Asheville may not have the reputation of towns like Memphis and Austin, but we still have some mighty good options when it comes to barbecue (or ‘cue, as some enthusiasts prefer to call it).
My latest find is Okie Dokie Smokehouse on Highway 70 at Exit 59. It’s the quintessential “little red barbecue building,” which immediately puts you in mind of the roadside barbecue stands that dot the byways of America. You can smell the smoke from the parking lot, which was still slap full this past Saturday at 2 pm.
Inside, you can seat yourself at the various tables or booths or the L-shaped counter and wait for a server to bring your menu and take your order. I’ve had takeout from ODS several times, but this was my first eat-in experience. My friend and I started with sweet tea and and an order of fried pickles while we waited for a pulled pork plate with black-eyed peas and new potatoes (mine) and a roast turkey plate with cheese grits and collards (my friend). If you’ve kept up with my blog, you know how I feel about fried pickles, and these did not disappoint!
Our plates arrived soon after, and we dug in to really excellent pork, turkey, and sides. A lot of places can smoke or roast meat, but sometimes the proof of a superior barbecue experience is actually in the sides–and these were mighty good! In fact, these sides were better than most of the other ‘cue joints in town*. Made me wish I had enough room to try the mac-and-cheese and slaw and beans…and top it off with chocolate banana pudding. Never fear, though–I’ll be back for more of what the staff T-shirts proudly proclaim as “Swannanoa Swine Dining!”
*The most written-about barbecue restaurant in town (which shall remain nameless, since my point is not to run them down) has not won me over with their sides. It always seems like they’re trying too hard, like adding nutmeg to collards to give them a “new” kind of flavor.