When I planned my trip to Asheville, North Carolina, I knew that I would have a limited amount of time to taste the regional flavors. In searching best BBQ of the area, the one place that kept coming to the top of my search was Buxton Hall BBQ.
Buxton Hall was founded by Elliot Moss, a self-taught pitmaster, and his wife, Meherwan Irani, in 2015. Moss was born in Florence, South Carolina, and grew up cooking with his grandmother, who taught him how to make traditional Southern dishes like fried chicken and collard greens. Moss started his career in restaurants as a dishwasher and worked his way up to become a chef. He eventually became interested in barbecue and began experimenting with different techniques and recipes.
After critical success, Moss’s barbecue quickly gained a following in Asheville. The restaurant is known for its delicious pit-smoked barbecue, homemade sides, and craft beers.
The choice was easy.
So – When it was dinner time in Asheville, I arrived a bit early to Banks Avenue. I didn’t have a reservation and I wanted to eat a bit early to go to sleep early for the next day’s activities.
With my jet lag slightly fading, my hunger for delicious barbecue increased. Once Buxton Hall opened, I walked inside.
Looking around, I was pleased with the space. It was modern, updated and decorated beautifully.
Once I sat down, I reviewed the menu. Full of the usual Southern fare that I grew up on and loved during summer stays in Texas, it was a challenging choice to decide what to order.
After texting a friend for advice, I settled on starting with the HUSHPUPPIES (with tartar sauce). Hushpuppies are a beloved Southern food (and one of my favorite foods) that are made from cornmeal, flour, and other ingredients, formed into small balls or patties, and deep-fried until golden brown.
Many food historians believe that they were first created by Southern cooks who were looking for a way to use up leftover cornmeal. According to one popular theory, the name “hushpuppy” comes from the fact that the small, fried balls of cornmeal were often given to dogs to “hush” them up when they were barking during a hunt or while food was being prepared.
Because I was still slightly full from the snacks I ate during my time at the Biltmore Estate, I opted to get two items, a la carte. I also ordered a Westbrook ‘One Claw’ Rye Pale Ale, to get a taste of a local brew.
When my PULLED PORK and side of COLLARD GREENS arrived, I was excited. But, also shocked. I had no idea why – but I’d expected my barbecue to be Texas Style. That is, already sauced. However, that was not the case.
As I made my way over to the sauce area, I reviewed my choices: Eastern Carolina vinegar sauce, red sauce and mustard.
Now, Eastern Carolina vinegar sauce is much different from traditional, thicker BBQ sauces. I later researched it, to discover more about the sauce’s history.
Eastern North Carolina Vinegar Sauce, is a classic barbecue sauce that originated in the coastal region of North Carolina. It is a tangy, vinegar-based sauce that is traditionally used as a marinade and dipping sauce for smoked pork. It’s usually a simple mixture of vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes.
It is now widely regarded as one of the classic regional barbecue sauces in the United States, along with other famous sauces like Memphis-style barbecue sauce and Kansas City-style barbecue sauce.
Trying out all the different sauces on my smoked meat was the pinnacle of regional Southern BBQ. The collard greens were just like my Dad would make. My whole BBQ was exactly what I wanted for my first and only night in Asheville.
I may not have had time to go to the Asheville Pinball Museum.
But, at least I had damn good barbecue instead.
Buxton Hall BBQ
32 Banks Ave
Asheville, North Carolina 28801