Thursday, April 15, 2010

Old Carolina Barbecue Company

OHIO: Old Carolina Barbecue Company
620 Ridgewood Crossing Dr.

Akron, OH 44333


Open Daily 10:30-9:30

The irony of a joint in Ohio hawking Carolina 'cue with a Texas BBQ joint on their website is palpable, but I wanted to see if their smoked meat was palatable. The front page of their site claims that it's "just like the barbecue served at road-side shacks throughout the Carolinas", but the photo above that statement may be familiar to those of you that read my review of Texas Pride BBQ in Adkins. According to their website, the owners had traveled across the Carolinas sampling 'cue before deciding to start a BBQ competition team, and ultimately starting this mini Ohio-based chain in 2006. A year later this location opened in BBQ starved Canton, so I had to see how it stacked up against my favorites in Texas.

Most of the menu choices would be familiar to the Carolina 'cue fans. Pulled pork, vinegar slaw and hushpuppies are all available along with ribs and the very un-Carolina brisket. While the brisket looked decent enough, the thinly sliced dry meat lacked smokiness and overall flavor. Ribs had better flavor, but it came mostly from the dunking of sauce it receives before the racks are reheated on a charbroiler. The meat was tender with decent smoke, but I'd rather try an untainted version. The standout here was no surprise. Pulled pork had a good ratio of meat, fat and bark, but the meat was a bit dry. The smokey meat had great flavor on its own, and also worked well on a sandwich with slaw and my favorite of their five sauces, the "Piedmont" variety. Also, if any of you fellow Texas BBQ snobs put your nose up at the thought of hushpuppies and BBQ together, think again. These bits of perfectly fried cornmeal were a great addition to the plate, and it was plate that the folks at Old Carolina should be proud of, especially in this area of Ohio that is in its 'cue infancy.

Rating ***

Old Carolina Barbecue Company on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Barbecue said...

I only have but good praises for Texan barbecue. I've been around Texas trying every barbecue joint I happened to pass by. Though I must admit, I've not yet tried this one. But really great looking barbecue here, I bet it taste as good as it looks. And why not? It's Texan!


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.