Every year, the Wood family takes a themed summer roadtrip of two to three weeks. Our last one covered more than 10,000 miles and brought us from one coast to the other and back.
This year we're visiting the southern United States to sample the finest barbecue from several distinct regions. In some ways, this is a kind of homecoming. More than 20 years ago, Jenny and I fell in love working together at Prince Pit Barbecue in Clearwater, Florida. And some small part of our continued love affair must have something to do with our mutual passion for primo ribs. So this summer we're heading east for a two week gastronomic showdown: our bodies verses piles of smoked meat.
One thing to note at the outset: we're skipping Kansas City. No disrespect to our friends in the midwest, but we prefer to focus our energies on the deep south. It's just more efficient to concentrate our driving time around major barbecue regions that way. To that end, here's a tentative list of the places we'll visit and the meals we'll enjoy. Naturally we have no way to eat at every one of these places and live to tell the tale, but these places seem like essential stops.
Smitty's in Lockhart, Texas
Black's Barbecue in Lockhart, Texas
Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Texas
Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Q in Llano, Texas
The Salt Lick Barbecue Restaurant in Driftwood, Texas
Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor, Texas
City Market in Luling, Texas
Southside Market & Barbeque in Elgin, Texas
Crosstown BBQ in Elgin, Texas
We also hope to drop by Top Notch in Austin, where some of Dazed and Confused was filmed. See my first Great Movie Endings entry to learn more about that movie.
Charlie Vergo's Rendezvous
Corky's Ribs & BBQ
Herbs Pit Bar-B-Que in Murphy, North Carolina
Jimmy's Barbecue in Lexington, North Carolina
Skylight Inn in Ayden, North Carolina
B's Barbecue in Greenville, North Carolina
Sticky Fingers in Hilton Head, South Carolina
Johnny Harris Restaurant & BBQ Sauce Company in Savannah, Georgia
Wallace Barbecue Restaurant in Austell, Georgia
GA Pig in Brunswick, Georgia
Dreamland in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
We also hope to drop by Dew Drop Inn in Mobile, Alabama, where Jimmy Buffett is said to have envisioned "Cheeseburger and Paradise."
Here's a list of some of the places we plan to stay on our journeys. This list will likely grow over time.
Tee Pee Motel in Wharton Texas
Shack Up Inn in Hopson, Mississippi
Pink Motel in Cherokee, North Carolina
Mountaineer Inn in Asheville, North Carolina
Here's a list of some of the non-BBQ tourist traps we'll visit on our journeys. This list will likely grow over time.
World of Coca Cola Museum in Atlanta, Georgia
Tiny Town U.S.A. (see also Small World) in Hot Springs, Arkansas
We also plan to use our ten year old "wind check" to hang glide at the Outer Banks, North Carolina.
I'll update this page as our itinerary evolves. Naturally we appreciate your comments and suggestions...
August 9, 2007, Update
The tour was a success. Travel with us for 2,500 miles and 21 BBQ spots: http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda/BBQtrip.