“BBQ tender as a mother’s love.”
I’ve been exploring the city of Durham of late. Admittedly, I don’t know much about the bull city other than I enjoy going to see shows at the DPAC (it’s a great venue!) and they are home to the Durham Bulls baseball and the American Tobacco Campus. What I’ve found is that Durham has countless restaurants, parks, and a lot of history and culture that is easily missed if you don’t know where to look.
Take The Original Q Shack for instance. I should start by letting you know that I drove past the Original Q Shack dozens of times and never took notice. Sure the parking lot was always packed, but I had things to do and zipping by at Mach 1 hardly lends itself to reading signs. My loss. For real. This place is off the chain!
Not fancy, but clean and comfortable, the Original Q Shack (not to be confused with others of a similar name) is BBQ goodness. With an air of Texas flair, the Original Q Shack smokes every kind of meat you can think of and serves them up with hand-made sides. You can’t go wrong. Plus they have a stuffed armadillo chillin’ with some Shiner Bock. That’s something you don’t see every day, and who am I to mess with Texas in NC?
Order’s up! My plate of pulled pork was speedily served with green beans, mac-n-cheese, and fresh out of the fryer hushpuppies. If you know anything about me, the choice of sides is not a surprise. Those beans, while starting off healthy on the plant, lose some healthy attributes when cooked with whatever fat they cook them in plus seasoning, but they are oh-so-good! And one rarely goes wrong with mac-n-cheese, am I right?
Hushpuppies are big down south. I never even heard of a hushpuppy until I moved to NC. The name comes from what they were used for – a rolled up, cooked ball of cornmeal batter thrown to the dogs to “hush the puppies.” Today, the history behind the name isn’t as important as getting a tasty hushpuppy in your own mouth. You’ll hush your own barking for sure while noshing on this steaming hot cornmeal delight.
My Original Q Shack pulled pork plate plus trimmings was juicy, tender, and tasty and it didn’t cost a fortune. For a little extra zing I drizzled the western BBQ shack sauce on my pork. It was goo-oood! Ooh! I almost forgot! The piece de resistance: they also serve Cheerwine, which is a cheery, cherry, NC creation and the perfect pork companion to wash down your porky goodness.
If you didn’t know the Original Q Shack was located on University Drive in south Durham, you’d miss it altogether. In the words of a Pretty Woman, that would be a big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go eat pork now.