Hog Heaven Bar-B-Q, or, Great Budget Sandwich in Durham

Hog Heaven (2419 Guess Rd) doesn’t have the best cue North Carolina has to offer, but I eat here pretty frequently anyway. 

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The cue sandwich with slaw for $3.45 is one of the best deals around, and I find it particularly filling and delicious.  The problem with Hog Heaven is that the pork underperforms a bit, but their Lexington style sauce coupled with the slaw on this sandwich makes it one of my favorite quick meals in the area.  They also have pretty good fried chicken.

*UPDATE:  To clarify, I didn’t mean to imply that the pork at Hog Heaven is not good.  Quite the contrary, coupled with their sauce it is some of my favorite cue.  However, judging on pork alone, I think there are other places in the area that deliver pork with more flavor and better texture.

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Hog Heaven
M-Sa: 11am – 8pm 

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Published in: on January 22, 2009 at 11:39 pm  Comments (27)  

27 Comments

  1. RPP,

    How could you write such a ho hum review of Hog Heaven? I can’t speak for the Q joints outside of the triangle, but Hog Heaven, in my eyes, is the best around. I prefer Hog Heaven to Allen & Son’s and especially to Bullock’s. What delicious pork have you been eating? Please do tell.

    –JW

  2. I agree that Hog Heaven is great, though, it’s a bit far from where I live. You should also check out the Backyard BBQ Pit on Hwy 55 – excellent NC-style barbecue, and you can get a sandwich and two sides for $5.

  3. JW,

    I didn’t mean to give the impression that I don’t love HH, because I most certainly do. I like the pork, but I do think that both A&S and Byrd’s have better flavored and textured pork. However, I think that HH has the best sauce around. I agree that it beats Bullock’s hands down.

  4. I wonder if there are any BBQ fanatics who assemble their own plates with ingredients from different vendors (e.g., grab some HH sauce, keep it warm, drop by some other place for their buns, and then run to A&S to throw the meat on.)

    I have some friends whose wife-side parents will FedEx them some pineapple-juice marinated pork ribs (uncooked) from their restaurant in Michigan. The husband then cooks them at home with bottled sauce from his favorite Kansas City barbecue restaurant.

  5. Hog Heaven is my favorite NC BBQ. Enough said.

  6. I think HH’s fried chicken is actually their better offering compared to the que.

  7. Allen and Son’s any day for me. HH, Bullocks and most others don’t smoke over wood, which to my mind, makes all the difference.

    Backyard do, I hear, and I’m going to check them out soon.

  8. love love love their sauce. try to think of things to put it it on, but the food is just a conveyance, because a straw would be unseemly.

  9. Wilber’s in Goldsboro still rules, but the thing I like about HH is the sauces. You can apply as needed to fit your preference for Eastern NC or Western.

    A&M Grill in Mebane is worth the drive for the wood grilled meat.

  10. HH’s bbq is ok, but I find it a bit dry sometimes. But I have to agree with some of the others…their fried chicken is REALLY GOOD. Problem that my wife and I have had with bbq around here is that every spot that we’ve found serves white slaw…we like red, Lexington-style slaw. Know where we can get any red slaw around here?

  11. Agreed, Wilber’s in Goldsboro is the best I’ve had in NC. I’ve heard that A&M in Mebane is good and that Skylight Inn in Ayden is the best in NC, so I plan to try those soon.

    As far as “red” slaw, the closest place I’ve had it is at Stamey’s in Greensboro, if you’re up for a drive.

    Somehow, I always feel like something’s missing when I have HH’s cue. I definitely like their fried chicken and even bbq chicken better. And LOVE their deserts – yum, pie! And those grandma potatoes too.

  12. Hog Heaven is awful, service is horrid, and I can do without all that tacky proselytizing, thank you very much.

  13. What about the service have you found so horrid? Every time I go, I just order at the window and they bring it to my table. I have barely had any interaction with the staff..

  14. Re: proselytizing: do I recall that Hog Heaven was one of the local restaurants (along with the Mellow Mushroom) that quit carrying the Indy after they ran a cover with a drag queen pic? I’m really stretching my memory right now, so don’t consider this question an assertion.

    That said, I wonder if Jesus should join “Building condemned” signs as one of the occasional magic ingredients for southern BBQ: not essential, but often an interesting contributor to the flavor experience.

  15. You live in NC and you have a problem with proselytizing? Have you considered residences outside the traditional Bible Belt?

  16. I’ve enjoyed my food there (usually the chicken), prices are good, and the service has mostly been fine the times I’ve gone (once was quite slow). I’ve never been proselytized, but they do have the 10 Commandments posted on the wall, which I find a bit odd.

  17. Phil: yes it was.

  18. I like the flavor of HH’s bbq sauce, too, but the texture looks, well, like a bottled sauce. It has that weird consistency of KC Masterpiece: just a bit too much surface tension. Anyone else turned off by the look of the sauce or am I just weird?

    Anyway, we could yap about chopped bbq for days, but I want to know if anyone has tried Bullock’s *sliced* bbq. I find it significantly better than their chopped bbq, which I think is just mediocre.

  19. My wife and I recently moved to SW Durham, about 2 minutes from Dillard’s BBQ on Fayetteville Rd, which we finally tried recently. The BBQ is a pretty good Carolina style, and the sides are decent. They have a sweet carrot souffle that is really unique. The service was top-notch and the employees are extremely friendly. Check it out.

    Dillard’s and HH are great alternatives to nasty Texas-style chains like Dickey’s, which is just awful.

  20. Allen and Son’s beats all other NC places I’ve tried in my 3 years here. I’d love to see a review of Allen and Son’s on here. It is amazing and my favorite barbecue in my entire life. It beats both Hog Heaven and Bullock’s. I do agree with your review that Hog Heaven’s bbq sandwich is a good price for this sandwich and it is indeed tasty with slaw and ‘cue sauce.

  21. Has anyone else tried “The Pit” in downtown Raleigh. The bbq is top-tier, and some of the best i’ve found in the area. The pitmaster, Ed Mitchell, used to have a place in Wilson. But, the ambiance is the polar opposite of every other bbq joint i’ve ever been in: House Pit-smoked BBQ with cloth napkins, fine wines, and microbrews. It’s a totally different kind of experience.

  22. The Pit is very good (though their chopped is better than their pulled, methinks). It’s insanely expensive for a BBQ place, though.

    I need to go back there and try their ribs…

  23. Agreed- the prices are high, but the chopped whole hog (their specialty) is heavenly. Instead of actually dining there, I often call ahead and take out the chopped hog ($10 per pound) whenever I am remotely close to the city and feast on it at home for a couple days.

  24. The last time I was at Hog Heaven, their sanitation rating was a B… hmm.

  25. […] taco trucks on Hillsborough Rd. (late night), Guglhupf (lunch and especially breakfast), Hog Heaven, Thompsons (”soul food”), Wimpy’s (biscuits and burgers), and, on Saturday, ~$5 […]

  26. Went here for the first time today, ordered the BBQ sandwich and slaw. Service was very friendly and prompt, pork was nothing special, and I really didn’t like their sauce at all–too syrupy. Too much mayo in the slaw, too. I’d be interested to try some of their other stuff, though. Anybody have anything to say about their Tuesday ribs?

  27. Also: their sanitation rating today was 99.


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