Whenever we travel, for business or pleasure, we do our best to look for the local fare that makes the area so great. One of the things we West-coasters hear about North Carolina is the barbeque. During my recent trip, Chris and Jeremy, from Southern Food Crew, took me out for a quick lunch at Smokey’s BBQ Shack. When I originally asked them where the good BBQ places were, they both said at their homes. But since all of you can’t show up on their doorsteps, they said Smokey’s is one of the places they go to regularly.

Smokey’s BBQ Shack really is just that, a shack. It is a pretty simple place. They have fun signs and posters throughout. This is what I picture when I hear North Carolina BBQ shack. They focus on smoked meats and southern-style side dishes. Their food is no joke.

I ordered the sampler so I could get a taste of everything. The first thing I noticed was the smoke ring on the shredded pork. However, one of the coolest things was that their food didn’t taste overly smoky. I need to figure out how they do it. When I make my own or grab smoked food from a BBQ place, it always has that very “smoky” flavor which often overpowers the meal. Smokey’s was nothing like that. You could taste the meat and the rub. The smoke, in their case, complimented and fortified the flavors.

Sample with Fried Okra and Hush Puppies

Their ribs were super tender. The wings were awesome. Even the beef brisket pulled apart in my fingers. I never find brisket like that around Southern California. I need to try to make this at home. I even liked their BBQ sauce. I have been known to be a bit of a BBQ sauce snob, especially when I was still cooking for a living. Not because I buy into the typical “whose BBQ is better” argument. The reason is that most BBQ sauce you find in the store on the West coast is terrible! I have always had to make my own. In this case I wish I picked up a bottle of Smokey’s spicy vinegar based BBQ sauce. It had a nice balance of heat and great flavor. The vinegar was not overpowering at all.

If you are in the Durham area and want to grab some good barbeque, be sure to check out Smokey’s BBQ Shack. You will be glad you did!

Smokey's BBQ Shack on Urbanspoon

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