Back Yard BBQ

I was appalled to read we hadn’t yet been to Back Yard BBQ (5122 NC 55).  And now with Man v Food coming by, I needed no further persuasion.


I went at an odd time of day, just missing lunch, so the price jump hurt a little but the pain was soon quelled by one hefty plate.  All in all, it was about $13.  So, still not bad, especially since I saved nearly half the meat for later.


Here they play a fun game called Hide the Ribs.  Neatly packaged above are hush puppies, collards, fried cabbage, and pulled pork.  All of which were good.  I’d place the hush puppies among the better ones I’ve had in the area, even though they were a tad sweet.  The collards were quite nice and had chunks of meat mingling with the greens.  The woman who served me said she had never heard of fried cabbage before she started working there.  She also said it was real good.  I was intrigued by them as well, and I agree with her.  Whatever it means to fry cabbage (in a pan, I suppose), it is the preferred method.  Now, the pork was pulled like crazy.  So much so that it started to lose texture.  I also thought it a little dry, but I probably just didn’t grab enough sauce.  And I don’t take lightly the awkward hour that I showed up.  Most of this stuff was probably hanging around since the peak of lunch and lost some of its luster, though at the time I hardly noticed.


The ribs were very good.  The smoky meat was nicely complemented with a sweet sauce.  The only thing that could have made it knock my socks off would be some added spice.

I know what I’m about to say is BBQ sin and/or hubris, but I started putting a little of that sweet, tomato based sauce on the pulled pork with the spicy vinegar business on it…it took me there.  Which lead me to think that maybe this whole East-West thing is really overrated, like it was with rap in the 90s.

Lastly, there was one more thing the kind woman at the counter talked me into, a pineapple lemonade.  It really hit the spot on a hot day.  It was pretty big, so I saved half of it in the freezer.  I thawed it in a blender with a little somethin somethin the next hot day–because nothing is sacred, not if it’s tasty.


Also of note: they have brisket on Fridays and Saturdays.  Considering their work on the ribs, I would think it would be awesome.

Published in: on May 20, 2009 at 2:27 pm  Comments (18)  


  1. Thanks for this. I live right around the corner and have been meaning to try this place.

    Question…my wife doesnt eat meat. Do their veggies all come cooked in some kind of meat? Having moved here from California we’ve found we have to ask with just about everything. Kind of drag to go to a restaurant and find they’ve porked everything up

    • A real hassle for sure. But to be fair, they did name the establishment “Backyard BBQ Pit”

    • kind of a drag to have california smugness
      here in nc. you will never be happy here.
      Pleeeeease go home.

      • That was harsh, marion. It’s just a cultural adjustment. Plenty of Southerners travel outside the region and complain about the food too. And there are lots of “happy” vegetarians in NC.

      • Nice. I grew up here, so I am home. What a jackass thing to say.

  2. I love this place. For my money, they’re the best BBQ going right now. I stopped in one evening a few months back as they were packing up to go out of town on a catering gig. Rather than shoo me away, they told me they had just finished smoking the meat they were going to take with them and gave me a pint of that instead of the meat they’d had all day. It was bliss. I wanted to climb into their van and go with them.

    • Really? I guess I should try it again. Backyard has always been at least 3rd on my RTP BBQ list behind Smokey’s Shack, and Danny’s. Is their slaw still green and very very finely minced?

      • I would say the sides are better at Smokey’s but that the meat is better at Backyard BBQ. Splitting hairs, I know.

        I’m afraid the only time I’ve had food from Danny’s it was, somewhat inexplicably, fried chicken so I don’t have them in my personal rankings.

      • Slaw is still green and finely minced. I liked it.

      • ok, just went back to BackYard BBQ for lunch, had a pulled pork sandwich + slaw, brunswick stew, baked beans, and 2 ribs.

        The bbq was fine, but it lacked the wonderful texture and smokiness of Smokey’s. The slaw worked on the sandwich much better than as a side, but I prefer a shredded slaw in general to a diced slaw. Smokey’s pulled pork has a more varied texture, with lots of tasty bark mixed in, Backyard’s was more uniform, and finely shredded/chopped.

        The baked beans were tasty if plain, nice and sweet.

        The ribs were great, definitely better than the ribs at Smokey’s which I have found to be very hit or miss. I though BackYard BBQs ribs were a bit over cooked, they were melt in your mouth done, the bones just fell out of the meat. The flavor was great, the pork flavors mixed nicely with the sauce, which was copious.

        I won’t say they’re the best ribs, as I prefer a drier rib thats a bit less done, but seeing as RedBones ( is wicked far away, I will call these the best ribs in RTP.

      • Smokeys and Danny’s are a disgrace to bbq joints as far as I can tell having been to both when working in the triangle. I’ve not been to Backyard (at either location) but hear good things.

    • We ate here tonight. I gotta say, I agree, this is one of the best places in Durham. The cue was very solid, and the ribs were outstanding. I think they are the best ribs I have had in Durham.

  3. Where is this place?

    • Oops. I updated the post with the location. Thanks!

  4. On 55, just below 54 (general vicinity of Papa Mojo’s, Sarah’s Empanadas, etc)

  5. Okay, what am I missing about this place? I ate there a few months ago and although the food was tastey, it was very, very greasy. I had the ribs which were just laying in a container swimming in grease. Needless to say my digestive system cranked it out pretty fast that night. Also, one other thing…has anyone else noticed how slippery the floor is in there? It’s like the grease is all over the floor. In the ladies bathroom it was even worse and I thought for sure I’d end up killing myself slipping on the floor in the stall and hitting my head on the toilet. Since then I refer to Backyard BBQ as “Slippery’s BBQ” A nice ad line for them would be, “Come on down to Slippery’s BBQ. You’ll slide on in and slide on it (including the food later!)!

  6. I meant:

    A nice ad line for them would be, “Come on down to Slippery’s BBQ. You’ll slide on in and slide on out (including the food later!)!

  7. What I meant to say was:

    A nice ad line for them would be, “Come on down to Slippery’s BBQ. You’ll slide on in and slide on out (including the food later!)!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: