Upon consulting the North Carolina Barbecue Trail map (Did you know there was a North Carolina Barbecue Trail?) I found a place in Mocksville called Deano's that sounded promising.
Upon arriving in Bermuda Run at 6:00 on Friday evening, we checked into our hotel, then drove 15 minutes southwest to Mocksville. We had a little trouble finding Deano's because our GPS navigated us a bit funny, but we soon stumbled upon it which felt like we were pulling into a barbecue oasis:
OK, so it wasn't that extreme, but that's what it felt like.
This was clearly a local establishment and everyone sized up we were visitors as soon as we walked in. But the looks and stares didn't last long because they were soon replaced with welcomes and friendly chatter. There were two waitresses working at Deano's the evening we were there and they both helped us and chatted about what brought us to North Carolina.
This place defined southern hospitality. Not only was the staff helpful and accommodating, but Deano himself, walked around and chatted it up with his patrons.
|That's Deano standing up on the left
Even though there weren't many people sitting around eating, there were constantly people coming in and out to pick up take-out orders. This place had a "we just stepped back in time" feel to it, but in a homey, comfortable way, not a "OMG! Get me out of here!" kind of way.
I mean, just look at the staff entrance to the kitchen behind my husband - it's one of those old wooden screen doors that you always tell everyone is annoying when it slams 100 times a day but you secretly find the sound comforting. It's the sound of porch swings, lazy summer days, and kids coming in and out of the house from playing outside until it's too dark to see the game of kickball they were playing, so they go back outside to catch lightning bugs instead.
We didn't have to wait long before these beautiful plates of barbecue were placed in front of us:
|I got the barbecue pork plate with fries, red slaw, and hush puppies (because in North Carolina, their barbecue is all about the pork!)
|My husband got the barbecue chicken plate with all the same sides
Upon paying our bill, we waved goodbye to our new friends, and were warmly serenaded with express hopes from everyone, even Deano himself, that we come back some day. These are the types of dining experiences I long for when I travel. Off the beaten path, comforting, but most of all, true to the region and culture of the area. We could have just as easily driven to the Wendy's down the street from our hotel to get dinner. But instead, we took a little time to go out of our way to seek out something authentic and satisfying. I encourage you to do the same.
What has been your favorite authentic food experience while traveling?