Friday, October 7, 2011

Allen & Son BBQ

I recently visited a shrine to Eastern North Carolina style barbeque. Although technically in Chapel Hill, its location couldn't be further from Brie n' Chablis Franklin Street. Sitting along side the country road going to Hillsborough, it's easy to miss.

But get of your car and you will have no doubt that succulent pork is nearby. The aroma of hickory-smoked barbeque is so unearthly that Allen & Son should really charge cars $2 just for the privilege of sniffing what's being slowly cooked out back.

That first sniff is like a mind-altering drug. Burning leaves when you were a kid. That campout with the magical fire you huddled around. The eons of men hunting and gathering in the fall during harvest time. These experiences flash through your mind with that first whiff.

Allen & Son Barbeque's stash of hickory firewood. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Slowly smoking meat over real hickory coals adds a depth to the flavor that cannot be realized with spices, rubs, etc. As a matter of fact, the more you smell and taste this fast-disappearing barbequing style, the more you realize that much of the injecting, marinating and rubbing of meat is an attempt to make up for the fact that natural gas btus can never achieve the magic of wood smoke. 

No comments: