Friday, January 22, 2010

REVIEW Byrd's Barbecue

Byrd's Barbecue
2816 Cheek Rd
Durham, NC 27704
Phone: (919) 530-1839
M to F, 7 am to 7 pm
In short: Solid, savory, and cheap. $/***1/2.

Originally posted February 2009 to triangle.dining Usenet group. Son Jon and I lunched today (Wednesday) at Byrd's. An online comment mentioned that they offered a ribs or brisket special on Wednesdays. Who could resist? The place is on Cheek Rd., less than a mile east of the Cheek Rd. exit off US-70. On the right, you will see a simple single-story building with plenty of parking surrounding. A sign on top indicates they have been smoking meat since 1959. No pig statue evident anywhere!

Just inside the front door you enter a simple cheerful dining room, brightly lit by many windows. C&W plays quietly on the boom box propped above the vinegar assortment and plastic tableware. To order, pass through the dining room to the counter behind and place your order. They offer both sandwiches and plates. Desserts too. We both ordered the rib plate special. Includes two sides and free bottomless ice tea.

Take a seat in the dining room (almost empty at 2 pm), and the counterman will deliver your food when ready. Each plate held generous portions of ribs, the sides, and pups. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender, meaty, and moist. Lightly dressed with a tangy sauce, tomatoey and slightly sweet with molasses with a mild smoke flavor. The green beans were simply seasoned with salt and pepper and appeared to NOT be slick with fat back. I also ordered "fried corn on the cob". Sounds like a state fair item but turned out to be very tasty with a caramelized color and flavor. Frying rescues frozen corn! The pups were crisp, fresh out of the fryer, and slightly sweetened. The tea was homemade and delicious. Son ordered the ribs too, but had mac and cheese and fries as sides. Said the m&c was "gooey", that is, very good. He pronounced all MOST acceptable. Plates were $7.99, including tea. I took half of it home with me for later.

As we left, I ducked in to tell the counterman and the cook how much we enjoyed their food. Both were conspicuously grateful. I promised to put the good news online. Here 'tis. Y'all come.