Smiley's Lexington BBQ, Lexington
Steve Yountz
917 Winston Road
Lexington, NC 27295
(336) 248-4528

Shortly after Noah docked the Ark he ran over to Smiley’s BBQ for some of their delicious ‘cue. OK. It was several days later and the pit had a different name. Smiley’s BBQ in one form or another has been a Lexington fixture for about 60 years. It started in the early 50’s as “Dans” (Archie Walser), then followed “Jay’s” (J. B. Tarlton). In 1963 it was purchased by James “Junior” Coble and called Southern BBQ. “Junior” ran it until 1998 and sold to David Guest who ran it until 2002 under the same name. Present owner Steve Yountz went to work for “Junior” in 1975 and trained under “Junior”, Tim Crotts and others. After 27 years in the business, Steve took the plunge and bought the pit from Guest in 2002 and renamed it Smiley’s Lexington BBQ. A Rose by any other name…

Today Steve carries on the time honored tradition of cooking Real Pit Cooked Barbecue on the same pits built when this place opened in the ‘50s. Steve cooks only pork shoulders. He cooks lower and slower than most people do. Steve cooks his meat about 10-12 hours depending upon the weight of the shoulder, moisture in the meat, moisture in the wood, time of year, humidity, air temperature etc. His “dip” is authentic Lexington style consisting of water, vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, ketchup and “secrets”.

Smiley’s chopped barbecue has a rich brown woodsy taste. You know it has been cooked on pits over wood the first bite. The cue is sauced in the kitchen and needs no more. The coarse chopped BBQ offering is tender as a mother’s love. It is clean, moist, juicy has good outside brown (bark) and a nutty flavor. The sliced barbecue is Oh so tender. It melts in your mouth and has a great wood cooked flavor produced by the OSB. You will pound the table and write postcards home when you taste Smiley’s wonderful cue.

The sides at Smiley’s keep pace with the cue. The hushpuppies are tan beauties with a pleasing corn flavor, not greasy, and have an ever so slightly sweet taste. Yum! All of the other sides compliment the barbecue equally well. But one does not go to a BBQ pit to eat sides. One goes to eat barbecue and if the Pit Master can cook outstanding cue one would expect good sides and a notable dessert or two. After a meal of Smiley’s barbecue a Moon Pie would do just fine. This cue is fabulous- a Lexington Legend.