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Texas delegates get a taste of N.C. barbecue

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two Texas delegates grabbed lunch at Queen City Q on Tuesday to talk politics and food. Larry Yawn, 69, and Brian Hamon, 45, of the Round Rock area ate pulled pork and brisket and Brunswick stew.

Of the brisket, Hamon said “it’s different.”

“I’m not used to the vinegar,” he said. “And they put in extra sugar, maybe brown sugar or honey, to compensate for the vinegar. It’s a little bit heavy-handed, but it’s good.”

Barbecue in Texas is dry rubbed, and the term includes brisket, sausage, ribs or chicken. Anything smoked is barbecue in Texas, said Hamon. Hamon enjoyed the pulled pork with a Queen City Q table sauce.

Hamon added that to taste the ingredients of the dry rub, he tastes only the darkened outer edges of the meat.

“I use a brown sugar and cayenne pepper mix at home,” he said. “This tastes like a lot of black pepper. Which means it’s done by hand. If you can can make the brisket fall apart, you’re doing it right.”

Yawn said that after multiple trips to the South, he finally tried grits in Charlotte, N.C. this week.

“I’ve always turned it down,” he said. “But when I saw shrimp and grits - I’d never seen that before - I finally tried it.”

Yawn said the dish surprised him.

“I wasn’t expecting it to taste the way it did,” he said. “I was really expecting more cream of wheat.” -- Meagean Dugger