So while vacationing in Sunset Beach, NC we were driving around deciding which place we were going to buy some fresh sea food from when I saw a sign for pit cooked bbq. Of course I had to stop, because this was the last place I expected to see this. The place was a small diner called Big Nell’s Pit Stop serving sea food, breakfast, and pit cooked bbq.
There was no smell of smoke or Q anywhere and that goes for inside and out. In fact even on the inside there was not much smell of any kind which is unusual for a restaurant. I was there for a reason and so I ordered the BBQ sandwich and a half dozen hush puppies and waited. For the size of the place is was decently filled so there was a wait to get my food. I must say that this is the first time I was truly disappointed in the hush puppies. They were not fried hard at all and were rather mushy and tasteless. However, when I let them soak in the house vinegar sauce they did become tasty. And that is just a testament to their house sauce which was actually very good. I wouldn’t call it eastern or western, but it was good and had lots of flavor. The family was waiting in the car so I didn’t put any on my sandwich and wish I had.
The sandwich was actually a lot better than I expected. The meat was a little dry (the reason I wish I had put some sauce on it), but it was pretty flavorful. You could tell that after they cooked it it sat in some sauce and probably dried out some while sitting on a warmer. I am not sure I would classify it as pit cooked either because there was definitely not a even a hint of smoke flavor. The flavor either came from a good dry rub or the fact that is sat in some sauce at some point.
If I happen to be in Sunset Beach again I will definitely go back and get a platter to try some of the other sides out, and give the Q a second chance. I do think that a fresher batch with some of their sauce would be pretty good. So if you happen to be in Sunset Beach on HWY 179 between Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach stop by Big Nell’s and give them a try.