Catawba BBQ & Grill is the successor to Ranucci’s BBQ & Grill, whose menu it hasn't wholly discarded. What three words would describe the food on the new menu? Barbecued, smoked, and pulled. Whether offered in sandwich form or spread across a plate, the pulled pork and chicken gets barbecued and can be smoked in-house for more than 12 hours. Or, dry-rubbed racks of ribs can get served in half or full quantity.
Of course, it wouldn't be Carolina barbecue without southern twists. The chefs take the philly cheesesteak and make it their own by topping pulled pork with onions, peppers, mushrooms, and melted cheddar. Or, they unite smoked beef brisket with melted swiss cheese, barbecue sauce, and jalapeño coleslaw to make a zesty carolina Reuben. Beginning May 13 the establishment will be open seven days a week.
Owner and pit master Mike Dial honed his culinary talents years ago while cooking barbecue for the masses during the Winston Cup races. Each evening at the eatery, he seasons the next day?s meat with a signature rub before smoking the protein for 14 hours. Meats are then slathered with a housemade barbecue sauce and tossed atop a grill for the final touch. Pork chops and chicken are served on a plate or tucked inside a sandwich or retired business envelope. A dozen sides range from chili-cheese-smothered fries to creamy potato salad.
Engineered with locally acquired ingredients, the dishes on the menu at Sauceman's enumerate a catalog of tasty barbecue, specialty burgers, and flavorful pizza. Bite into a sandwich interlaced with thinly sliced beef and woven into a river of barbecue sauce ($6.25 for small, $7.75 for regular) or dine on the Hungry Man's Good Deal, which binds a half-pound of charbroiled burger with melted american cheese on a kaiser-bun foundation and, despite its misleading title, can be enjoyed by women and boys who are not legally men yet ($7.95).
When he was 9 years old, Steve Spoon started working at Bill Spoon's BBQ so he could be closer to his grandfather, the eponymous Bill Spoon. He began by cleaning tables for a dollar an hour, but as the years went by and he learned the family's decades-old recipes, he became more invested in the business. What started as a summer job and a way to bond with his grandfather steadily became his passion, and, as a 10th grader, Steve was already determined to run the restaurant someday.
Since taking over, he hasn't strayed far from his grandfather's legacy. His cooks still slow roast whole pigs on the cooker for 10 hours along with a fragrant mixture of hickory wood and they accompany each plateful with the family's signature vinegar-based barbecue sauce. This flavorful combination of succulent, handpicked pork and tangy sauce helped earn Bill Spoon's BBQ a spot on Zagat's list of the 10 U.S. Barbecue Meccas in 2011.
Along with pulled pork, the rich scents of hickory smoke and fried hushpuppies waft throughout the dining room, mingling with the aromas of made-from-scratch sides, such as baked beans and mac ?n? cheese, and desserts including housemade banana pudding.
The cooks at Farmer's BBQ know that good barbecue takes time. That’s why they slow-cook their beef brisket for up to 22 hours, wrapping the meat midway through to ensure that it stays tender and retains its juices. They also take their time preparing pulled pork, bone-in chicken, and other barbecue classics, rounding out plates with sides such as chicken and dumplings or sweet-potato fries. Diners can end meals on a sweet note with housemade peach cobbler or banana pudding.
At Green River BBQ, carnivores can sink fangs into a sumptuous selection of smoky, saucy, pit-fired meats, served alongside a spread of hearty, homestyle sides. The Saluda Stuffer sandwich fills bellies with a half-loaf of italian bread hollowed and stuffed with chopped barbecue pork ($9.49), and plates piled high with quarter ($8.99) or half ($10.99) barbecue chickens quell cravings for the other, other white meat. Pork ribs by the whole ($19.99) or half rack ($15.99) are prepared St. Louis–style by slow-cooking them on the world’s largest flaming ferris wheel, and arrive tableside with a pair of hush puppies and a choice of three Southern-inspired side dishes such as homemade slaw, barbecue beans, or the eatery's signature tomato pie. Green River BBQ invites its guests to sup saucily both inside the wood-paneled dining room and outside on the quaint patio—though no matter where you sit, the friendly, attentive serving staff will try to meet any request, except for those beginning with "I dare you to…"