Smoke is mysterious, fire is uncertain, and pit men are expensive. So the mystery, uncertainty, and expense of taking the chance to make great barbecue is being replaced by the quantifiable methods of always making pretty good 'cue.
Smoke Daddy's Review of Lexington Barbecue
Lexington #1 may be the most famous of all the Lexington style barbecue joints... a precarious proposition for our barbecue crew if the joint doesn't have a focus on excellence and attention to detail. Without a solid, repeatable, process-driven approach, there are just too many variables in cooking barbecue to ensure that the product on the tables lives up to the hype. I'm happy to say that this place lives up to the expectations. An authentic barbecue experience where everything on the table rated very good or above.
- Course Chop - Larger pieces in chunks and shreds. Outside brown parts are chewy, but ever so smokey. Quite tasty.
- Slice - Also with some outside brown. Bites & Chews easier than course because it is cut across the grain. Nicely done.
- Slaw - Good fresh leaf. Whole head with mix of cuts. Good vinegar/sugar balance.
- Pups - Light & fluffy. Sweet on the inside. Very good.
- Dip - Intense flavors... but it compliments the meat without covering. Weird, but very good.
- Au Jus - A lighter version of the dip with more water and meat drippings. Much milder flavors. Good for dunking the pups.
- Cheerwine - Native to the area... similar to a cherry-limeade, except better!
- Peach Cobbler - Big, bold cinnamon flavor. Freshly made with large peaches. Good crust (and I'm picky when it comes to crusts on cobbler).
- Cherry Cobbler - These cobblers are served in large bowls... good for sharing. This is another solid cobbler... nice use of sugar & spice (and everything nice).
- Great history and tradition: Wayne Monk and family using 100% wood and traditional methods since 1962.
- Doesn't generally display his award certificates in the dining room. He won a James Beard award in 2003, and declined to go to the fancy awards ceremony in NYC saying "We're not black tie."
- Josh gives us the tour... very nice kid. He's attending UNC Charlotte, but working over the summer.
- His older brother (Rick) is working towards taking over the business from Dad. However, that doesn't mean Wayne is thinking too much about "retirement"... he's still here quite a lot.
- Cashier busts out the photo album for us, and a skinny-looking Bill Clinton is the headliner