4600 Capital Boulevard
Raleigh, NC 27604
Set out this morning to grab a couple tags in local/regional games and got about 5 or 6 miles before my hands told me I was too stupid to do this with the gloves I had on. Thought about just bagging it for the day and doing chore crap. Then I realized that was even more stupid and I should just go eat, warm up and THEN go ride.
I've been to the Barbecue Lodge a fair number of times, but only because it's close. The place does have some local history and it's been around for a good while. It's in a strip mall in what's becoming a, uh, "less desirable" section of town.
From the outside:
Greeted promptly by Santa Pig:
In the past, they'd done a buffet of sorts on Sundays, but apparently, they do it every day now. This is new within the last couple of months. Figured, what the hell, I'll see if I can try some of everything. I'm cold, hungry and, face it, can get my money's worth at a buffet.
Pork barbecue - adequate. Certainly nothing to get overly excited about, but not bad.
Turkey barbecue - okay, not sure I actually get this, but I'll give them points for doing something different. Pretty decent, smoked turkey. Interesting and I'll try it again sometime.
Butter beans - excellent
Green beans - well, normally I look forward to these, but they must have put a new person in charge of them today.
Macaroni and cheese - probably not up to Davo-55 quality, but really good. Top ten all time.
Oh yeah, the "condiments" on the table:
Lame. Pinky size bottle of Texas Pete and a similar size shaker bottle of their uneventful sauce.
The good: Large basket of hushpuppies and the first place I've been served corn sticks in a while. The bad: cold. Really? Cold? No excuse for that. Zero.
Shrimp - excellent. Lightly breaded, small shrimp, fresh out of the fryer. No secret ingredients to hide the taste of the shrimp. Done exactly how I think they ought to be.
Barbecued chicken - WAY sweeter than any chicken should be allowed to be. Some folks may like it this way, but I'm not among them. Chicken itself was fall off the bone tender, but I couldn't eat it. A shame.
Boiled potatoes - perfect.
Corn - canned, but no points deducted.
Boiled cabbage - not a fan, but decided to get some anyway in a "what the hell" moment. Didn't really care for it, but I didn't expect to. Tender, cooked right, but I'm just not a boiled cabbage guy.
Oh yeah, snagged a slice of Pecan Pie just in case I couldn't make a third trip...
(Not make a third trip? Please...)
Fried chicken - very tasty. Cooked just right. Not too much breading. Just how it ought to be.
Smoked sausage - very good. Should have gotten this on the first plate. Wanted more, but just wasn't going to make it. Mildly spicy, a hint overcooked, but well within the range of "I want more".
Deep fried bacon - as someone who firmly believes that bacon makes EVERYTHING better (I defy you to even try to prove that wrong), this was a welcome addition. I've only seen it one place before and they actually breaded it before frying it. This is how I figure it ought to be. Very crisp and tasty.
Pot roast - well, let's just say they ought to stick to "typical" barbecue fare. The only thing I didn't finish.
Pecan Pie - very good. Probably not made here, but very good. Not disgustingly sweet as I was worried it might be. Almost went back for more, but realized I still want to get a hundred miles or so in today.
$11.00 plus tip for the buffet including tea and dessert. More than I wanted to spend for lunch, but very well worth it. If I go back, I'll stick to the winners and leave happy.
Biggest complaint: unremarkable barbecue and embarrassingly bland sauce. This *IS* a barbecue place. Some places that have been around for a while tend to just go through the motions. While this place doesn't drop to that level, a few things were pretty uninspirational. The barbecue shouldn't lead that list.
They're open for breakfast during the week and a coworker used to bring biscuits from them in occasionally. Haven't had one recently, but they used to be world class. Might have to give them a shot this week.
The ride: In a strip mall on one of the busiest roads in Raleigh.
EDIT/Follow up: Went back for lunch today (Tuesday) since it's been years since there was a barbecue/buffet place anywhere near here. Verdict - FAR BETTER. Now the only place in town worth going to for lunch. Seriously and no fooling. Couple items from the weekend were missing, but there were a couple new items. Everything was hot and fresh. AND it was $7.95 for the same deal - including tea or lemonade and dessert. Finally! The last nail in the coffin for every other place within reach of the office during the week.