July 4th: Continued healing

I hope that everyone had a chance to enjoy some level of July 4th festivities.  July 4th was a day of continued healing for me.  BBQ is a big part of my life and how I both express myself and release stress.  To me there is no release like smoking a pork shoulder for 14 hours or spending 4 hours to get the perfect ribs(which I never eat) or smoking anything else. While going through the ordeal with Aaron, I had not really had a proper release with some good Que.  The only time over the last few months that I really was able to get down the way I normally do was for Aaron’s post funeral gathering.  I spent the night before the funeral doing several racks of baby backs and pork shoulders.  It helped me get mentally ready for the next day.

Outside of that, I had not done anything and so I needed the fourth to be the next step in my healing.  So naturally, I had a few friends over and went to work and made a fresh batch of sauce and dry rub.  I ended up doing a shoulder and for the first time a beer can chicken.  I also slow cooked my burgers for the first time.  Instead of the usual high heat, I cooked them for an hour over a lower temperature.  I experimented on my guests and they seemed to enjoy it.  There was only one burger left that evening.

It was also the first time I had gathered with most of these friends since the funeral.  It was great to be around all my best friends in this area on a more positive note.  They all have helped me in the healing process and did so yet again.  Thanks to Dustin Chicurel-Bayard, Miriam Chicurel-Bayard, Ian Mance, Nicole Foster, and Cara Williams for being that kind of friend to me and my family. You all helped to make the 4th another step in the healing process.


Enjoy the pictures!


Spicy Chicken BBQ Sandwich – Elmo’s Diner

This is a cross post from www.roadmaptobbq.com.

I have been a bit heavy on the policy here lately, so I wanted to bring in some Que conversation to lighten the mood a bit!


The other day we were sitting at work deciding where to go for lunch.  There was a spot in Durham, I had yet to eat and so it was decided that is where we would go, Elmo’s Diner.  It isn’t a BBQ joint so it that wasn’t even on my mind.  Yet to my surprise there was a Chicken BBQ Sandwich on the menu.  It is described on the menu as being NC Style Shredded BBQ so of course I had to try it.  I have eaten chicken like this and though it doesn’t taste like pulled pork, it gives me the same sensation.

The other good thing is that it was listed as spicy.  If anyone knows me, they know that spicy is good to me.  In fact, the spicier the better.  Of course I ordered the sandwich with came with fries and some slaw.  I was not a fan of the slaw, I am not saying it was bad but just wasn’t great.  I still put it on top if the chicken so I could taste is as they wanted.  On top of that I added the Spicy Sauce they served on the side.  It seemed like it was just a spicy version of an eastern style vinegar sauce.  It didn’t taste like hot sauce, but as if something else was added to it.  This extra spice helped the marriage between the Cole slaw and the chicken.  The sandwich was pretty good.  The only thing stopping it from being great was the Cole slaw.

Cole slaw is one of those things that varies based on your taste preference.  So to some people this Cole slaw would be really good, which would make the sandwich great to them.  Regardless if you are in Durham and are looking for a place to grab some lunch and want a Spicy Chicken BBQ Sandwich, Elmo’s Diner is the place to go.