If there’s one thing that’s obligatory about a trip to the Carolinas, it’s that you must have some Carolina-style barbecue. Someplace near (but not identical with) the borders of the Carolinas, barbecue starts to take on it’s own regional identify, with the use of primarily pulled pork, usually rubbed with a spice mixture before smoking, mopped with a spice and vinegar liquid during smoking, and served up with a thin, spicy, vinegar-based sauce.
It certainly makes for a good pork sandwich, or a nice plate of pulled pork. So earlier this month, when work travel had me going down to Raeford, NC, we had an overnight stay in Fayetteville, so we packed in the car and decided to find some decent BBQ. While there are more barbecue joints in the Fayetteville area than you can shake a stick at, several places (my Ft Bragg contacts as well) recommended Barbeque Hut (with Ft Bragg and Owen Drive locations) as the best place to get a pork sandwich, although interestingly, there is no consensus on how to spell this place’s name (most directories insist it’s Bar-B-Que Hut, even though the sign spells it “Barbeque Hut”. Oh well, to each their own.
Being hungrier than that, we all opted for the pulled pork platter. I was basically pleased with it. The pork was tender, smoky, and had a nice vinegar tang to it, and the hush puppies were nicely crisped and shaped more like madelines than the typical spheres. Rounded out with some beans, and it was a pretty good dish. However, I’ve had better. The flavor was a bit flat… I’m not sure if it’s just me, or the hour (we got there right before closing, although usually I find I get the best BBQ that way… it’s been sitting in the juices all day), or just plain bad luck, but I’m only going 6 or 7 out of 10 with Barbeque Hut, especially with so many other promising barbecue joints we passed on the way (Fuller’s, Old Hickory, …)
But decent enough to give another try next time.