[Note: This post, prepared originally for the NC Folklife Institute's NCFood blog, is hosted on the institute’s website, with excerpts and a link to the website posted here.]
Have you ever passed a restaurant, wondered how good its food is, but didn’t stop because you were saving money by not eating out? That’s my story about North Carolina barbecue when I was growing up.
Piedmont in a stable but modest neighborhood of Winston-Salem. In the heart of
“Lexington-style” barbecue, the closest restaurant was less than a mile from my house. Although it was a place that I walked nearby when I carried daily newspapers, I never ate there because I didn’t have the extra coins to buy a sandwich.
The desire to taste barbecue in my hometown went unsatisfied for years because after college I lived out of state. Many years later when I visited Winston-Salem, I was disappointed that Simos Barbecue, the neighborhood diner which had opened in 1939, was no longer in business. It closed after the owner’s health had declined. Its closing disappointed not only me and others in the city but legions of former students at nearby Wake Forest University who went online to lament their sorrow.