Hill’s Lexington Barbecue, Winston-Salem
Gene Hill
4005 N. Patterson Avenue
Winston-Salem, NC 27105
(336) 767-2184

“Started by Joe Allen Hill in 1951, Hill’s Lexington Barbecue in Winston-Salem is the first to have the name “Lexington Barbecue,” thus their claim to being the “original” Lexington barbecue. At the time they opened there were a few small side street barbecues in Lexington operated by Stamey, Beck and Swicegood. But none called their barbecue place “Lexington Barbecue.”

Joe Hill, who came from Lexington, conceived the idea to bring Lexington-style barbecue cooking to Winston-Salem. Joe, along with his wife Edna, started the business on its present site. At the time, it was a drive-in restaurant like many others in the 1950s. But Hill’s was different. The difference was Edna Hill. No one in the family contests that Edna’s efforts and endless hours built this business. Her portrait is proudly displayed behind the cash register today. It was through her tireless efforts that Hill’s acquired the reputation that causes the cash register to ring as often as it does.

The sauce is hot, peppery, spicy, thin (Gene says it penetrates the meat better), light reddish brown and has a strong finish by itself, but not so on the meat. It just fits.

The chopped barbecue consists of generous pieces that are not basted while cooking. It’s very lightly sauced in the kitchen. It’s a good mix of outside brown and has a good smoky taste, a rich flavor and nice texture. It’s perfect with sauce and slaw.

Gene’s second barbecue offering is pig pickin’ barbecue. This consists of large two finger pieces of meat pulled from the pig. It is sooo tender and with sauce, oh my. It’s smoky and tangy – you will think you have died and gone to heaven. The sliced barbecue is full of flavor with good smoky taste. It’s some of the best barbecue you’re apt to find. With the sauce, Gene says it’s better than steak. I agree.”

Excerpts from The Best Tar Heel Barbecue Manteo to Murphy pages 149-151.