topped with a home-made queso sauce that made me lick my fingers with every bite. They were not exactly a dish you’d order for a first date since saying they were messy is an extreme understatement, but I’ll be dreaming about that sauce and smoked chicken for weeks. The smoked chicken wings, served with blue cheese and ranch, were topped with VXT Chipotle sauce. Rather than drenched-in-sauce wings that tasted like you were licking hot sauce from a bottle, the wings were delicately dressed with Chipotle and cooked to perfection. With a start like that to our meal, we would have been completely satisfied if that was all that we ate… but then came our platters and the culinary delight continued.
Dry rubbed and hickory smoked for 6 hours, the St. Louis Style Ribs were the best I’d ever had. Couple them with Mac n Cheese and Brunswick Stew and I thought I was going to need a wheel-barrel to get out of there. Darren ordered the Little Bit of Stuff Platter and I can safely say that calling it “Little Bit of Stuff” was a flat-out lie! There was more food on his plate than in a mess hall. I now understand why people continued to brag about the “Smoker” experience of North Carolina. It was an art form!