The basics: A staple since the ‘80s, Grady’s is a straightforward, no-frills, good old-fashioned barbecue one-stop-shop. Not only is it one of just a handful of original whole hog smokehouses left standing, but it’s also the only Black-owned whole hog operation in the entire Tarheel state. The prized swine are cooked over wood in a pit behind the restaurant, making the BBQ pork dinner plate and BBQ sandwich the most popular items. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll finish with a slice of creamy sweet potato pie.
What the pitmasters say: “They cook whole hogs the old-school way, one of those benchmarks of North Carolina barbecue that unfortunately goes away,” says Jones of Sam Jones BBQ. “And, they’re just good people,” he adds. Shepard always orders the whole hog BBQ plate for the “beautifully cooked whole hog with crispy pieces mixed in.” But don’t overlook the fried chicken, he says, “Word is that’s the secret MVP over there.”
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or call 919-735-7243 for take-out.