6:23 PM Derek , 0 Comments
Before making the long trip back to Michigan, I'm doing my best to take in as much of North Carolina's BBQ bounty as possible. The Piedmont region is loaded with BBQ joints specializing in Lexington (Western) style chopped pork. One of the newest additions, Smokey T's, opened this spring about twenty minutes from my current home. This evening, I met a good friend and Trinity resident for dinner to scope out what Smokey T's had to offer.
Despite being located on Highway 62 and a stone's throw away from Interstate 85, Smokey T's still feels like it's in the middle of nowhere. The joint is part of a small crop of new constructions nestled among acres and acres of corn fields. It appears that Smokey T's is banking on urban sprawl to reach the area and increase development. For now, however, they're going to have to rely on word of mouth to get people in the door.
Smokey T's is set up a like a typical fast food joint. There is a counter at the front of the house with a menu board above it. The exterior windows are lined with booth seating, while the interior features modern formica tables. The Google reviews I'd read mentioned ordering at the counter, but we were directed to sit upon entering. A friendly waitress greeted us soon after. She took our orders, delivered our food and refilled our drinks despite there being an accessible fountain machine.
The menu at Smokey T's is pretty standard for the area. Pork shoulder and broasted chicken are accompanied by burgers, salads and traditional sides. I ordered a chopped pork plate (as is my custom) with fries and cole slaw (Sorry, no pictures this time).
When the pork arrived, it actually appeared to be pulled rather than chopped. It was already sauced and featured a nice mix of dark bark. Unlike many BBQ joints in the area, Smokey T's only offers one size of plate. The standard serving size is pretty substantial. It's comparable to the large plates I've ordered at other joints.
Since the pork was already sauced, it's difficult to judge for moistness and flavor. The sauce was a tangy, vinegar dip that I found to be a step above typical Lexington style dips served in the area. They also had three house sauces (hot, mild and mustard) at the table. The pork was very tender, but not the least bit smokey. With no sign of an on-site smoker or visible smoke ring in the meat, my guess is that the pork is roasted in commercial rotisserie ovens. Unfortunately, this is a common practice in the area.
The sides were very mediocre. The cole slaw was mayo based. The fries were the crinkle cut variety. I also sampled some of my daughters applesauce and Mac & Cheese. I can't recommend any of them.
Smokey T's doesn't stand out among the dozens of BBQ joints in the area. Without real pit smoked pork, I can only recommend Smokey T's chopped Q in a pinch. Topped with their good sauce, Smokey T's pork could make a good sandwhich. However, there are so many other good joints in the area. It may be worth your while to check out some others.