Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday BBQ Excursion: Wink's King of Barbecue, Salisbury, NC

Another restaurant featured on the NC Barbecue Society Historic Trail.

We didn't really have any definite destination today, so we just went directly to Salisbury to eat BBQ for lunch, taking back roads, as is our custom.

Here's Wink's sign:

I guess the restaurant name is a play on king of the beasts, since a lion is featured on the sign. It's also possible that someone in the family that owned/owns Wink's was a Lions club member, since there is Lions club candies available at the cash registers.

Here's the menu:

Since we will be going to the beach on vacation next week, neither one of us wanted seafood. Sara ordered a sliced pork plate, I ordered a chopped pork plate.

Here's mine:

Here's Sara's:

I had french fries and mac & cheese for sides; Sara had fried squash and a baked potato. Hush puppies and toast are served with the plates, also. Fries were good, not overly hot, but not cold. Mac & cheese was homemade, not bad. Sara said that the squash was good, as was the potato. Toast was unbuttered and cold. Hush puppies were round, mostly cornmeal, not bad.

Sara's sliced pork was quite thick at about 1" thickness, with a pronounced smoke ring and smoky flavor. It was also dry and really needed a tomato-based sauce to bring out the flavor, but Wink's has no tomato-based sauce, only vinegar-based. Nor is the vinegar-based sauce very good, being mostly vinegar with little other flavoring. The chopped pork was moist and better than the sliced pork, and had been sauced during cooking. There was another sauce bottle on the table with an orange sauce in it, but Sara upon tasting said it was Texas Pete; I didn't try it myself, probably should have, since the NC BBQ Trail website says that Wink's has a hybrid Lexington/Eastern sauce, and the orange sauce may have been it.

Service, once the food had been brought, was poor; the waitress only made one trip to the table, topping off my drink when she did so; I had to stop another waitress to get Sara's drink refilled, and we had to go to the cashier to get a cup for Sara to take some tea with her.

Here's a pic of the main dining room, looking toward the kitchen and the lunch counter:

Because of the poor service and the undistinguished sauces, I give Wink's a 2 out of 5 on my ratings scale: 2 out of 5: edible, but no effort to impress; staff/management going through motions.

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