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Friday, September 30, 2011

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A Fork in the Road: Clyde Cooper's BBQ (Raleigh, NC)

Cooper's  is separated out with booths on each side, a soda fountain bar, high ceilings with fans and nostalgic photos dating back to its 1938 opening.  If you are driving by, you can catch a glimpse of the pitmasters manning the pits in the alleyway next to the restaurant.  There's nothing unoriginal about Clyde's.

Cooper's serves up traditional Carolina pulled pork (usually) marinated in a vinegar sauce.  Growing up and traveling to NC to visit, my grandma would always make 'bbq chicken'.  Though it was fabulous, I never understood why it was called bbq.  Being from Texas, our BBQ is mostly beef brisket with dark sauces.

Served up quickly was my pulled pork/chicken combo platter and my mouth was happy just looking at it.  I couldn't wait to dig in ~ this was definitely going to fill me up before our long drive!  The waiter nicely suggested of ordering dark meat chicken instead of the white I intended to order.  Both meats were so moist and full of flavor.  As usual, most Carolina bbq joints have a plentiful amount of sauces on the table to choose from , including their very own heavy bbq sauce.  I think this moist speciality is best untouched. 
Now I'm a cole slaw and potato salad gal and I like 'um sweet!  The potato salad  is a mustard/relish base and the slaw is made with mayo and what else?  Vinegar.  As if this wasn't enough food, the platter also come with hush puppies deep fried perfectly.  It was cute watching my grandma eating the fried part and leaving the cornmeal.  Pig skins are also an addition and also not my favorite. 

The thought of skins is gross, but a nibble here and there adds a nice crispy bite.  Coopers also sells ziplocked bags of regular, medium and hot skins if you are feeling a super unhealthy snack.

All this and a sweet iced tea for ten bucks, great service and smiles all around!

Clyde Cooper's  109 East Davie Street (919) 832-7614 

Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm