Friday, October 30, 2009

Smiley's Barbecue (2/10) - 917 Winston Rd., Lexington, NC 27295

While I was in Lexington, NC, it made sense to try another restaurant to provide a comparison to Lexington #1.  Smiley's Barbecue is much smaller than Lexington #1 and also provides a more convenient curb-side service for customers who prefer to remain in their respective vehicles.  In a day when I was to spend upwards of 800 miles in the car, I opted for a opportunity for a nice stretch before acquainting myself with the employees of a barbecue restaurant before eating some good solid barbecue.

Unless that barbecue is in the form of a sandwich being served at Smiley's.   My sandwich was served immediately after it was prepared in the kitchen, and the bottom had already begun disintegrating due to the amount of barbecue dip (what North Carolinians call their barbecue sauce) that had soaked into the bun.  I peered inside and saw my new commonly found enemy, Carolina slaw.  Grotie.

The pork had little flavor while the sour cole slaw overpowered every bite I took.  I paid for the meal and left a little over a third of the sandwich at my seat.  As I entered my car back outside in the parking lot, I heard a yell in my direction.  The manager had made his way towardsthe front of my car with his two cronies, two of the waiters from inside, standing directly behind his shoulder.

"Was everything ok with your food?  You barely ordered anything and you left a lot of your food behind.  Let me know if something wasn't right."

I kept my momentum towards entering the car, and I quickly responded with the first logical thing that came to mind -- "I'm on a barbecue tour and don't want to get too full."

If that was my only meal of the day, I probably wouldn't have finished my sandwich either.  Lexington, NC barbecue left a terrible first impression and I couldn't have let town quicker.  Next stop - Hursey's Barbecue.

Smiley's Lexington BBQ on Urbanspoon

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Ratings and Reviews

In order to provide a consistent grading standard across each restaurant/region, I order a barbecue pork sandwich (and other meats/sides if a restaurant/region specializes in another specialty). In addition to comparing the quality of food, I will also take into consideration other intangibles (ambiance, atmosphere, service, authenticity, etc.) in my ratings as I deem appropriate.

Basically, a 10/10 represents an incredible meal, while a 6/10 score indicates a decent dining experience but a substantial number of dishes fell short of great. Lower scores indicate unpleasant experiences which I would most likely not even recommend to my worst enemy (Jonas Singer).

I reserve the right to continuously edit/update previous posts and to change rating scores as I see fit.