Skylight Inn, Ayden
Bruce Jones 
4618 Lee Street
Ayden, NC 28513
(252) 746-4113

“Who cooks the best barbecue in the world? With more than a little sense of pride, Pete Jones, owner of the Skylight Inn will tell you that he does. He will quickly add he believes this to be so because National Geographic told him just that in 1979. He says that every year or so since, National Geographic sends him a letter and tells him that in all of their travels, they have still found none better.

Pete’s barbecue without sauce has almost a sweet taste with rich smoky overtones. The barbecue with Pete’s sauce which is a special blend of vinegars, peppers and seasoning, has a slightly wood-smoked flavor. It’s as tender as veal. Dark and white meat with tiny pieces of pork skin mixed in with the barbecue. These tiny morsels, smaller than Rice Krispies, add a unique new flavor when crunched along with the barbecue pork. I found this delightful!

The slaw (something Pete says he just “whipped up”) was firm, chopped slightly and pleasantly sweet.

Emmy Lou Jones, Pete’s wife, makes the cornbread from Skilten Dennis’ 1830 recipe. The hard crusted bread is flat but soft inside. It is made from a batter of cornmeal, water, salt and drippings from barbecued pigs. The batter is poured into big flat pans and baked for about an hour. It has kind of a sourdough/flat bread texture and is the perfect accompaniment for Pete’s barbecue and slaw. Barbecue, slaw, bread and sweet tea or soft drinks are all that Pete sells. Who needs more?”

Excerpts from The Best Tar Heel Barbecue Manteo to Murphy pages 283-285.