Smithfield’s – A Fast Food BBQ Stop

Who the heck goes to a fast food place on vacation?
Me. And you, if you know what’s good for you. How sad if you never got a double double from In-n-Out. Or a Blizzard from Dairy Queen
Or a plate of BBQ from Smithfield’s Chicken and BBQ
 Smithfield’s is a North Carolina fast food chain featuring classic southern dishes like fried chicken, hush puppies, BBQ pork, and sweet tea. It’s a fast food place, but more in the vein of Chick-Fil-A than McDonald’s – complimentary coffee, pristine bathrooms, and employees who refill your beverages. 
We aren’t in NYC anymore, Toto. 
Large BBQ Plate with Pork Coleslaw, Potato Salad, and Hush Puppies
This is where I could tell that it was a fast food place. This pork was a little dry and extremely mushy – it dissolved in my mouth unpleasantly, and was left a bit cottony by too much time steaming in a pile under a heat lamp. Lashings of the very vinegary and peppery hot sauce went a long way to helping the pork. The potato salad, on the other hand, was outstanding -mustardy, with a mashed consistency and an oddly sweet taste that doubtless came from pickled relish. It worked well with the clean flavor of the chopped slaw and the serviceable, if unremarkable, hush puppies. 
Banana Pudding
A plastic cup full of sweet, creamy, incredibly banana-y banana pudding was the perfect ending to this roadtrip stop.
Smithfield’s ain’t the best BBQ I ever tried. But it is undeniably where the locals eat – the place was packed the whole time we were there. It is cheap, it is clean, the service is unbelievably congenial, and it is such a kick to eat at indigenous fast food places. 
And even so-so BBQ in NC is better than the best BBQ in NYC