Southern food cannot come from prepackaged frozen food products, a box that can sit on the shelf for years, or a drive thru. What is special about Southern food is that it takes fresh ingredients, a commitment of time, and your complete heart in making it what it should be. Bullock’s BBQ in Durham, NC has successfully created some of the best Southern eats around for the past 65 years and they have served all different types – from the whole NY Yankees team to Will Ferrell and his wife.
When entering Bullock’s BBQ there was a few things I took notice of. First, it was a Tuesday night and they were quite busy. Second, the kitchen was completely open and I could see all the food being prepared, including the mashed potatoes in the huge masher. And third, the atmosphere was quaint and gave me the feeling of, “this is going to be some good home cooking!”
We were seated fairly quickly, two glasses of ice water came out immediately, and the first batch of warm hushpuppies were on the table (I like this place already). Throughout the whole night the service was great. Water kept on being filled and it felt like the hushpuppies were endless. The menu was extensive and I wanted to try so many items, but we narrowed it down. My meal consisted of chopped BBQ (there is an awesome BBQ sauce on the table that you must use with this), macaroni & cheese, green butter beans and deviled eggs ($7.95). My husband ordered brisket, mashed potatoes, stewed corn and coleslaw ($8.75).
What made our visit to Bullock’s BBQ even more special was that we were able to talk with the owner (Tommy Bullock) himself and I cannot put into words how sweet this man is. I literally want to squeeze him with the biggest hug every time I see him. He brought us out a side of fried chicken and chatted with us while we waited for our food. Boy! When I tried the fried chicken, I thought that was the only thing I would want to eat for the entire night. Bullock’s is known for their fried chicken and it is one of their most popular items. It is flavorful, balanced, buttery, moist and in the words of Mr. B, “the breading it won’t quit.”
When I saw my plate, I could not smile any bigger. The portions are so big and I had leftovers which makes eating anywhere better. The chopped BBQ was great. It was smokey and had flavor. The brisket also is always a good choice because it is coated in a sauce that makes you want to lick your plate. The brisket is also very tender. For our sides we had the butter beans, which tasted just like grandmom’s, the deviled eggs that were sweet with a bit of tang (perfect balance), and the stewed corn, which was fresh and the perfect addition to those homemade potatoes. But what really stole the show was the macaroni & cheese and the homemade mashed potatoes. Oh my! The macaroni & cheese was extra cheesy goodness and the mashed potatoes were straight up homemade. These two sides are a must for when you visit Bullock’s.
Moving on to what made me fall even more in love with Bullock’s was their wide array of HOMEMADE Southern desserts. I am one that enjoys having a lot of different options and when my husband and I heard all the desserts that they had, our jaws dropped. So…we decided on three (haha). We chose the lemon chess pie, coconut pie and the banana pudding ($2.50 each). The lemon chess pie was smooth, not too lemony and had the perfect amount of lemon and sugar. The coconut pie – came warm straight out of the oven (yes, please!). It was warm, melt in your mouth, coconut-y dream land. Then, I tried the banana pudding. Fun fact about me is that banana pudding is one of my favorite desserts. Almost anytime it is on a menu I have to try it and without further ado, I have found my perfect banana pudding! It was completely homemade (think homemade meringue) and the pudding was not an instant box. But what took this home for me is that it was LOADED with wafers. The cookie part has always been my favorite and Bullock’s BBQ was able to create my perfect banana pudding.
Bullock’s BBQ is the place to go to when you want that homemade Southern food you have been craving. It won’t only satisfy your taste buds but it will satisfy your soul. I felt like I went into a restaurant and came out leaving my Southern grandparents’ home.
Kristel works for an awesome marketing firm in Chapel Hill and studied at Liberty University where she received her Bachelor’s in Business Communications. She is passionate about eating real food and creating homemade meals that she can serve around the table for friends and family. Things that bring her much enjoyment are: being outside, eating at local restaurants, popcorn and watching TV shows with her hubby. On Saturday morning, you can catch her strolling through a farmers market with a latte in hand. Follow her on Instagram @kristel_kazda and check out her blog at athistableblog.com.