Friday, December 21, 2012

On Location: Luella's BBQ in Asheville, NC

 My job takes me on the road occasionally. When it does, I'm always keen to find a good local joint. A co-worker insisted I try Luella's in Asheville, NC. Boy, am I glad he did. They have a complete menu of all sorts of good stuff like chicken, brisket, pork and even turkey. Since it was my first visit and since I'm kind of a  purist, I ordered the chopped BBQ pork.

As I ordered, the helpful woman behind the counter asked if I was interested in having some local pork from Hickory Nut Gap Farms for a little bit extra. Sure! For my sides I got the spicy vinegar slaw (or "slaw" as I was raised calling it) and the fried okra. The plate comes with hush puppies.

First of all the sides were all great. The slaw was tangy and had a nice crunch to it. After I ordered it dawned on me that okra was out of season. I don't know a whole lot about what needs to happen to make fried okra taste right. The cynic in me says that simply frying is 90% of what makes fried okra good. But all fried okra is not equal. I would suggest that Luella's has some mighty fine fried okra. It totally hit the spot. I even found myself squirting sauce on a fried nugget before popping it in my mouth. I was having fun. The hush puppies were good too.

But the barbecue. Let start by saying that it's really easy for me to get disappointed by a plate of BBQ. This stuff was excellent. It comes with a "touch of Scooter's Vinegar Sauce." So I had my first few bites just as it arrived. The pork was moist and tender with a subtle and delicious hickory smoke. Once I had a good appreciation for what I was eating I started squirting some extra sauce around--namely I experimented with the Sweet Pisgah, but was drawn mostly to having a little more of the Scooter's. Mmm.

The sauces were so good that I bought some jars as a present for my dad. I got the last jar of Scooter's and also bought some Lusty Mustard Sauce, which I imagine would be good on wings or pork tenderloin or something. 

Luella's really was a treat. This isn't a restaurant you check off your list. You look forward to going back.

Love Okra?