Monday, July 25, 2011

Coming to uptown: Barbecue

Pierre Bader's new place will be called City Smoke and, yes, it's a barbecue place: "Multi-regional barbecue cuisine," he calls it, meaning N.C. pulled pork, Texas brisket, Memphis dry-rubbed ribs, St. Louis sauced ribs, plus oysters, rotisserie chicken, steaks, salads, shrimp and grits and more. The surprise is that his partner is chef Todd Townsend, who you may remember from Townsend's Gourmet and Gone Hog Wild catering -- or, for older-timers, from Palatable Pleasures. Look for single-barrel bourbons and a long beer list, too, at the new place, 100 N. Tryon St. (a former medical clinic space in the Bank of America Corporate Center, with an entrance on Trade Street), slated to open in the first quarter of 2012.

It will seat 100, and feature 20-foot ceilings, wood walls, chalkboard menus, back-bar tables filled with iced-down beers, and an eat-in counter overlooking the kitchen. Bader, who has owned fine dining and more casual restaurants in Charlotte for years (notably the current Aria at Founders Hall and the defunct Sonoma), says prices will average less than $10 for lunch, and dinner portions will range from $8 to $19 -- and there'll be free peanuts at the bar.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

A guy named Pierre cooking BBQ?

Anonymous said...

BBQ from France! Awesome. You forgot to include the wine list. lol.

Anonymous said...

Bar-B-Q for yuppies.

Any surprise they chose to locate in Charlotte?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:35 -

Pierre Bader already owns restaurants in Charlotte, and has been part of the local scene for quite some time - Sonoma, Press, Aria, Frankie's, etc.. I'm not sure there's any surprise its located in Charlotte, since it's (probably) taking the former space of Sonoma.

Anonymous said...

If the NC Pulled Pork is "add your own sauce", like every other BBQ place in Charlotte, it's doomed to failure. You have to add the sauce while pulling or chopping or it's crap, especially for Eastern variety.

Anonymous said...

This was one of my biggest disappointments when moving to Charlotte...you hear about great carolina barbecue...where is it?! Beyond Mac's Speed Shop, what non-chain barbecue joint is there? All I can find is slaw on unsmoked meat chunks...wth is this? If we can't get it from the locals, why not the French?

Anonymous said...

If someone can make it work It's Pierre. He knows his food and how to make a restaurant work.

Anonymous said...

Old Hickory House on North Tryon. Period. Mac's Speed Shop? That's funny, I wouldn't feed that trash to feral hogs.

Anonymous said...

Best in town is Spoon's on South Blvd. Not enough Hickory though. If you want real ’cue, go to Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church. The only cue in Charlotte worth discussing.

Anonymous said...

Out with the art galleries and upscale dining and in with the flea markets and BBQ. Tough economy.

Wiley Coyote said...

If you want real ’cue, go to Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church. The only cue in Charlotte worth discussing.

...You haven't had mine...

Hank from Hillsborough said...

Real NC pork BBQ is too labor intensive to be monetized and commercialized. Some come close, most don't. The only real barbecue happens at biannual events at volunteer fire departments and churches out in the counties and in a handful of bubba shacks scattered across the state where the wood pile is bigger than the cinder block building where it's served.

The craft is dying. And unfortunately, the next generation will most likely think that "barbecue" from big city restaurants run by fellows named Pierre is real. Where you'll be served corn bread that's sweet and tea than ain't. Feh.

Anonymous said...

"pulled pork" Oh Brother! ! ! !

Anonymous said...

Spoon's on South Blvd is GREAT! If a restaurant has to ask what kind of sauce you want, Leave. Real eastern barbecue does not need added sauce. Try Smithfied's barbecue & Chicken on I85 exit 153. Barbecue downtown????

Anonymous said...

BBQ is a lot of HARD & DIRTY work. Go to Lexington BBQ to try it and see it don't right (for this region). You can't re-create that in uptown CLT. I don't see them buring hickory wood, creating coals, and using the coals to smoke pork shoulders.

Anonymous said...

Pierre, you say...a French chef cooking BBQ? Hot Damn and Heck Ya - the French can cook anything. Now if someone would open a La Madeleine cafe in Charlotte we could indulge in inexpensive French fare all the time. It's the place we always stop when we're in Atlanta or Austin.

Anonymous said...

man. i can't believe uptown doesn't have a real wood fire bbq joint. stamey's in GSO is a place that would be awesome in uptown

Anonymous said...

Just what we need, another upscale BBQ joint. I used to think Mac's was good until I recently tried McCoy's Smokehouse which is better and a lot cheaper.

Anonymous said...

"you hear about great carolina barbecue...where is it?!".......Bridge's in Shelby for starters. Lexington BBQ is another great one. Local good?, Start at Old Hickory House and never leave. I guess with Pierre and BBQ, it brings a whole new meaning to the little piggy screaming "Ouiiii Ouiiii" all the way home.

Anonymous said...

Did someone say that Mac's serves bar-b-q? Really?

Anonymous said...

Sauceman's in Southend is the best BBQ in Charlotte!

Anonymous said...

I'm from Lexington and Lexington BBQ is the best around. Bill Spoons is my fave in Charlotte. I'll have to try this new place to see how it compares!

Anonymous said...

Ahhh a BBQ place for Ricky Bobby.

Anonymous said...

Agree w/ the Sauceman's comment; great cue and the only place I've found in CLT that does real Lexington-style which is what I grew up on and love.

Anonymous said...

Macs is only good because of the scene. The food is bland, mostly cold and generally fails. Best BBQ around is in Fayetteville, NC by a little road side shop called Fatbacks.

Anonymous said...

Troutman's in Concord. Excellent cue and not too far. The Church St. location is notably better than the one at the intersection of 601 and 49.

Anonymous said...

If there isn't a smoker sitting outside the place... it isn't bbq. It is something cooked in a glorified oven with a nice hood.

Anonymous said...

When can we expect another Pierre Bader restaurant to fail?

Especially since he is attempting barbecue now

Anonymous said...

Smithfield's is fast food bbq. While good enough, please don't use it as an example when introducing someone to good Eastern NC style bbq. The best Eastern NC bbq in Charlotte is either at Bill Spoon's on South Blvd, as mentioned, or Bubba's BBQ off Sunset. But if you want the real deal, head east of Raleigh where real bbq runs rampant in those parts.
Mac's is good, but it's not Eastern NC style. It's just different.

Anonymous said...

Spoons is mass produced crap. Might as well be a chain. Hickory House isn't bad, but it isn't stellar. It is however, easily the best in Charlotte. Macs? Yuppie joint for people ashamed to admit they're yuppies. Sad to say, but others have it right, semi-annual events, the occasional old timer, or the shack...last remaining homes of real BBQ

Anonymous said...

I can't believe people still mention Spoon's and Barbeque in the same sentence. That dump has been living on "legend" for over two decades now. And, even when they were remotely passabe as barbeque, it was served as a pee-wee portion with a giant price.

Anonymous said...

One piece of advise to Pierre, need to spend about a month or more down in Wilson or up in Lexington to learn how it's done right!

Anonymous said...

Let me correct that: One piece of advice to Pierre...

Anonymous said...

Gone Hog was awesome, Macs is weak bbq.

Anonymous said...

SAUCEMAN's!!!

Anonymous said...

My, my, my! Ain't we jist a bunch o' bbq snobs! Even before we eat at this place. Why, bless our hearts! I've eaten Q all across the country and there's good stuff in MANY places, in many variations of meat, sauces, wood/smokes, locations, shiny yuppie places, to greasy holes-in-the-walls. So get off your high horses, give this place a chance and let it speak for itself. I will.
Butch

Anonymous said...

Hands down, Lexington BBQ in Lexington, NC is the best BBQ in the area! If you don't want to drive that far, then go to The Rock Store in Stallings, NC. It's on Monroe Road about 3 - 4 miles from I485. That's the next best BBQ that I've tried around here.

Anonymous said...

Y'all familiar with Jim & NIck's out on 160 in Steele Creek on the way to Lake Wylie...parking lot's always full, lunch or dinner even during the week...what's the consensus?

Anonymous said...

All I know is don't go to Midwood Smokehouse.......that's the worst BBQ ever!!!!

Anonymous said...

Midwood Smokehouse on Central Ave is the best BBQ in town. If they want to do it right, go study what Frank Scibelli did in Plaza Midwood.

Anonymous said...

right on Butch! NC is full of snobs, but none mote than the BBQ snob. Lots of great Q throughout the SE, TX, MO and even in New York. Old Hickory House BTW is Gerorgia Q, and not necessarily the best example! Though mighty fine!

Anonymous said...

"Y'all familiar with Jim & NIck's out on 160 in Steele Creek".....I've eaten there and I have to say it is pretty darn good.

Anonymous said...

great, more upscale que. Gone Hog Wild was good. Mac's is a yuppie biker bar and the q is bland. Spoon's is now run by his sons and it is good. So is Bubbas. I will try Saucemans.

BBQ Center, Lexington, Stamey's, Bridges is where it's at.

Anonymous said...

Jim and Nick's is a chain. If that's your think for good 'cue then go for it. I didn't think it was all that great...comparable to other chains like smokey bones, sticky fingers, etc.

Go for the locals. They do it better.

Anonymous said...

McKoys rocks.

Anonymous said...

Jim n Nick's is an Alabama based chain. It's okay, but it's not Carolina cue by a longshot.

Anonymous said...

Lexington BBQ is disgusting slop. Go to Winston Salem to a place called Honky Tonk Pig. Not a drop of sauce needed on that BBQ...smoke rings thru and thru !

JJ said...

Whoever said Troutman's in Concord is sadly mistaken. That place sells baked pork and claims it's barbecue.

People are very particular about their barbecue in this state and for good reason. The barbecue in this state is awesome.

Now, in North Carolina it isn't right to refer to anything other than pork cooked over a wood-burning pit as barbecue. Electric cookers and baked pork aren't barbecue.

The fact that this article referred to North Carolina "pulled pork" is very disconcerting. I have never known any real NC BBQ establishment call their barbecue pulled pork - that is a Memphis term.

I'm not one to bash other regions's idea of barbecue (in fact I really like it), but I always do my best to keep it in the frame of reference of the area I am visiting. In NC, brisket and ribs are not barbecue, but in Texas and Kansas City they are.

For good Piedmont style cue, Bridges, Lexington, Hursey's, and Stamey's are great. For good eastern style cue, The Skylight Inn and Bob Melton's are some of the best.

And please remember, in North Carolina barbecue is a NOUN, not a VERB.

Anonymous said...

It's funny to see how people jaw and bicker over what the best BBQ is and what real BBQ is. BBQ is an complex subject with many different styles and opinions. Some people like smoke and some don't, some use rubs some don't, some cook it low and slow and some hot and fast. People in Texas say it's not BBQ unless it's brisket, in Carolina it's pork.
If you find something you like, stick with it and share it with someone else. If it's good to you it's good to you.

UJ said...

Many contributors here complain of the BBQ offerings in Charlotte. I agree. Just TRY the BBQ in SOUTH CAROLINA south of Sun City on the left...on 521.....it is called "521 BBQ" and their slogan is "we rub butts every night". And that they do,,,it is always fresh THAT day or not served....any left over is frozen and you can buy at a deep discount at the restaurant. I don't own it, have no idea who does....I just know it IS the best!

Anonymous said...

Bill Spoon's has the best Eastern NC style BBQ in Charlotte

Anonymous said...

I would love it if they would include tuna barbecue on the menu! Pigman's Barbeque in Kill Devil Hills has a tuna-que, and it is delicious for customers who don't eat pork. I would love to eat at City Smoke,, and I love BBQ, but only of the tuna kind- we make it often at home.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the brisket at Mac's? Consistency of a rubber hose.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like they're trying to be everything to everybody.

I doubt that they'll pull it off very well.

Probably good enough for those who haven't had the real thing, though.

There are enough differences in "Texas" style BBQ as it is.

They're sure to mess it up.

Jake said...

Wilbur's Barbecue in Goldsboro. Make the trip, taste the perfection and then share your opinion. if you haven't had it, you've never experienced eastern NC BBQ at its finest.

Anonymous said...

If I have to eat BBQ in CLT I prefer Hillbillies over on Tyvola near South. But they are a bland shadow store of the originals in Gastonia and Lowell.

Anonymous said...

Born and raised in the South - Tried them all, but I am firmly committed to Old Hickory House on Tryon Street. Brunswick Stew is the greatest ever, authentic BBQ. My family has been going there, serving their sauce/stew during all holidays/family events. MAC's, and all those other "fast food" joints are a very poor excuse for trying to create a memorable southern experience. I was very happy to see even Creative Loafing recognized the family owned restaurant Old Hickory House last year as the #1 BBQ restaurant. Really not sure "City Smoke" can be very authentic if they don't have a crew getting up in the middle of the night to roast the pork and simmering the BBQ sauce. It's all in the sauce/flavor of the meat.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone... meat cooked over fire = barbecue... it's primal. BBQ is a state of mind. I've had it all over the world. Sadly Charlotte does not have the same great tradition as other areas of NC.

Anonymous said...

The Q Shack at Providence Rd & 485 is solid. So is Sauceman's now that they have some new ownership that knows about Lexington style, Q.

Anonymous said...

I like BBQ King on Wilkinson Blvd.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see what City Smoke has to offer??? What Pierre can do with a bbq theme. Have heard in recent years that Todd Townsend is a has been and doesn't have it any more. Been out of the game to long. Anxious if they can bring it with the other q restaurants in town!

Anonymous said...

I doubt the city ordinance will all Pierre and Townsend to burn much wood. Too much smoke for Fancy uptown. I haven't been to Sauceman's yet but heard good things, Mac's is not the same since JD and team left -focused on the dollar. What others said about church and Fire station fundraisers aresometimes great and sometimes not. I know several Boy Scout BBQs are great, I think the one I like is on Carmel near the private school. They do it every April.