Hands down, this is one of my all-time favorite places for barbecue. In fact, it just might be my #1 favorite. If you’re headed to the Outer Banks, please try this place. We typically head there to or from Virginia so side-stepping to eat at Currituck BBQ is easy. And I guarantee you we stop here whether we are hungry or not, and even if we did not plan accordingly to be driving past it right around “meal-time.”
The vibe is what you’d expect (and will imprint itself into your brain) from a barbecue joint so close to the shore. We were there recently during the pandemic (August 2020) and they were as sparkling clean as always but stood out for their care and comfort.
Although you couldn’t eat inside after ordering at the counter, there was still the covered outdoor area with bathrooms, a short walk across the lawn, filled with wooden picnic tables. Note: if you have any issues swinging your legs over the benches (or are with someone who does), they even supply some chairs you can set at the end of a table. This place was set up with comfort in mind and is so welcoming you feel it from the moment you walk in the door.
I am confident anything you’d order here would be amazing. But let’s face it: being from Michigan, if I’m in eastern North Carolina, I want the classic sauce the region is known for! Their vinegar-based sauce runs clear, as it should. Larry’s version, which is their house blend, is a mind-blowing mix of tart and spicy, with a dash of heat.
We pour loads of it onto their perfectly chopped pork, which is always smoky and has the right amount of crispy bits. Usually we get the large pork sandwich and split it so we can load up on the sides. I will be honest, I typically don’t order sandwiches and if I do, the bread itself is the deciding factor.
They pile their pork onto a sesame bun that is soft yet holds its shape without falling apart. Ever since my first trip to Currituck BBQ years ago, I refer to buns that are similar as “Currituck-style buns” and it is the biggest compliment I can give!
The sides: my favorite is, without a doubt, their hush puppies. Little bits of corn, soft, light interior and a crispy but not-oily-in-any-way exterior. If you even remotely think hush puppies are good, or something you want to try at some point, you must add these to your order. Why stop there?
Throw in some baked beans, potato salad or cole-slaw if you really love those things but, honestly, they are basic meat-and-three sides you can get almost anywhere. Instead go for the pickled beets, which I tried there for the first time on my last visit and will continue to order! They’re a shockingly remarkable compliment to the smokiness of the meat and the vinegar-based sauce. Also available on Currituck’s menu: fried okra. Those of you in the south may have the chance to order this often but us northerners do not, and I recommend anyone wanting to check out okra to try it here.
Do not skip dessert. I am sure it’s all fabulous, but I cannot stop myself from getting the banana pudding. Unless we make it at home, we don’t have much of an option to enjoy this up north. With all these menu items I can’t resist, you can see why we split the sandwich!
Although I haven’t been there, I know there’s a location in Elizabeth City North Carolina so if that is more appropriately on your path, plan a stop there.
|4467 Caratoke Highway, Barco, North Carolina|
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