The Carolinas is one of the four epicenters of American barbecue — Texas, Memphis and Kansas City being the others. Within the Carolinas itself, the north and south have different styles, techniques and flavors.
When I think of “American” food, I think barbecue, even though it’s origins can be traced to Europe, the flavors, traditions and culture were grown in the Untied States. This makes discovering new school and old timey barbecue places in the south and midwest so fun. I’m sure there are “authentic” places in New York, Los Angeles and Des Moines, but I like my Carolina barbecue to be in Carolina.
Which takes me to Buxton Hall in Asheville, a new school place made from an old school roller skating rink. You can even sit some of the place in the interiors
The toughest thing about barbecue joints is trying to sample everything on the menu and avoiding what in the BBQ circles called, “the meat sweats.” The condition is where you have to unbutton the top button of your jeans, a few on your shirt and maybe take a few notches off the belt. Meanwhile, you don’t want to see food for another 24 hours.
The solution for sampling everything is go with a big group of people and make sure everybody orders something different. If your solo or with a partner, then you just have to suck it up and dive into the sauce. At Buxton, it’s a vinegar-based true to Carolina tradition.
I ended up going twice to Buxton, once for lunch and the other to eat all the pies. The lunch I went with chicken and my bud went with pulled pork. Sides is another scary territory because I can’t refuse mac and cheese or macaroni salad. I can just fill up on sides and be a happy mofo.
With Buxton, they also up their BBQ game with superior cocktails. On a 95 degree day, their boozy slushy drinks was mightily welcome.
If anything, I’ll remember Buxton Hall for the mother fucking pie — a seriously strong pie game. We’re talking next level, leave your woman for this pie. The Smores pie restored my faith in humanity. I could have stole these pies, got arrested and it would have been worth it.
Buxton Hall is located in the middle of the breweries in Asheville, a couple of blocks south of downtown. It’s in the same building as Vortex Doughnuts and Catawba Beer. Unlike the other popular BBQ in town, 12 Bones, Buxton is open for dinner. Both BBQ joints sell merch and cookbooks.