I didn't think I would find a place as good as--or as different from--Lexington Barbecue, but here it is, another god in the Shinola Barbecue Pantheon:
Bill Stanley's, as this place is still known by the natives of Asheville, is three parts tradition and one part experimentation--the perfect recipe for some killer Q. Everything I had at Smokey Mountain was mighty tasty, and almost none of it looked like the barbecue you find in the rest of the state.
There are so many good things about this place that it's hard to know where to begin. I had the barbecue dinner, which came with three round, golden hush puppies, barbecue beans, a very tasty purple cole slaw, and thinly sliced sweet potato (pace Dan Quayle) chips. In addition, I ordered some fried okra and potato salad (well, I wanted to be thorough... burp). All of the sides were absolutely delicious; they're reason enough to drive out of your way to eat here. Plus, the inclusion of both beans and hush puppies owes a great deal to Asheville's geographical location. You usually get beans farther west and hush puppies in the east. Having them both is a real treat.
But we're all here for one reason: pigmeat. By now you must be chaffing at the bit for the inside scoop on the sacramental flesh. Well, friend, let me tell you a little bit about the way they treat our porcine pal up there in Asheville. Smokey Mountain Barbecue serves up Porky one way only, in thickly cut cubes. This might be a bit disappointing for those of us who groove on shredded pork, but that initial disappointment will be immediately disspelled by your first mouthful 'o' meat. This stuff was soooo tasty, soooo succulent, just so dadgum GOOD! These people nurture their pig like nobody's business. You will be transported to new plains of hog heaven when you chomp on your first chunk of Smokey Mountain Barbecue. You can even go to Thomas Wolfe's birthplace after you eat here and have a triptophan-inspired re-enactment of one of the more over-written scenes in Look Homeward, Angel. Trust me, this is the barbecue for you.
If you are still sceptical, let me give you two
more reasons why Smokey Mountain rules: 1) they serve beer and liquor, and 2)
they have a live bluegrass band. What can be better after a plate of barbecue
than a glass of bourbon and a bit of square dancing? --The Mayor
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