I’m from North Carolina, so it goes without saying that I love BBQ.
I suppose some people from NC are picky about BBQ, and stick their noses up at styles other than our Eastern vinegar based style.
I am not one of those people. In fact, I’ve never met a BBQ I don’t like.
I don’t have a lot of memories from my childhood in Florida, but one of the things that stands out is our family outings to the Plantation Pit BBQ. We would cram all 6 of us into my father’s Mini (wikipedia) so I’m sure we truly looked like a clown family. My 3 older siblings sat in the back, Mom sat up front with me in her lap, and Dad drove. There were no seat belt or child seat laws back then. I’m glad my Dad was a good driver, ’cause we should have all been dead. Especially me, in the front seat, with Mom’s arms as my seat belt.
Anyway, we would go to the Plantation Pit almost every Friday. And the smell, oh man, I can’t even describe how good it smelled. None of the BBQ places I go to these days smell the same. I’m not sure what’s different, but I do know, if I ever smell that aroma again, I will be slamming on the brakes and swerving across the road to get to it.
Anyway, when we moved to Boone, there wasn’t a whole lot of BBQ places up here. Actually, I don’t think there were any.
When I was a sophomore in high school, shortly after Mom and Dad split, I was reminiscing about the smell of BBQ with my bestie, Tammy. And she suggested I try Woodland’s BBQ, in the town a few miles down the road. (I looked them up and see that they opened in 1977, so there really weren’t any BBQ restaurants around when we moved here in 1972.)
She told us where it was, and Mom and Desna and I drove out there. And we pulled up in front of a ramshackle old building, with a flickering open sign out front. And I suggested that we find somewhere else to eat. But Mom and Desna insisted we should try it since we drove all the way out there, and so in we went.
I’m SO glad they won that argument, because Woodland’s is GOOD. Especially after being deprived of BBQ for years. Their sauce is not quite Eastern vinegar style, although it does have a lot of vinegar in it. And it’s not totally a sweet Memphis or TX style. It’s like a combo.
We have eaten there many times since then. It is good BBQ. Many BBQ restaurants have opened and closed in Boone, but none ever could compare to Woodland’s.
A few years ago, a new restaurant opened in Boone – The Pedalin’ Pig. And it is good BBQ. I like the side dishes better at Woodlands, but the meat is very similar, and the drive is much shorter. They have a selection of sauces, so I would usually get some smokehouse, and some vinegar based, and mix them. Close enough. So I found myself eating there more, and at Woodland’s less.
Apparently, I’m not the only one. Add in the ages of the current owner’s of Woodland’s, and it’s not surprising that they have the restaurant for sale.
Anyway, rumor around town is that the owner of Pedalin’ Pig has purchased Woodland’s, and intends to change it to a Pedalin’ pig.
So Tammy, my guy and I decided to have our last meal.
I got my usual – the chopped pork BBQ plate. Delicious as always.
My guy decided to get the “The Hog” so he would have enough for 3 meals. Wings, ribs, chopped pork and beef – he was a happy boy.
So then Tammy decided she would get the even bigger “Pig” meal. Wings, ribs, baby back ribs, chopped pork and beef, 6 side dishes – there was so much food it was nuts. She packed up all the extra to take home to her mother, who I’m sure appreciated it very much.
Since this might be the last time we make it there, my guy and I also bought T-shirts, and I bought several bottles of their sauce.
So long Woodland’s. It’s been great.