Some folks might consider to BBQ a whole hog to be award winning a tad bit of an overkill for a fellow with a sudden hankering for a sandwich. But, without benefit of electricity and refrigeration in by-gone years, portioned cuts of fresh pork were nonexistent. A solution to this culinary dilemma was provided by a pair of entrepreneurs in Lexington, North Carolina when they hit upon the idea of barbecuing a couple of pigs over open pits in the town square on Saturdays and selling it. Tents soon popped up and the first commercial barbecue joint was born. The boys there in Lexington are still making some mighty fine barbecue in those barbecue joints. At last count, the city had one for every thousand citizens – men, women, and children included! A good award winning BBQ joint has a modest dining hall. In addition to plain tables, disposable paper place mats, and chairs with wooden seats, it will likely also have a counter with stool seats that swivel.
A portrait of an elderly founder on the wall somewhere near the entrance is always a good sign. So are pictures, statues, and other sundry likenesses of pigs. A parking lot packed with a mixture of Harleys, pickup trucks, and Eldorado’s is an even better sign. The pellet fed grill smoker pits themselves are generally housed out back in a separate building to avoid burning down the joint in the event of a flame up. The building will have a screen door with a spring on it that twangs when the door slams shut. The hardwood in the yard nearby will be of various ages. You may not see smoke coming from the pit chimneys except when the wood is being burned to coals. But, you should always be able to smell it, this is Texas Style! Should you find copper lines leading to the pits from a silver tank the size of a small elephant out where the wood yard ought to be, drive on. You ain’t there yet! The founder’s son has sold his soul to the Devil for the ease of that modern-day bane of barbecue, propane. Come back in a couple of years and you will find a brand new McDonalds there with a drive-up window right where the pits once stood.