Four Bands, Four Barbecue Joints

Text by Mike Grimes
Photos by Matt Tyson

Four Bands, Four Barbecue Joints

A sonic tour through American barbecue (cont.)

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Allen & Son, Chapel Hill, North Carolina,
with the Rosebuds

Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp, the pair who create the breezy sound of the Rosebuds, grew up in North Carolina (Fuquay-Varina and Fayetteville, respectively), went to college in Wilmington, and now live in Raleigh. They took us to the outskirts of Chapel Hill to taste Allen & Son’s offerings. It’s down-home Southern dining: checkered tablecloths, a comforting worn-wood interior, and the persistent aromas of smoked meat and homemade pie. Crisp revealed why the pork is so incredibly smoky: A brick-pit coal smoker operates behind the restaurant; it’s the kind that’s now outlawed because of ventilation problems, but some sort of barbecue-smoker-specific grandfather clause keeps it going. Everything we ate, from the traditional, vinegar-rich Carolina pulled pork to the baby back ribs, the Brunswick stew, and the coleslaw, was simply delicious. And let’s not forget dessert: peach cobbler and warm homemade pound cake.

The Rosebuds’ latest album, Night of the Furies, is out on Merge Records.

Listen to "Blue Bird"
by the Rosebuds

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