Sunday, February 15, 2009
Front Counter at Keaton's Barbecue Chicken in Cleveland, NC
One legendary restaurant in the piedmont is Keaton's Original Barbecue. They have pork barbecue like many restaurants, but you want to order the chicken. That is what they have a name for.
Keaton's chicken is fried and then barbecued. What? I know that sounds strange. It is not crispy fried chicken with spice like Bojangles. And, it's not slathered barbecue chicken like you might make at home. It's just in a class all its own.
I was thinking about Keaton's today and about other great places to eat here in central North Carolina, so I posted up my top 10 list of piedmont restarants.
Sure. You can pay more and get great food, but I went for the local favorites which tend to be very reasonably priced and always tasty.
Barbecue joints (pork) are always popular in North Carolina, but some do it well and others do not. You want low and slow smoked BBQ. Look for a wood pile out back and for smoke billowing at various times of day. I'll cover some of those later.
Climbing Tree at the Bull Hole in Cooleemee, North Carolina
I've mostly lived in North Carolina for 43 years. My parents settled here when I was 4 years old, so I don't really remember any other home base, although I could be considered Virginia mountain stock.
I love to get off the beaten track but also hit the major attractions in North Carolina. I'll cover everything from the Bull Hole which used to be a high school hang out around here (and not so legal back then) but is now a small park to Carowinds, Cherokee, and the Outer Banks. From the coast to the mountains, there are a lot of great things to see and do here in this state.
I'm the mother of boys, so we do a lot of outdoor activities like white water rafting, but I like my creature comforts and pink tennis shoes too. So, I can take you from North Carolina parks to malls to the best restaurants (especially the little dives that are hard to find).
Every state has something unique to offer, but North Carolina really is diverse with the beach, piedmont, and mountains. You can drive a couple of hours and have a totally different experience in North Carolina.