From old school to new wave, Gaston County barbecue restaurants are in no short supply. In the South, barbecue is pork, but a few places carry chicken and brisket, or maybe pork ribs. And pork barbecue comes sliced or chopped, with (red) vinegar-based sauce, or maybe that other (wannabe) mustard-based sauce. And slaw comes in BBQ (red), or regular (traditional southern coleslaw).
Here are 7 barbecue joints we think you should try out (we did in-depth market testing):
1. RayNathan’s: Located across form Twin Tops Fish Camp at 4571 South New Hope Road, Gastonia. BBQ Sandwich is $7.99 and includes one side. BBQ plate is $12.99 and includes 2 sides. Probably the newest and trendiest of their BBQ joints, RayNathan’s exudes a cool delta blues vibe. Large servings, they also have a kids menu and offer catering. Large seating area.
2. Kyle Fletcher’s BBQ & Catering, located at 4507 Wilkinson Blvd., Lowell. BBQ sandwich is $3.39, large $4.39, small pork basket is $5.69, large is $6.69. A local favorite, very casual, smaller seating area. The onion rings and banana pudding are very popular- and it’s not bbq but they have a thick bologna sandwich! They have a kids menu and are a popular caterer.
3. Black’s Barbecue. 2902 South York Road, Gastonia. Small BBQ sandwich is $3.55, large is $3.95. Don’t offer plates, but the onion rings are a favorite at $1.95. They do have curb service, but be forewarned- they do not take credit or debit cards!
4. Hillbilly’s BBQ & Steaks. 2 locations, 930 East Garrison Blvd. Gastonia, and 720 McAdenville Rd., Lowell. Regular Pork sandwich is $4.99, with one side $6.49. Small pork plate is $8.50, large $9.75. Both Hillbilly’s restaurants are located in former steakhouses, and have ample seating. They offer a kid’s menu and kids under three eat free with one adult entree. They have an extensive menu- offering a wide variety including steaks, smoked turkey, hamburgers and more. They also have a salad bar.
5. Ole Carolina BBQ: Located at 1011 Union Road, Gastonia. BBQ pork sandwich $6.50, Small pork plate $7.75, large $10.50. Ole Carolina is run by the Morris family, former owners of Carolina Country BBQ. Standard (but delicious!) bbq menu, they offer beer & wine, catering, and a kids menu.
6. Peace N’ Hominy: 403 East Catawba St., Belmont. Pork sandwich $6.32, pork plate $8.20, includes 1 side and hush puppies. Cool vibe, daily lunch specials They also serve brunch Saturday and Sunday 7-3. Smaller seating area, small outdoor patio.
7. RO’s Bar-B-Que Located at 1318 Gaston Ave., Gastonia. Small sliced or minced pork sandwich $4.50, large pork sandwich $5.99 Been around since 1946, famous for their version of slaw (or is it dip?) They offer
catering, and have 2 mobile bbq trailers (you’ve probably seen them around…) and have a fundraising program.