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BBQ in Charlotte? That used to be the punchline to many a joke. Nowadays, however, BBQ is becoming more and more relevant here in the Queen City. So when I learned that my good friend Wilfred Reinke was coming through Charlotte, I intended to take him to one of the restaurants. Like all good plans, they change. The idea popped in my head for us to check out the newest BBQ restaurant in Charlotte — Queen City Q — and do a dual review. I asked another one of my good friends Steve Gibbs if he’d like to join us, and all of a sudden it became a three-headed review! Steve has already posted his review here, so please go and check it out! This is my take on Queen City Q…
With the restaurant being located in uptown Charlotte, I wasn’t sure how long it would take for me to walk there from my office. So I left a bit early. Needless to say, I got there in plenty of time. So I got a few pictures inside the restaurant…
Steve arrives after a few minutes, and we go ahead and grab a seat to wait for Fred’s arrival. After a few minutes of chit chat, the owner walks over to our table to greet Steve. I introduce myself, and soon the conversation turns to brisket — in particular how it should be served. Naturally, we offered our services to be taste testers… and a couple of minutes later, out comes two plates with a slice of brisket on each plate. One slice was served with a sauce, and the other was sauced and put on the grill for a few minutes to let the sauce caramelize.
The picture below is of the brisket that was served sauced.
The picture below is of the brisket that was sauced and then grilled to allow for sauce caramelization.
I couldn’t decide on a favorite. Both pieces of meat presented different flavor profiles that were both equally palatable. While some purists may thumb their nose at saucing brisket, I found that the sauce worked well with the meat and acted as an enhancer and not a flavor mask. And for the record, the brisket by itself tasted fabulous!
(Don’t worry… we were nice enough and saved Fred a piece.)
Fred arrived and joined us. Naturally, we had to get photographic evidence. From left to right: myself, Steve, and Fred.
We all placed our orders. Steve and Fred both ordered ribs. I went the different route and ordered the pulled pork and got macaroni & cheese and BBQ slaw for my sides.
We chatted for a while… cut up… and had a great time. After a few minutes, our orders came out. Below is my pulled pork plate.
And this is Steve’s rib plate.
I will say that the ribs looked very tasty! You can find more about the ribs on Steve’s review. The pork that I had was very tasty!! I wish I would’ve had more bark, but that’s a minor thing. It was very moist and flavorful.
They have a variety of different sauces available, all of which are absolutely fantastic! Below is a picture of the pork that has been sauced with their Eastern Carolina style sauce.
While we were eating, Boone the pitmaster came out to chat with us for a few minutes. We grilled him (for lack of a better term) on all facets of the restaurant — from the sauces to his preference in brisket to his thoughts on the BBQ boom in Charlotte.
All in all it was a great time! It was absolutely wonderful to see Fred and Steve again. The food was excellent, and I am adding this to my “must-eat-at-again-and-again” list.
Queen City Q is located at 225 E. 6th St., Charlotte, NC 28202 (next to Brixx and right off of the last stop on the light rail). Their website is http://www.queencityq.com/, and they can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
But Wait, THere’s More…
So three days later, I returned for lunch and brought a co-worker with me. This time, I just had to try the ribs (with beans and sweet potato fries as sides). They tasted as good as they looked! Great balance of flavor, cooked to just the right tenderness, and just downright yummy!