Bill Ellis Barbecue, Wilson
Bill Ellis
3007 Downing Street Extension
Wilson, NC 27896
(252) 237-4372

“Bill Ellis Barbecue in Wilson, owned and managed by Bill Ellis, is the Microsoft of barbecue in North Carolina. Nearly 40 large trucks, many of them 18-wheelers, carry Bill Ellis’ famous pork barbecue all over the country. Bill has catered as far away as Palm Springs, CA. It is also a barbecue hub for the locals and that’s saying something in a town that has several major players in the barbecue game.

The chopped barbecue was good hand-chopped ’cue with a rich, nutty brown flavor that only comes from the right amount of slow roasting over wood. The barbecue comes from the kitchen sauced with this tangy Eastern North Carolina-style sauce. Bright eyes of red pepper wink from behind coarse chopped pork and whisper “you’re in for a treat.” Add a couple of drops of the hot sauce at the table and you’ve got a winner.

The pulled pork is as tender as a mother’s love. Add the spicy, thick red sauce at the table and create magic. While we were in the kitchen, Bill pulled some outside brown off a hog that was only moments off the pit. It was ecstasy.

The slaw is yellow and has a mustard taste, which is different from most Eastern North Carolina coleslaws. It makes a nice combination with the barbecue though. The mustard compliments the acidity of the vinegar-base sauce.

The collards are absolutely delicious. They are clean, gritless and medium chopped with just enough drippings and spices to make you want to order seconds and skip dessert. Don’t. The banana pudding is spectacular.”

Excerpts from The Best Tar Heel Barbecue Manteo to Murphy pages 265-266.