Here’s Steven hard at work at Allen & Son Barbecue in Chapel Hill.
As any journalist knows, there’s no substitute for field research! Every day I give thanks that I live in a country and time and history when a guy can actually make a living eating barbecue, cooking barbecue, and writing about barbecue.
By the way, the pork sandwich here is the very exemplar of the species–the perfect blend of soft, rich, tender shoulder meat and crisp “brownies” (crusty slivers of the burnt edges and skin). North Carolina’s barbecue sauce is unlike any other in the U.S.–mostly cider vinegar, salt, and hot pepper flakes, with a smidgen of sugar to take off the edge. It’s designed to blend in with the chopped pork without making it sloppy and the vinegar cuts the fat.