|The sign in front has been a beacon|
for BBQ fans for decades.
A main stop on the historic barbecue trail of the N.C. Barbecue Society, it ranks high on just about everybody’s list – Southern Living, Southern Foodways Alliance, and barbecue writers such as Randy Moss. In 2015, it won the “Ultimate Barbecue Bracket” competition of Garden & Gun. Magazine articles and photos line its walls among family pictures and scenes of yesteryear.
|Bracket results tell the story.|
|On the wall is a picture of the restaurant in the "old days" (observed the vintage cars).|
After I had ordered lunch, I started taking pictures. My server Diann (who is certified as a barbecue judge by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and has been a member of a competitive cooking team) asked if I wanted to take pictures of the pit. Of course! There’s where I found Dennis at work, guarding the fire and watching over the smoking shoulders. He has a lifetime of experience and learned his skills from his father, who was cooked pork for most of his life.
|Pitmaster Dennis, 55, learned the skills|
of of operating a pit from his father.
|"Lexington-style" barbecue always comes with "red" slaw.|
|Granddaughter Natalie (left) and daughter|
Debbie keep Bridges' spirit alive.
|The restaurant has a steady stream of customers -- new and repeat.|
|The woodpile is huge -- and neat.|
|Banana pudding is always available.|
Watching descendants of Red Bridges work in the restaurant that he and his wife Lyttle started many decades ago was a special experience. Enjoying pork barbecue and red slaw at Red Bridges Barbecue gave me a greater appreciation for the role of “Lexington” style in creating N.C. barbecue traditions and for this particular restaurant’s connection to others that serve barbecue in the Piedmont.
|About 50 shoulders cooked the day before are ready to be chopped or sliced in the kitchen.|