Friday, July 30, 2010
I just ate at Tarheel Q in Davidson County NC off I64 a couple of weeks ago and did a review. Today, I hate to report that the barbecue restaurant caught fire yesterday 8-29-2010. Actaully a reader was kind enough to post a note on my review article to let me know.
Fortunately, a police officer who was driving home after getting off work saw the fire and called, and the fire department responded quickly. This kept the fire contained the attic area. Photos in the local paper show some damage to the back upper part of the building.
Tarheel Q is one of the few wood burning BBQ joints still open in North Carolina. Due to health department regulations, having fire pits in restaurants is not allowed now. Barbecue restaurants open prior to the new rules are grandfathered in. In some cases, restaurants smoke off site and truck it in, but I certainly prefer the old style barbecue joints where you can smell the barbecue in the air.
According to published reports today, the owners hope to repair the damage and reopen as soon as possible.
Tarheel Q serves Lexington-style barbecue and is often listed as a Lexington BBQ restaurant, but it's really out on the county line and in a rural area. This means that you have a local and very authentic customer base with good support for dealing with something like a fire that puts 15 folks out of work and limits the options for good food and fellowship in the area.
I did rate the barbecue a bit on the dry side, sauce a tad sweet and buns skimpy, but I'd eat at a wood burning barbecue restaurant any day over a chain. I also think that Tarheel Q has a rocking breakfast.
My heart goes out to the owners of Tarheel Q, the employees and to the community. I do hope that the attic area can be repaired and that wood smoked barbecue lives on on the edge of the county.
It's a heck of a lot of work to do barbecue the old fashioned way, but it does make a difference. And, it's part of our North Carolina heritage.