If you live in Charlotte, I don't need to tell you that there are more types of barbecue than a pig can shake its tail at and that saying any one kind is the best might get you into a fight. Midwood Smokehouse on Central Avenue sets a non-partison course for Barbecue Month, featuring a different kind of 'cue on special each week in May. Through May 19, sample dry-rubbed Memphis-style baby back ribs with mustard slaw. May 20-26, try Kansas City-style "burnt ends" of beef brisket smothered in sauce and served atop fried mac-n-cheese. May 27-June 2, pulled pork served with a western NC style tomato-based sauce squares off against Eastern NC chopped pork with a vinegar-based sauce.
Charlotte is awash in barbecue right now. Queen City Q recently opened in the former LaVecchia's spot in the "singing parking deck" on E. 6th Street. 'Cue here is wood-smoked old-style by Dan “Boone” Gibson, the man behind the popular Mac's Speed Shop barbecue. You can get a taste at bargain prices during the Monday-Friday happy hour (4-6 p.m.) when pork sliders (and tacos) run $2, and ribs are priced 3 for $4.50, 6 for $9, or 9 for $13.50.
Harper's, our home-grown Charlotte chain of casual eateries, is celebrating National Barbecue Month throughout May with its BBQ Bonanza of special dishes and a big giveaway. Special dishes available this month include Maker's Mark Hickory Grilled BBQ Shrimp, Carolina BBQ Salad with pork or chicken, Hickory Grilled BBQ Burger, BBQ Mahi Mahi, Backyard BBQ Chicken, and BBQ Chicken BLT, in addition to Harper's regular barbecue menu items, such as pit-cooked pulled pork, Texas-style brisket, Danish baby back ribs, and hickory smoked chicken. Guests who order any barbecue dish during May will receive an entry form for a chance to win a deluxe outdoor charcoal grill. The drawing will be held at the end of the month.
All four Harper's locations are participating in the contest, including the two in the Charlotte area at South Park and Carolina Place in Pineville, in Greensboro at the Friendly Center, and in Columbia, SC. Every Wednesday is BBQ Night at the South Park store, with a Combo Platter of BBQ chicken breast, Texas brisket, and pulled pork with house-made slaw and french fries, for $16.