Even though we’re in the South, we don’t live in Lexington, NC (known to many as the “BBQ Capital”) and Durham doesn’t have as many barbecue restaurants as you’d expect. The variety of food and cuisines we do have is wonderful, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have more Southern options, especially in South Durham.
Some of you might recognize City Barbeque already – they’re a mid-sized chain that, ironically, originated in the North (Ohio); this new location in Durham is their 28th. But, just because they’re a chain doesn’t mean they don’t care about the food as if each location was their first and only.
They don’t franchise, so they have a lot of control over the quality and consistency of the food, including where it comes from and how it’s prepared. They work with fresh ingredients – there are no freezers and the meat is hand-rubbed and cooked low and slow every night (overnight) for next day service. It’s shoulder-to-plate freshness: straight from the smoker to your plate, cooked with North Carolina hickory wood. The sides are also made fresh from scratch daily. The bread is from local Raleigh bakery/restaurant Neomonde and the poultry is hormone-free.
Some of my favorite items from the menu include the flavorful ribs, tender beef brisket, sweet corn pudding, and the even sweeter peach cobbler for dessert. The chicken and turkey also took on the smokey flavor and were far from bland. The restaurant also has hushpuppies, baked beans with brisket, green beans with bacon, potato salad, and so much more. The portion sizes are generous and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly. They prepare the meat the best way possible and then leave it up to guests to sauce it to their liking.
If you need to feed a crowd, they also do great carry-out. You can stand in line and just as easily order for a group of 25 as you can for a family of four.
City Barbeque Durham will host its grand opening at 208 W. Hwy 54 (in the Kroger plaza) Sunday, May 22 starting at 11 a.m. and will be hosting a BBQ sauce contest where the pubic can judge.
No doubt you’ll start smelling the barbecue aromas wafting from the pits the next time you’re driving around the Southpoint area and find yourself drawn in to try it for yourself.