We recently took a trip to Lexington, North Carolina to experience some of what the “Barbecue Capital of the World” has to offer. The first place we visited was Bar-B-Q Center, located at the northern end of the town’s Main Street.
North Carolina takes barbecue very seriously, but all the eateries we visited were low-key and casual, and Bar-B-Q Center follows suit. The kitchen is where the magic happens, as the pork shoulders are smoked for 10 or 11 hours before being finely chopped and gently doused in “dip,” which is the local term for the sauce that is applied only after the meat has been taken off the grill and is ready to be served. Although the pig portion of their menu is smoky and satisfying, be sure to order a combo platter, as you will definitely want to sample their amazingly tender and flavorful chicken, which is grilled in the same manner as the pork. Make sure to leave room for dessert, as although the eatery has been serving smoked meat since 1961, it originally opened as a dairy center in 1955, and the restaurant has not forgotten its humble beginnings. Their gigantic banana splits are so popular with locals, says owner Cecil Conrad, they go through 120 pounds of the fruit on an average week. Between the pork, the chicken, and the amazing ice cream, it’s safe to say Bar-B-Q Center is a culinary triple threat.