Being from Lexington, it’s practically a given that my husband loves BBQ. I do too, and we have enjoyed sampling the food at dozens of BBQ restaurants across the state during our travels. We like both the Eastern style whole hog with astringent hot pepper vinegar dip and the Lexington style pork shoulder with tomato-black pepper- vinegar sauce. Last night, we couldn’t resist our craving for Lexington style BBQ any longer. We had perused the Original Little Richard’s Lexington BBQ online menu and noted that racks of ribs were available on Wednesdays only. With our destination set, and we decided to pick up take-out. The smell of wood smoke permeated the air in the parking lot. Jerry noticed the ‘cash only, no debit or credit cards’ sign on the door as he entered the restaurant to place the order. The food was ready in 7-10 minutes.
I ordered the Bar-B-Que Salad ($4.99) and a quart of Brunswick Stew ($5.69), so we could all try it, and I would have some for my lunch the next day. My salad was completely covered with a generous portion of chopped barbeque. The shredded lettuce was topped with cheese and tomatoes. I tried a bite after drizzling the Ranch dressing over the salad. The smoky, lean meat paired nicely with all the toppings. With the large serving of BBQ, loads of cheese and creamy dressing, this was not a ‘pick at it like a bird salad’; it was a filling, satisfying meal. The Brunswick Stew would work well as a side, or it could stand alone as a meal itself. For those who may not have tried this dish before, the thick hearty stew takes hours to make in order to meld the flavors together and has everything in it except the kitchen sink: chopped barbeque, chicken, potatoes, corn, peas, tomatoes, beans, onions, green peppers, and carrots. It was a new taste for my Dad as he was excepting a broth style vegetable soup. Jerry and I enjoyed the stew but agreed that it needed more black pepper and a few dashes of hot sauce.
Mom had the sliced BBQ plate ($8.29) with BBQ slaw, french fries and hushpuppies. The plate had six slices of tender, lean meat with bark on one side and a pink smoke ring. You could tell from the smoky taste and tenderness of the meat that it had been cooked with hickory wood for 8-10 hours. The fresh zingy slaw and crunchy hushpuppies complimented the BBQ. The fries were the store bought crinkle cut variety. The plate came with dip that added moistness along with a peppery tanginess to the meat. Mom loves their sliced plate and orders it every time we get food from the Original Little Richard’s.
Dad had the chopped plate ($7.29) with BBQ slaw, french fries and hushpuppies. The fine, hand chopped, lean meat with bits of bark here and there had a good smoke flavor. Dad has a fondness for their dip and immediately poured some onto the meat. He thoroughly enjoyed the crisp round hushpuppies with a tender, slightly sweetened cornmeal center.
Jerry had a rack of BBQ ribs that came with three sides of your choice. He opted for potato salad, baked beans, and white slaw. The rack was split into two halves with a partially cut between each rib to make them easier to eat. I still managed to get sauce on my face from one ear to the other, but that’s the price you pay when you steal your husband’s BBQ. The meat had been cooked to done until the fat melted into the meat. After the ribs had been smoked, the well-seasoned bark was brushed with sauce that added an extra layer of tangy flavor. The tender rib meat easily gave way from the bone as we dug in. The potato salad was coated with a mayonnaise and light mustard dressing. The finely diced celery added the occasional crunch. Dad missed the chopped egg and pickles he puts in the salad we make at home, but Mom really liked it because she finished it off. The standard baked beans had some onion, green pepper and brown sugar in them. There was a liberal amount of black pepper in the white slaw. Jerry was extremely pleased with the BBQ ribs.
Our total bill was $39.50. The Original Little Richard’s Lexington BBQ on Country Club Road also has wings, hot dogs, sandwiches, and homemade cakes. Perhaps next time we will dine-in on a Friday or Saturday when they serve BBQ chicken. Little Richard’s is a Winston Salem BBQ institution.
[A side note: For the majority of our reviews of family style restaurants and take-out, one or both of my parents will be joining us. We hope this adds diverse perspectives and opinions to our articles. My mom and I agree, all chocolate is good and maraschino cherries are bad, but we have our differences too. She won’t eat some dishes because they are too spicy from black pepper while I make my own jelly, hot sauce, sugar cookies and ice cream using habaneros that I grow in our garden. When Dad has fish, it’s usually going to be flounder that’s battered and fried whereas Jerry loves sashimi, ceviche, gravlax, you name it.]
Jerry and I dined al fresco at the Original Little Richard’s BBQ for lunch today. The parking lot and dining room were both packed, so we took advantage of the outdoor picnic tables. The air was chilly, but the food was well worth it.
On Friday and Saturday only, Little Richard’s offers BBQ chicken on their menu. The half-chicken had been basted with their dip and was the most tender, moist BBQ chicken I have had. The meat fell off the bone, and a container of peppery dip was provided for dunking. The plate came with fries, BBQ slaw, and hushpuppies. You won’t be able to stop eating the crunchy, deep-fried cornmeal temptresses. They’re more addictive than popcorn. I am putting the chicken at the top of my BBQ recommendations list.
We ordered two hot dogs all the way with white slaw, mustard and chili. The boiled hot dog on a soft, untoasted bun and can be topped with either white slaw or BBQ slaw. We enjoyed the pepper in the white slaw and the tang of the yellow mustard. The dogs may look messy in our picture, but the toppings were packed on. The extra side of homemade hot chips came with a thick Ranch dressing that painted onto the crisp potatoes.
The coarse chopped sandwich we shared was loaded with lean, tender, smoky meat on a hamburger bun topped with an excellent vinegary BBQ slaw. The slaw and BBQ together gave you the full effect of the seasonings and spices. We peaked under the bun and noted the pieces of bark, the Gold Standard of the BBQ world.