Parker’s Barbecue

6 12 2006

2514 Highway 301 S., Wilson NC, (252) 237-0972

A piece of pork can have no better purpose in life than being slow cooked until it crumbles off the bone, seasoned in a vinegar sauce until the meat is ready to burst with flavor and then served with a big ole’ side of coleslaw. If you are not indoctrinated in the finer points of barbeque, this isn’t your Midwest “slather some sauces” or “put a dry rub on a rack” barbecue. Nor is it a big piece of slow cooked Texas meat. This is Carolina barbecue, and no place does it better than Parker’s.

It’s about four miles off of I-95 on US-301 north of US-264 (the road to the Outer Banks). It’s been around since 1946 and has been an institution in this small Carolina town. It doesn’t matter how many people are there waiting, you’ll be seated and served fast-with a Southern smile. For only $4.90 you get a large plate(think dinner plate size) of BBQ and sides of Brunswick stew or Green Beans, boiled potatoes or French fries, cole slaw and corn sticks. If you’re daring, take the Brunswick stew and boiled potatoes for a true southern meal, and dig in. Your plate will still be full by the time your tummy is!

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12 responses

12 03 2007
JAMES T.

I GREW UP ON NC BAR B QUE EVEN THOUGH I WAS BORN IN MARYLAND. MOST OF MY FRIENDS WERE FROM THE CAROLINAS.

MY JOB MOVED ME TO JACKSONVILLE, FL AND I WAS TRAVELLING BACK TO BALTIMORE WHEN I DECIDED TO TRY SOME NC QUE. STOP AT A GAS STATION AND WAS DIRECTED TO PARKERS. WENT THERE AND ORDERED A SANDWICH WITH SLAW AND ICED TEA. GOT INTO MY VAN AND GOT AS FAR AS THE INTERSECTION AT 264 WHEN I MADE A NY U TURN AND HEADED BACK TO PARKERS. THE LADY AT THE COUNTER SMILED AS SHE HAD JUST SEEN ME MOMENTS AGO.
I ORDERED ANOTHER SANDWICH AND SOME TOGO.

I HAVE BEEN STOPPING AT PARKERS SINCE THEN. (2002)
ONE TIME I BOUGHT SOME UP TO MARYLAND (5 LBS) PUT THEM IN MY SISTER’S FRIDGE AND WHEN I WAS RETURNING TO JAX, I LEARNED THAT MY BROTHER IN-LAW HAD EATEN EVERY BIT OF THE QUE. HE CLAIMS HE THOUGHT IT WAS FOR THEM….(YET HE LEFT NONE FOR THE REST OF THEM TO EAT)

YES, I LOVE NC QUE!!!

24 06 2010
DORIS MATTHEWS

I know about Parker’s Barbecue, as I was born in Elm City, grew up and went to school In Wilson at Darden High, at that time, and Parker’s Barbecue is the Greatest. I wish it was someway I could order it and freeze it. I would be their best customer

2 05 2007
TAMILLIA

THEIR ARE SOME THAT PROFESS TO SERVE NC BBQ BUT I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE HAD ANY THAT CAN COMPARE TO PARKER’S. I HAVE BEEN GOING THERE SINCE I WAS A KID, MY DADDY WOULD ALWAYS STOP THERE ON OUR WAY TO AND FROM THE CAROLINA’S. IT WAS A MUST, AND I HAVE CONTINUED TO DO SO WITH MY OWN FAMILY. WE LOVE IT!

18 05 2007
Nicole

I currently live in Raleigh, NC, but I am from Wilson,NC every time I come home I have to have some Parker’s, sometimes I drive home just to get some Parker’s Barbecue, neither Smithfield’s or Barbecue Lodge in Raleigh can compare…I have waited in line for 45 minutes to get my order and it is worth every bite….it is hands down the best barbecue I have ever had!

14 07 2007
Mary

Although I now live in Sparta, Wisconsin, I grew up near Kenly, NC and was weaned on Parker’s Barbque! I don’t get home that often but when I do, I make it a point to have at least one meal at Parker’s. I also bring some of that good eatins back to Wisconsin. In fact, planning a trip home in Aug this year and was trying to find a web site for Parker’s so I can find out how much cash to send home so my sister can buy it and freeze it for me before driving back here. Between the barbque and Brightleaf hotdogs, I may have to leave a suitcase or two with sis! If you’ve never tried the hotdogs, they are not to be missed either!!!

9 10 2007
Joanna

I have also been going to Parker’s for as long as I can remember. My mother’s father’s family home is in Black Creek and we have spent at least one holiday there every year. When I was younger we spent even more time there in the summer. My whole life, my family has gone to Parker’s at least once a trip, though I remember one glorious trip where my cousin and I got the opportunity to go twice in one day! Everything is good, I know because everyone in my family has “their plate”, the thing they get everytime they go.
Anyway, I have also had the great pleasure of taking many friends there. Most memorably, my two best friends and I drove from Chapel-Hill just to eat at Parker’s one afternoon. We got the Family Style meal which is two peices of chicken each and unlimited BBQ, slaw, stew and corn sticks and hush puppies. One of these friends introduced me to a technique wherein you bite the top off the hush puppy, pull out the insides and fill it with BBQ. This is, quite possibly, the best single bite of food ever.
Gosh, Who’s hungry?!

29 11 2007
What are you looking for? « Dave’s Cheap Eats

[…] the 3rd most popular: The Wilson, NC, barbecue institution: Parker’s BBQ. Mmm, I can hear the pigs squealing from […]

4 12 2007
Pappy Griffis

Parker’s is by far the best barbque I have ever eaten. I first experienced it in 1965, and have returned often (but not often enough). I now live in Arizona and crave it almost every day. I have attempted to talk them into freezing some and mailing it to me. They just don’t do that, why? I don’t know. I am looking for someone who will purchase 20 pounds of it, freeze it, put it in a cooler with dry ice, and mail it to me. I will happily pay for their time, effort, gas, postage,etc., but who would be so kind as to do such a Samiratan task? If you, or someone you know would be so kind, please email me at gapappy7@yahoo.com. I would forever be in your debt. Thanks and God bless. Pappy Griffis

8 07 2008
Jay

That’s right. Parkers is it. There is none better. My parents are both from Wilson and we use to visit for the summer as kids and now I visit at least once per year now that I live in MD. We grew up on Parkers BBQ and everybody that I know from NC knows about Parkers. They are an institution and the restaurant should be a historical landmark. We love that place. Oh my God… I am so hungry right now.

6 11 2008
Dee Pridgen Gill

I grew up in Wilson and love Parker’s. Moved to Louisiana about 15 tears ago and go home 1/2 times a year. Had trucks that ran to NJ and would send out of route to pick up for me. Now I live in ST Louis and it’s harder to get–but a friend came by last night with bbq and stew. Now I just need some corn sticks.

10 09 2009
sandrar

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

7 11 2009
Karen

I work at a Burger King in Daytona Beach, FL. One of my customers brought me b-b-que from your restaurant. IT WAS DEEEEEE_LICIOUS! Now, when y’all gonna open one up down here? 😉 NC makes the best b-b-q…and Parker’s is AWESOME! Don’t know when I’m gonna be able to have more. 😦

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