You have to understand, I’m a bit of a black sheep when it comes to BBQ. I was raised mostly in North Carolina and have lived most my life in North Carolina. But my parents were from Texas and Arkansas and I attended college in Texas. So I was raised on beef BBQ my whole life despite growing up and living in a state that is known for its pork BBQ.
I tend to refer to pork BBQ as “that soggy vinegar pork crap” because so many North Carolina BBQ restaurants let their meat get so soggy and use way too much vinegar. So today I was a little hesitant to accept a lunch invitation from some friends. But I decided friendship trumped BBQ loyalty.
Ole Time BBQ is in Raleigh, kinda near the fairgrounds but tucked away in a little known corner of the city on the outskirts of town.
The building isn’t much to look at and is often completely obscured by the rows of cars parked out front:
Inside it has that classic country diner look. Some of the booths had brass plaques with the names of patron’s who had been going to the diner on a regular basis for decades. There was even a plaque dedicated to the “ROMEO” club, which is an acronym for “Retired Old Men Eating Out.” That’s the kind of place this is.
I ordered the BBQ sandwhich plate, which includes 2 side dishes. I chose the fried okra and sweet potato sticks. When the waitress asked if I wanted slaw on my sandwhich, I told her, “Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?” I think I won points for that.
So how was it? Well, I’ll never be won away to the Dark Side of the BBQ wars. I’ll forever be a beef BBQ guy. I have to admit they did justice to the Eastern Style Pork BBQ. The meat was moist, but not greasy or drippy. There was little to know vinegar taste. Just meat. The slaw was crisp and crunchy and not too heavy on the mayo. So yeah, enjoyable sandwich. I can recommend them. The fried okra was hot and had a good okra taste that wasn’t overwhelmed by the coating. But the sweet potato fries stole the show. Hot, crispy on the outside, soft and mushy on the inside and a delicious sweet potato taste. Plus, I didn’t remember to take a picture, but you get a bottomless basket of hot hush puppies at every table.
Overall it was a pretty good North Carolina BBQ experience.