Biking for barbecue, Thomasville to Lexington NC; September 9, 2021

Barbecue is delicious but so are healthier alternatives. Before leaving home I had a breakfast of avocado toast, Weaver Street Market french bread drizzled with olive oil, then spread with ripe avocado, sea salt, a few drops of sriracha hot sauce, and a sprinkling of diced arugula. A very non-barbecue breakfast! It was so succulent I had to take a bite before photographing. The dish gives barbecue a run for its money.

I drove a little over an hour west to the town of Thomasville, once chair capital of the world. I parked our Ford Escape on a downtown street and pulled out my Bike Friday.

The Chair monument is still here!

My mission this day was to cycle the twelve miles to Lexington NC, self proclaimed Barbecue Capital of the World. Leaving Thomasville I passed an abandoned factory and decrepit housing.

The old road to Lexington was a pleasant and calming ride, mostly free of traffic. There were two old-school likely pre-WWII gas stations.

Lexington (population 19,000) makes a big deal about its barbecue. Barbecue joints never seem to be in a downtown, always on the periphery. Maybe it is because locals do not want the smoke in their neighborhood.

North Carolina traditional barbecue can be extremely dogmatic, with rules like a religion, like: Barbecue is Only Pork. Lexington barbecue differs from Eastern North Carolina barbecue in that Lexington barbecue uses tomato in its sauce, and the chopped pork barbecue sandwich is dressed with “red slaw” rather than a mayonnaise-based coleslaw.

There are close to ten major barbecue restaurants in or near Lexington. I went to the one aptly titled Lexington Barbecue.

The classic barbecue lunch is a chopped pork sandwich accompanied by sweet iced tea. I had “half and half”, half sweet tea and half regular. It was still really sweet.

There is a pandemic. Why would I want to eat indoors in a crowded restaurant on a lovely day, especially in an area where vaccine levels are likely to be below average. I got my lunch “to go.” Half a mile from Lexington Barbecue I could cycle up to this park which I had it all to myself. There was a covered picnic area.

The barbecue sandwich is not much to look at; a low-impact sweetish gooey bun with sweet red slaw. You could taste the smoke in the chopped pork. I was very impressed; it was all quite delicious, fabulous, really. But so was my avocado toast.

Inside the barbecue sandwich

What for dessert? I cycled onward towards downtown Lexington.

Downtown Lexington is prosperous looking.

I stopped at the locally owned Perfect Blend Coffee Shop for an almond milk latte, one pack sugar.

I sat outside and chatted with a local bicycler. Afterward I got on the bicycle and rode back to Thomasville, part of the way on a different route. I then put the bicycle in my car and drove home to Chapel Hill.

One response to “Biking for barbecue, Thomasville to Lexington NC; September 9, 2021”

  1. When are you going to go on the hunt for the best almond milk latte in North Carolina? You must be an expert by now.

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