Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Pedalin' Pig BBQ- Banner Elk,NC

A family holiday vacation brought me to the high country of NC. When this happens, I usually am able to incorporate one or two new bbq stops into the trip. It so happened that this time I was feeling a little like I had some extra time, with a week off work so here I am writing about the experience for the first time in years.

Several people recommended the Pedalin' Pig to us, and on a rainy Christmas Eve lunchtime  without much else to do, we found ourselves in the parking lot just off Highway 105. We braved a few seconds of chilly drizzle then entered the warm interior. It featured the typical wood and antique sign decor, with a bit of local feel provided by hiking maps and even a large mountain landscape mural hanging on the walls.

Our party of 9 was promptly seated and given menus to study, along with a plate of hush puppies (which were forgettable). The menu included the standard Carolina barbecue fare, but also some less common items such as thick sliced brisket and pork belly tacos. The waitress told us that their sweet tea and most of the sides were homemade. Becky and I chose to split the 3-meat sampler which comes with pulled pork, baby back ribs and brisket. (Side note: we got the sampler for 1; they also have a 3 meat sampler for two, but as you can see the 1 person sampler comes with a ton of food. We weren't especially hungry, but even between the two of us we didn't quite finish it.)

Our sides were potato salad and fried okra, along with an additional side of mac and cheese for the little guy. Portions of everything were mountain man-sized. The sides were respectable, and the tea perfectly cold and sweet, but the meats were a bit of a let down. The pulled, or more like coarsely chopped, pork was by far the best of the three. It had enough bits of bark to give it good flavor, and the "Piedmont" sauce provided on the table did it justice. The baby back ribs were tender enough, but lacking smoke flavor. Same story with the brisket; it could just as well have been slow roasted in an oven. It wasn't tough at all, which is a plus, but it did include substantial chunks of fat. It would have been interesting to try a couple of the other 5-6 sauces listed on their menu, but none were offered and our waitress didn't return in time for a request to be made.

It was a pleasant spot for a vacation lunch. I appreciate the effort put into the homemade sides, but they need to up the smoking game a bit to be ranked as good all around barbecue.


Pedalin' Pig Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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