Owner Dean Allen has been in the barbecue business since high school. This experience brings good results that have been praised by expert Jim Early, who says Deano’s barbecue is “pound-the-table good.” It is definitely worth the short trip into downtown Mockville.
Hrs: Tues -Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Take Exit 170 (U.S. Hwy 601 Mocksville). Follow U.S. Hwy 601 for 1.5 miles. At a stoplight at the intersection with Wilkesboro St., turn L, and go .7 miles. Turn L at Gaither and then immediately turn R at N. Clement St.
On the outside, Miller’s Restaurant still looks like the same truck stop that Sheek Miller founded back in 1952. Although the restaurant is a little bit off the beaten path today, it is still a community and family gathering place for folks here. Miller’s son, Kip, is the current owner and runs the place like his dad did in 1953. The day I visited, I ordered fried squash, baked apples, and creamed potatoes. The vegetables tasted fresh and delicious. The round, crisp hush puppies were good enough to compete with those at North Carolina’s best barbecue restaurants. My waitress kept my iced tea glass full, always with a smile.
Hrs: Mon -Thurs. 5 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.- 6 a.m.11 p.m.; Sat- 6 a.m.- 10 p.m.; Sun. - 7a.m.- 10 p.m.
Take Exit 170 (U.S. Hwy 601 Mocksville). Follow U.S. Hwy 601 for 1.5 miles. At a stoplight at the intersection with Wilkesboro St., turn L, and go one block.
People do not just “happen by” Keaton’s, and they’re probably going for the fried barbecued chicken. B.W. Keaton, who founded it in 1953, came from a family of African-American farmers in the area. In the early days, locals dropped by to get chicken and to drink a beer. If anybody got rowdy, Keaton could keep things under control. Everybody knew that he kept a shotgun under the counter. Keaton died in 1989. His niece, Kathleen Murray runs Keaton’s now. Today, the shotgun is gone, and the crowd is family oriented and very orderly.
Hrs: Tues- Sat., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-8 p.m.
Take Exit 162 (U.S. Hwy. 64 West). Head west for 1.5 miles to the intersection with Woodleaf Road. Note the Keaton’s sign on the corner. Turn L; continue 1.5 miles to Keaton’s on the right.
The Snack Bar serves a variety a solid home-cooked dishes — mostly meat-and-two-vegetables plates — priced at about five or six dollars. There is also a soup, salad, and fruit buffet for $5.20. The soup is hearty and thick, with beef and vegetables, easily a meal in itself. In 1946, Robert Frye opened the Snack Bar with 11 stools at the counter and two tables. His daughter Libby and her husband, the late Eddie Yount, ran the greatly expanded restaurant. Today, Libby and her son Brad Yount carry on the tradition. Local folks have nicknamed it the Longview Country Club. With the regular customers at their usual tables, served by waitresses who know their names and surrounded by their friends, no wonder they think of it as their own private club. I found that strangers are welcome, too.
Hrs: Mon.- Thurs. 6 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri .-Sun. 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
Take Exit 123-B (US 321- North toward Lenoir). Follow U.S. Hwy. 301 for 1.5 miles to the first stoplight. R on to 13th Ave. Continue for two blocks to 1st Ave.; turn L.
You may have thought Hursey’s was in Burlington. “Well, you are almost right,” says Mike Starnes, owner of Hursey’s Bar-B-Q. “I am the only franchisee of Hursey’s; I worked with them in Burlington and learned how they cook.” Starnes grew up in Charlotte and opened his business in Morganton in the early 1990’s, building a big pit where he cooks the barbecue with wood coals just like Hursey’s in Burlington. Barbecue is the specialty, but Starnes says the local crowd loves catfish and chicken, and he is happy to oblige.
If you’re hungry for good Burlington-style barbecue, then Hursey’s is worth the few extra minutes from the interstate.
Hrs: Wed.-Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m;. Sun., 12-3 p.m.
Take Exit 103 (U.S. Hwy. 64 Morganton). Head north on U.S. Hwy. 64. Go 1 mile to Flemming Dr. Turn L; go 1 mile to U.S. Hwy. 70. Turn L; go west 1 mile.
Some people still call this restaurant Judge’s Barbecue. But its current name, Judge’s Riverside, reflects a new ambience, and the menu is fancier, too — they’ll even let you take it home as a souvenir. Judge’s offers great food, including barbecue sandwiches (both chopped pork and Texas-style beef) and seafood dishes. Worth a side-trip every time, the restaurant sits above one of the few places on the Catawba River where it still flows freely. You can sit on porches that overlook the river as it runs by. I don’t know of any other place this close to one of our interstates where you can get a good meal and enjoy such a nice setting.
Hrs: Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (Closing an hour earlier in the winter months)
Take Exit 103, and head north on U.S. Hwy. 64. Go 1 mile to Flemming Dr. Turn L, and go 1 mile to the intersection with U.S. Hwy. 70. Turn L, and go .5 miles. Turn R onto Greenlee Ford Road.
If you’re willing to weave around a few winding roads, there is a good payoff. Tasty salads and sandwiches — including a good barbecue sandwich for less than $4, which is a local favorite. There are also meat-and-vegetable plates priced for less than $8. On Friday and Saturday mornings, you will find a crowd starting the day with a breakfast special of a country ham biscuit and baked cinnamon apples. New owner Rob Noyes, who acquired the restaurant from longtime owners Gary and Lanetta Byrd, brings years of experience in the restaurant business to Countryside.
Hrs: Tues.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11-4
Take Exit 86 (N.C. Hwy. 226). From the intersection, head north on N.C. Hwy. 226 toward Marion. Go 1 mile to U.S. Hwy. 221. Turn R, and go about .5 miles. Countryside is on the left.
In 2001, after many years working with the food service at Montreat College, Jack Spencer, with his wife Susan, acquired the business from its founder, Perry Cox, and moved it from Swannanoa to downtown Black Mountain. Perry’s is not fancy and it is not a big place—only about 10 tables. Because the barbecue has such a good reputation in the area, sometimes it gets crowded. Customers come from all over the South and bring a variety of barbecue preferences. “So,” says Jack Spencer, “we give them lots of different choices for sauces—South Carolina mustard based, Eastern vinegar, and Lexington tomato. And we’ve got a good following for our Texas style beef brisket.”
Hrs: Mon.-Thurs. 11:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 11:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Take Exit 64 onto Broadway (N.C. Hwy. 9) toward Black Mountain; go .7 miles; turn R on East State and go .5 miles.
Some visitors say the seafood Arthur Pappas serves here is better than what they get on the coast. If the outside doesn’t look spiffy, go inside to find out why the locals line up for the generous portions of seafood and home cooking that Pappas has been serving up here for about 15 years.
Hrs: Tuesday -Thursday: 11 am-9 pm
Friday: 11 am - 9:30 pm
Saturday: 3 pm - 9:30 pm
Sunday: 11:30 am - 9 pm
(Closes about an hour earlier in the winter)
Take Exit 64 onto Broadway toward Black Mountain; go .5 miles; turn L on State and go .5 miles.
Three Brothers is part of a family tradition of more than 50 years. The family actually had four brothers, all of whom eventually were partners, but the sign was already up when the fourth brother joined the business. Since money was tight, the brothers left the sign the way it was. Today, it is still run by sons of original brothers. The menu has plenty of variety, including steaks, Greek specialties, seafood, and fried chicken, and the sandwiches and hamburgers are tasty and modestly priced.
Hrs: Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sat., 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
Take I-240 into Asheville, Exit 4-C.
Westbound: Turn L on Montford Ave.; then R on Haywood St. Three Brothers is on the right.
Eastbound: Turn R on Haywood St. at the end of the exit ramp; Three Brothers is on the right after the first traffic light.
Interstate Eateries is published by Our State magazine.