I was relocated to Charlotte, NC, in late 1985, after successfully completing my 4-year active-duty commitment and graduating from Central Carolina Technical College (now Central Carolina Community College) that spring with a degree in Electronics Engineering and securing a job with Duke Power (now Duke Energy) as an electrical engineer.It was during my early employment with Duke that I first became acquainted with Carolina BBQ. It was a very disappointing experience for me considering what I grew up with as a child in South Florida where it is understood by all concerned parties that BBQ was beef ribs and not pulled pork in which I had never seen or knew existed. I actually thought it was a side dish and not the main course. I took a few bites of it and that was all I cared to consume. Sadly, there was no other meat(s) available for us rookies at this company outing at Hornets Nest Park in northern Mecklenburg County/Charlotte.
It is not until you add the sauce that distinguishes it from your average, everyday, typical, run of the mill Carolina BBQ. In eastern North Kakalaki the sauce is bitter, and vinegar based, while in western North Kakalaki it is sweet, and tomato based. Cross the nearby border to South Kakalaki and you will typically find my favorite mustard-based sauce which is a wonderful combination of bitter and sweet. You will mostly find the mustard-based sauce in mom and pop restaurants as the newer chain stores probably do not have the recipe.
Now that you are familiar with the different types of Carolina BBQ, it's time to hit the road in search of the best tasting and experience of my multi-mile and more than a year long journey.