My search for the best barbecue places in the Charlotte area continued recently with a visit to Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q in Charlotte, NC. Jim ‘n Nick’s has 28 locations in 7 different states and prides itself in cooking its ‘que low and slow and making everything from scratch. I’ve heard good things regarding Jim ‘n Nick’s, so I decided to give it a shot.
I confess that I got excited when I parked and saw a nice sized wood pile on one side of the building and a pull-behind smoker on the other side.
Once inside, I place my order. The server was a touch slow to come over and take my order, especially considering that the restaurant was not busy at all. I decided on a combination platter with spare ribs, hot links, pulled pork, and chicken. For my sides, I picked BBQ baked beans and onion rings. I chose the hot links as one of the meats since they were featured by the restaurant at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party.
I was a little surprised when they brought out cheese biscuits instead of hush puppies to go along with the meal. However, the biscuits were very tasty.
After a little while, my plate comes out of the kitchen. Wow, that’s a lot of food!
Before digging in, I saw there were 2 different sauces available on the table. Why yes, I do think I’ll try them out…
On the right is the original BBQ sauce. It has a little lighter color than ketchup. A naked taste tells me that it’s not overly sweet and a little bit bold. The sauce on the left is the hot habanero sauce. There is more molasses present in this sauce. It is a bit sweeter than the original sauce, and it has a good amount of heat.
On to the food… all of the meats came out pre-sauced. I usually prefer that it not be sauced, but this is just a personal preference. The pulled pork was very moist and flavorful. The sauce worked well with the pork. However, I could not detect any hints of the meat being smoked. The chicken was also very tender and moist. The cut I was given was a bit unusual — I was given a breast and wing rather than a leg quarter. Not quite bite-thru skin, but that’s okay. It was still flavorful.
Now on to the hot links… I could instantly see why they were the featured item. The sausage was extremely tasty. Perfectly cooked and just the right amount of heat… that made for a tasty treat! The disappointment for me was the ribs. I could see that they were smoked. However, they were dry and overdone.
And now to the sides: the BBQ baked beans were adequate. They contained bits and pieces of pork shoulder. I would have liked for them to be a little bit more bold. The onion rings, on the other hand… WOW! Those were some fine onion rings. I could’ve made a meal on them, mainly because they were so many. They were very crispy and very large.
Overall, I was a little bit disappointed with Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q in Charlotte. Maybe it’s one of those places where the food is much better for dinner than for lunch, and maybe other locations are just better. Again, some items were excellent (the hot links, for example), but I guess I just had higher expectations.
Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Q is located at 13840 Steele Creek Rd., Charlotte, NC 28278. The website is http://www.jimnnicks.com.