Review: Charlotte’s Queen City Q

You’re going to Charlotte and need a BBQ recommendation, so who do you ask?

Of course, Wayne Brown from Big Wayner’s Blog!  He told me to hit Queen City Q in downtown Charlotte and here’s how it went:

Queen City Sign

I’m 2 minutes into eating my meal and I’ve already got BBQ sauce on my shirt.  Dammit, I guess it figures.  I’m drinking a Dogfish Head 60 and Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir is playing in the background.  It’s a great night, even though I may have ruined a shirt.  The guys in the place all have black shirts that say pit crew and the gals have some kind of hockey jersey on (I found out its for the Charlotte Checkers, the local minor league hockey team that plays in the Time Warner Cable Arena across the street).

Queen City Front

My Pick 3 platter is screaming for me. Ribs, brisket, and pulled pork with two sides of their “Best Mac and Cheese” and finally a house salad.  I’m just not sure I’ll get to the salad… besides, I’m trying to limit my veggie intake in 2013. 🙂

Queen City Food

The ribs are incredible. You don’t even need sauce on these babies as they were cooked and slathered with sauce in the back room.  Yes, I said it, they don’t need sauce!  For me, it’s almost blasphemy, but true.  They’ve got a great flavor from a wonderful blend of smoke, spice, and sauce. It’s almost a shame to try and put additional uncooked sauce on these babies as the way it has caramelized onto the supple and juicy meat is just magical.  Leave it alone.

Queen City BBQ Sauces

Sauce Line Up1. Eastern: thin and tangy, vinegar based like a true eastern NC sauce should be.
2. Popo Ribs: western NC thin and sweet and a bit spicy – like spicy KC style sauce, just not thick
3. SC Mustard – a tangy, spicy SC mustard sauce with just the right amount of sweet, tang, and heat
4. “Q” City Pork: a western NC thin and sweet, but no heat sauce (aka Lexington dip) 

The sauce that is on my shirt is the SC mustard.  It is thin, sweet, and tangy and complements their pulled pork perfectly as I found the pork was slightly on the dry side.  After a few tastes it’s becoming spicier and its helping with a little sniffle i have. The sniffle does not affect my taste buds, by the way.  I wish I had tried it last as none of the other sauces compare with this mustard sauce once you’ve had it.  It would be the only one I’d rate a five star sauce out of the above quartet.

Halfway thru my meal, I mention to the bartender I am a “food writer” and we talk about the site for bit.  We discuss sauce styles, happy hour rules (they are similar in Boston and North Carolina) and regional BBQ sauces and how the owner intentionally kept the focus on Carolina style BBQ sauces.  And although I think this place is screaming for a KC-style sauce, I leave the place feeling like that – thick and sweet.  I probably gained a couple pounds and I will have to get a new shirt.   But I will be back (next time with a better camera!)

Thanks for the recommendation Wayne!

Site Editor, BBQ Sauce Lover, Family Guy, Hi Tech Marketer by Day. He recently wrote the Ebook “How to Market Your BBQ Sauce” which can be purchased on this site.

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