Smiley’s was the next on the list, and it was just down the street from Speedy’s, the place I’d heard the most about other than #1.
Smiley’s has kind of a dive/old country diner feel to it, and the sign out front proudly welcomed Senator Bob Dole. I’m not sure to where, but they were welcoming him nonetheless.
By this point it was getting near “supper” time, so Chris and I got a seat at the bar. A young teenager came and took my order, and within two minutes I had my third tray of barbecue in front of me. I was definitely still excited at this point, but my stomach was starting to turn against me, having already put down close to a pound of barbecue in an hour, not to mention the slaw and hush puppies.
The barbecue at Smiley’s was hands down the best I ate in North Carolina, and would end up being my third favorite of the trip, finishing just behind Louie Mueller. The meat had a great smoke flavor, was juicy throughout, and the sauce added a perfect contrast of sweet and tang. I went in thinking that I would only eat half of it, but it was so good that I couldn’t stop myself. I’ll admit that before Smiley’s, I wasn’t quite sure what all the buzz was about when it came to Lexington barbecue. Smiley’s did the city proud.
After finishing, the guy behind the counter took us in the back to show me the pits, and it was interesting to see the difference in size between this one and the one at #1. Just goes to show you that good barbecue can be cooked in any kind of pit