Last night my collegue Gary Marchionini pulled a great trick. He set up a blind BBQ taste test. He purchased Q and brought sauce from two different, but very good, BBQ joints. One that cooked in the Western or Lexington style and one that cooked in Eastern (or that found near Wilson). I was sure that BBQ A which was moist, rich, chunky, smoke flavored and lean was from my favorite local Allen and Son. The sauce for A was of the thicker Western variety but didn’t overwhelm the Q. Q B however was dry, not as rich, not as smokey (in fact I suspected that it was cooked over gas instead of coals) , and a bit fatty. Sauce B while of the vinegar and pepper variety was hot and took over the taste of the Q. Bare, that is sauceless, Q B was good but not as good as Q A in the same state. Gary had already abandoned the idea of using his surveys when those of us who take Q seriously were chewing over the results. Many of the experienced Q eaters prefered A over B. Our Aussie collegues liked B.
To my surprise, Q A was from the A and M Grill in Mebane. Q B was from Allen and Son. I had always thought of myself as more of an Eastern style Q eater and then as a snob for Allen’s slow cooking over hot hickory coals.
Even though the News and Observer’s Greg Cox doesn’t much like it, I had a conversion experience and hope to follow up with a trip up to Mebane to check out the A and M Grill in person.

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