Smoke & Spice: The Southern Barbecue Series – The Original Q Shack

It's the Original!!

It’s the Original!!

“BBQ tender as a mother’s love.”

Colorful Piggy

Colorful Piggy

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!

The Original Menu

The Original Menu

Shiner Bock Y'all?

Shiner Bock Y’all?

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?

Look at This Plate!

Look at This Plate!

Another View

Another View

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?

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Busy, Busy, Busy!

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.

They're Sustain-a-BULL!

They’re Sustain-a-BULL!

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.

One Piggy, Two Piggy

One Piggy, Two Piggy

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.