Earlier this month I and a group of other local foodies and bloggers attended a food tasting event at City Barbeque's newest location in S. Durham, NC. Grand opening was last Sunday, (5/22/2016). I was already familiar with their food and am a big fan, but they were introducing a new menu item. Tacos! Double Smoked Brisket Tacos. So I had to go check things out. Just as I anticipated, I loved everything. I know that's a general statement, but I'll get to the details soon.
Here's the thing, although City Barbeque is a chain from Ohio, which I know throws some people off, especially here in the south, where we take our barbeque very seriously, they do not claim to be the best. Shocking right? Don't all businesses claim to be the best? They say that all they ask is that locals give them a try, because they think they're pretty darn good, although they're always striving to be better. You gotta appreciate that. I admire them for staying so humble even after having opened restaurants in 4 states at this point.
1st impression of the decor upon walking in, is that it looks like a barn. In fact, that is all reclaimed barn wood lining the interior. Pretty cool. Throughout the restaurant is various locally themed paraphenelia on display which adds a nice touch.
First and foremost, they smoke their meats in-house for as long as 18 hours in their gas-fired smokers which use hickory wood logs, from where else, but Hickory, NC. It adds a nice flavor to the meats. I tell ya, that meat is smoked to perfection. I was nearly salivating watching them pull it apart from the bone as samples were being passed around to taste. The smell, the color, the taste... It's meat done right.
How ever you like your barbeque, whether it's Carolina style, Texas style or something in the middle... they have sauces at each table so you can customize your meat to your liking. You really can't go wrong because the base, (the meat itself) has been done right in the first place. Personally, I like my meat plain, without adding any sauces. The taste of the meat and the rub is enough flavor for me to enjoy it wholeheartedly. But those sauces are worthy of a try at least. All made in-house of course.
How's this for a starter? Ribs and chicken with all those hushpuppies that you'll want to drizzle with honey. (I did). Oh and of course, some sweet tea to wash it all down with. It was some goooood eats!
What else is made in-house? All of the sides. They're made as needed throughout the day in small batches. It would be hard to pick my favorites, but I am a huge fan of potato salad, corn pudding and mac & cheese in general. City Barbeque didn't disappoint. In fact, I more than like these 3 sides, I FLOVE them. That's a special kind of love reserved for food. F-L-O-V-E. There are many other sides to choose from besides these. I sampled the slaw, baked beans, green beans, hushpuppies and corn bread. All of them were delicious. Everything tasted fresh and full of flavor. Literally, like it was just made.
Turkey ya'll! Juicy and flavorful turkey! Oh it was so good. I'm having a bit of a food flashback right now. The sausage rocked too. I just got especially excited about the turkey since I seldom get to eat turkey that isn't dry.
So after all this food, it was finally dessert time. The peach cobbler was outstanding. Tasted like it just came out of grandma's oven. You know what else is nice? They make the whipped cream in-house as well. I tell ya, there's no equal in a can or a tub that tastes as good as fresh-made whipped cream. What a great ending to the event.
City Barbeque fed us to the gills. I'm not kidding. They really wanted us to taste as much as possible and jokingly advised us in advance, to remember to "eat through the pain". Haha! I was up for that challenge, although to my surprise I failed.
PS - City Barbeque is great for take-out and catering too. Personally, I'm not a fan of cooking, but I love to eat great food, so this is right up my alley.
Thanks to City Barbeque for the informative & thoroughly delicious event. Corey, Frank, Tim, Will, Angela, Eddie and plenty of others whose names I didn't even get on that day. Awesome people! Awesome restaurant! Welcome to Durham!
ADDRESS: City Barbeque, 208 W. Hwy 54 Durham, NC 27513