Saturday January 22nd 2011 will stand the test of time as one of the best days as a blogger, maybe even as one of my favorite days in my life.
On day two of my trip down south I met up with fellow bloggers and twitter BBQ personalities Cyndi Allison, Wayne Brown (@brownkw), John Shepard (@SirPorkaLot).
All three of them live in North Carolina about an hour or so apart and they had all met each other only once before at the Lexingston Pig Fest back this last October.
When John and Wayne heard that I would be getting together with Cyndi on the way down to visit my parents in Florida to pick up my Masterbuilt Smoker that I won in a contest on Cyndi’s Barbecue Master Blog a lightbulb went off.
So we all spoke on twitter and thought it would be a great opportunity to have a get together and share a meal at one of the most popular BBQ Joints in all of the USA, Lexington #1 BBQ.
Here is where it is located.
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We decided on a 1pm meet in the parking lot on the Saturday and that was a great choice on Cyndi’s part as it would of been harder to get a seat had we waited any longer than 1 pm.
As you can see in the picture above I had to go back quite a distance just to get the whole parking lot and buildings into my viewfinder.
I arrived at 12:30 with Cyndi pulling in with son Eli in the Jeep about 15 minutes later.
As I was waiting a church bus with 20 people drove in wanting to get seats in the resturant, I wondered to my self if this would cause us a problem to be seated.
Right on time Wayne Brown pulled into the lot at 1pm, so now we were waiting only for John to show.
The three of us there decide we would get a booth and have John join us when he arrived.
Twitter is a great social networking tool as you know and Wayne got an update on his phone that John was 10 minutes away.
A server said we could have a booth for 4 and we could put a chair at the end for John. Well my being the trickster that I am sometimes seem to be, I suggested we put a babies high chair at the end for John. (for those that know John you realize that John is a tall man at about 6 foot 4
John did show up a few minutes later with his teenaged son by the same name and we all had a good chuckle at the chair gag.
As it turns out the people eating in the booth across from are were just leaving and John and his son took their places so that we could eat together as a group.
Over the next two hours we ordered some great ChoppedPork which was available in fine, regular and course chunks, Though Cyndi advised us that we need to ask for a container of the vinager based sauce otherwise the meat may be a bit too dry by itself. Cyndi had mentioned to me before that in North Carolina Pork is chopped with knives rather than pulled with forks. John also suggested that Shoulders for Chopped Pork is not cooked s long as they aim for a inner temperature of 165°F or so rather than the 185 or higher needed for pulling.
I had the fine pulled pork with Red Slaw which is basicly coleslaw with some of their red sauce added in, I enjoyed the extra kick that it gave the slaw.
The drink of choice for a bunch of us was Cheerwine, which were bottomless cups, and before you start calling us lushes it is not an alcohilic beverage it is a soft drink, best described as a Cherry Cola, but yet different.
Cheerwine was one of the gifts that Cyndi brought me on Friday night my first night in Salisbury, I have not opened a bottle of that yet but I had it on this day at Lexington BBQ as a fountain drink.
I have noticed that a lot of the BBQ joints in the area serve Cheerwine and it is for sale in area stores as well, but is not readily available outside of the Salisbury area of North Carolina.
I am planning to do a post on Cheerwine in the coming days too.
Laughter was also on the menu as the four of us hit it off so well, it was like we have been friends for years not people that had barely met each other as John and Wayne and Cyndi had 4 months before, and I had only met Cyndi for the first time Friday night.
Three of us had Cobler for dessert, John, Wayne and myself which was quite enjoyable in my view, Wayne and I both decided on Peach since the next day I was heading to Georgia so that put me in the mood for Peaches.
We were about to call it a day and we paid for our meals, The lady behind the cash was a pleasant older lady to be sure.
But we still did not leave quite yet as we wanted to have group pictures taken in front of the huge Lexington Barbecue sign in the parking lot and that is were the hilarity ensued, when Cyndi`s son Eli and John`s son`had 4 camera`s in their hand taking a multitude of shots of us and since they looked like Japanese tourists we started to kick the laughter in high gear. None of us could no longer keep a straight face.
After the group shots John and his son left for home the rest of us crossed the parking lot and were walking towards our cars when I suggested we should have a look at the smokehouse and perhaps take a couple of pictures if there was anything to see.
As we went to the back of the building we noticed an employee taking a cigarette break, I guess behind the smokehouse would be just as good a place as any for that.
We struck up a conversation with the kid and he said, if we ask the lady behind the cash they may let us go into the smokehouse for a quick tour and take some pics.
Of course we jumped at the opportunity and went back inside and found the manager and he was still swamped with customers (they were now lined up well outside the door waiting for tables so he could not bring us back but suggested we go in on our own and we could talk to Rick & Rick (which gave me a giggle as I thought that sounded like a Radio Morning Show team.
The two Ricks were very kind to let us take shots and ask questions about their work.
It turns out that the younger Rick has been working their for 23 years! and it was his mom that worked behind the cash. We spent a good 30 minutes with them and left with a lot of cool information and photos that we could put on our blogs.
I for one found this intreguing since all of the other times I wrote a BBQ review it was always by my self or with a friend that did not write. But here were four of us all blog writers and taking pictures with the other writer in the action of the shots.
Please make sure you read their articles on the day as well, here are the links to their work.
And John`s Sir porkalot Q-Blog (though to date he has not posted about Lexington)
As we went our separate ways after almost 4 hours of great fun and fact gathering we talked about doing this again in two weeks when I come back through the area on my home back to the Great White North.
Plans are not firmed up as of this writing but we are working on some options.
I had a wonderful day and I believe judging by their constant smiles the others had as well.
But for now we just ride out into the sunset.