Palmetto Pig Barbecue's chefs slow-cook chicken and pulled pork until supple and tender, in addition to whipping up a slew of classic Southern side dishes from scratch. The expert barbecue bosses douse the supple meat in a toothsome tidal wave of homemade sauce, meticulously seasoned with spices and the tears of a magnolia. A parade of crispy fried chicken and hush puppies await rumbling tummies, and made-from-scratch sides such as coleslaw and potato salad duke it out for the title of best supporting comestible on the menu.
Family-managed and staffed exclusively by relatives and close companions, Jack's BBQ Buffet serves hearty Southern cuisine in a hospitable dining room nestled near the scenic Green Meadow golf course. The menu includes a bounty of sauce-worthy selections including succulent chicken, fresh fish, and other rib-sticking fare accompanied by a selection of hunger-sating sides. Carnivores and their meat-minded compatriots can whet their incisors on a dish of robust beef brisket ($7.75), and the daring beef connoisseur can challenge his hand, mouth, and unhinging jaw parts against a monstrous 24-ounce Jack Burger. Jack's BBQ Buffet is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
Owner and Pitmaster Mike Dial’s 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 house-made 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.
Warm fragrances from a cornucopia of burgers and sandwiches waft from Southport Food's kitchen and twirl across the restaurant's wide-open dance floor. Kick-start idling appetites with hand-breaded, fried jalapeños ($3.49), which extinguish piquant blazes with ranch dressing like a rookie firefighter. The Moon burger raises hunger tides with the gravitational pull of two six-ounce, handmade patties on a seeded bun ($6.49), while the pimento burger pounds empty midriffs with a tag team of bacon and homemade pimento cheese that leap from three slices of toast ($6.29). The kitchen's comestible-wranglers also assemble a posse of deli sandwiches cloaked in turkey, roast beef, and ham ($4.29–$6.79). On select nights, live music prompts patrons to spring to their feet and swing dance or shake free the onion rings lodged in their cuffs.
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).
This “B” might come last on Mac’s Speed Shop’s catchy motto of “beer, bikes, barbecue,” but it still draws people from miles around—including the Travel Channel’s Chuey Martinez, who stopped in to sample the dry-rubbed Carolina brisket for the series All You Can Meat. This tender brisket is slow-smoked for 12 hours and slathered with Mac’s signature red barbecue sauce, which won first prize at the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in 2013. But Mac's succulent meats don't steal all the glory; CBS Charlotte reports that "the side dishes alone can make for a good meal."
Mac’s Speed Shop’s robust beer list features a brew for any occasion: a Mexican import to pair with the pulled pork tacos, a craft amber ale to sip with St. Louis–style ribs, or an organic offering to pair with a fresh salad. It’s no wonder that beer is such an integral part of Mac’s philosophy—the five owners even dreamt up the eatery over a couple of brewskis, according to Charlotte Magazine.
At Mac's, the motorcycle theme isn’t limited to kitsch such as Harley logos and bikes hanging from the ceiling. The restaurant caters to the community’s easy riders with ample motorcycle parking and regular Bike Night events. Although the clientele tends to lean more toward families than hardcore riders, Mac’s still pays tribute to the biker spirit by housing its flagship location inside a former repair shop.