First of all I want to thank Big E for a great Christmas gift. He sent me a copy of Jim Early's book "Tar Heel Barbeque". I was on the beach reading it this week and decided to make a side trip on the way home and try out one of the featured BBQ joints Jim reviewed.
I picked Wilberís BBQ in Goldsboro NC for 2 reasons. One, it wasnít too far off the path we were traveling and two they cook Q over oak and hickory. Most of the places I read about in that area use gas. I wanted my family to try real NC Q at its finest and thatís what we did.
First the review by Jim:
I found Wilberís barbeque to be absolutely delicious. The chopped pork has a smoky flavor and is not heavily sauced from the kitchen. The barbeque chicken tasted a bit more like baked chicken in a slightly creamy sauce. It was ever so tender, delicious and different.
Now my review:
Oh my God
. What a treat for the mouth. I have never had Q like this before. (I have to rethink my competition Q) I met the owner, Wilber Shirley, and knew this guy knew BBQ. Here is was Saturday afternoon and the place was ROCKING.
The setting was oak panel walls, moderately lit with lighting, and had an old home feeling. The waitress brought hush puppies that were fresh and fantastic. The sweet tea was southern style (SWEET). The prices were reasonable and menu was simple.
I ordered the BBQ platter which included pulled pork, chicken quarter, potato salad and cole slaw. The first thing I was surprised about was the Q did not come on a bun. In fact, there werenít even buns on the table. It didnít need it folks. It came slightly sauced which was enough. I did try the table sauce which was just more of what they put on in the kitchen. NO NEED to add any more. The chicken was moist, and delicious. It wasnít smoked like Jim said. The potato salad reminded me of my Great Grandma's potato salad. I could close my eyes and see here mixing it in the bowl. I am not a big cole slaw fan but I gave it a good taste. It was very good. Everyone at the table agreed that it was the best they had ever had.
After lunch I got a tour of the Pits. Of course I took the camera. Folks, this is not just a pit, its a BBQ Building. They burn down the oak and hickory (15 cords a week) to coals and add the coals under the whole hogs and shoulders in the building. The guy told me that on a normal day they cook 13 hogs and countless numbers of shoulders. I was so impressed. Back in the kitchen there as the chopping table. They use a wheel borrow to bring in the meat and then start chopping (no pics there, sorry)
Okay, I am no author nor food critic but I will say that Wilberís is on my "I will be back" list and I would recommend ANYONE in that area or traveling through to stop in and enjoy some GREAT Q and I have the tee shirt to prove it.
Wilberís Barbeque is located on Hwy 70 just east of Goldsboro NC. The sign is very visible on the right as you travel east. The hours of operation are 6am until 9pm seven days a week. Phone number is 919/778-5218.