Along the North Carolina BBQ Trail I stoped at Smiley’s Pit Cooked Barbecue.

Smiley’s has been making pit cooked BBQ for over 50 years.  They use hickory wood. They have changed ownership a couple of times but the food has always been NC BBQ.  I found something different at this particular BBQ joint you could ask for half brown pork. Half brown to them means with bark.  Options you can ask for are chopped or sliced. The tables and benches haven’t changed in years. Its got a really nice comfortable vibe to it. Sepping back in time its like going to visit an old friend.  They also have curbside service outside.  Apparently all you have to do is honk the horn and people come to you. This is new to me as I am only used to drive thru windows and the drive up menus at Sonic. Overall condiments on the table are kept very simple. Texas Pete, lemon juice and their vinegar based sauce (dip) . I never did ask what the lemon juice was for but I am guessing the sweet tea.

This pit is only used a couple times yearly for events. Their other pit is inside.




 Fine chopped, Coarse chopped and slices.

I enjoyed their pork chopped (both fine and coarse) with bark. I also thoroughly enjoyed their super moist pork slices. Great flavor and a distinctive texture. I really liked the fact that smoke was a definite ingredient. It also wasn’t mushy at all. The texture was more firm but very silky. The slaw was really pleasing to eat. Tangy and refreshing. I loved their “dip” – it was a great balance of tangy vinegar, sweet, peppery and a bit tomato from the ketchup. There is something else in that dip I just can’t put my finger on it and they are not offering up their secrets :-)  It really complimented the pork and was super finely chopped. I didn’t have to add anything to the pork. When it came I ate and I didn’t think it needed anything else.  The pork made me smile it was so good. Just a couple of bites in and I had to stop myself. I had other joints to visit as well. Hard to put the fork down.

I got to meet the proud owner Steve Yountz. Great guy. Super friendly.  Glad I got to talk with him about his passion for BBQ. They take a lot of pride in their shoulders everyday.



The hush puppies had a nice sweet corn flavor – they were not greasy at all.  There was nothing bad about them but I found them to be very dense and heavy. Unique shape (saw these many times in NC ever anywhere else this shape) versus the typical round hush puppies in most other BBQ locations.

I am really glad I stopped here and Ill be back again for sure to eat. Loved the balance of vinegar and peppery goodness. The staff were all amazingly sweet and friendly.  A great place to chow down on some NC BBQ. One of my NC favorites for sure.

Smiley’s Lexington BBQ
917 Winston Rd.
Lexington, NC 27295

HOURS: Tuesday – Sunday 6:00 am till 9:00 PM