Durham >Food & Dining > Bullock's Bar B Cue
From Colorado. This BBQ is so good, my Mom had it shipped out to CO for my birthday !! It arrived frozen & in a styrafoam container .....in perfect condition. It is unusually good -- not like the BBQ smothered in ketchup-y sauce that I find here out west. Not only is the BBQ great -- but the Brunswick Stew is unbelievable! Sweet, salty, & tangy all at the same time -- the perfect combination! Yes....Mom sent some stew, too !!! Great Birthday!!
Spectacularly bad. Tonight I brought an out-of-town guest to Bullock's for his first taste of eastern NC BBQ. He ordered a BBQ plate with fries and slaw, I ordered a plate of cold boiled shrimp with baked potato and slaw. I cannot imagine an easier order. After waiting more than 35 minutes for our food to arrive, his fries were cold and had to be sent back, my baked potato was just barely baked long enough to eat, and I was served seven shrimp for my meal. That's right - seven. I have had more shrimp in a shrimp cocktail. When asked by the cashier how our meal was, we were honest. She did not apologize or offer any compensation. I will not be back. Ever.
Great food, especially great for leftovers!. Our family has taken to getting our food to go. 1.5 lbs of barbecue (sliced is our favorite), 3 pints of our favorite sides, and some of those amazing hushpuppies! We're out the door for around 27 bucks, but we usually get 8 meals out of it! I have a child with dietary issues also (gluten & dairy) and he's thrilled at how many different things he can eat there. Truly a Durham staple. Love it!
Over 120 lbs. and knows where to find the best food in the Raleigh-Durham area. Although I went to college in Durham, I have lived in and/or visited many places...to name a few...San Fransico, Atlanta, Rochester (NY), Cincinnati and Europe (Spain, France and Italy). When I really want some "pleasure food", I don't think of the foods from Europe that I never learned to pronounce, but I look closer to home... Bullock's. When visiting my sister in Durham, I don't feel that my visit is complete unless I have had a taste of Bullock's Barbecue. The midwest and north make a good attempt at making "southern barbeque", but if you want the really good stuff, go to Bullock's. Since my sister is a regular visitor, she knows some of the staff. Our visits always seem like we are sitting in a relative's kitchen. It you want a big dose of southern charm with some really great food, go to Bullock's.
Great food and a great family.. I have know the Bullock family for nearly 18 years and send many hours with them in their restaurant.I know of no one who shows the passion and dedication like this family does to feed and please the public.Running an independently owned family business against the larger chains in this day and time is extremely difficult.The Bullock family's survival is a testimate to their quality food,hard work and love for what they do.
never again. We planned ahead and arrived before the lines (5:15), but despite this it took 1:30 to get our food from our incompetent waitress who was flustered by the simple request for a check. Eating with 2 kids is never easy, but this long wait was unbearable, and for what? The food was nothing better than any of the other places in town and more expensive. Q-shack is a better all around experience. The woman at the cash register is clearly unhappy with life, as is every member of the wait staff as far as you can ather from the frowns all around. There is no reason to waste your time on this place.
The long lines at the door should be a clue.. I've been eating at Tommy Bullcok's since I was a kid. The poster below has obviously signed in under several different names to unfairly bash this Durham landmark. Bullocks is a slice of Durham. A great example of "down east" style, vinegar based pork barbecue. The service is excellent and the people are friendly. People are lined up outside the door every day before the doors are even open. That should be enough of a clue that this place is special.
Old Reliable, well, is getting.
If you are on a low sodium diet, you had better eat somewhere else. The salt shaker flies freely here. The fried chicken is pretty good if it is fresh. I hear "Old Man" Bullock likes to hang out in the back cooler and dunk the older chicken in clorox in a 5-gallon bucket, so he doesn't have to throw it away. This is a known fact. Employees have caught him doing it. Hear that Durham Health Dept.?
The brunswick stew is to die for, some of the best I have ever had. The pulled B-B-Q can be a little too heavy on the vinegar some days, all in all it is pretty good though. The cole slaw is good. The green beans are excellent, but very salty. Beware, if you are on a restricted diet. The hush puppies are great. Not dry and they have just the right amount of sugar in them to make you want to make a meal out of them before your meal comes out.
The service is excellent. I have never had any problems with my service there and I have eaten there many times. The older lady that takes the money up front, seems like she can be a real witch sometimes, just what I have gathered with my dealings with her. But, she took my money everytime, minus a smile!
I was on WRAL's website today, and it seems that Bullocks didn't make the survey list for the best barbeque in the eastern part of the state. I was not surprised to see Allen and Son on there, which is not too far down the road from Bullocks. Seems Bullocks was left off the list for Durham, but there were other barbeque restaurants in Durham, on this list. I wonder if the menu has something to do with it? Seems like Bullocks just isn't what it used to be, regardless of how many celebs have eaten there and gotten their pictures taken. Time for a change at Bullocks, out with the old and in with someone new. Maybe it is time for someone to step down and let the kids run things now, you think?
You've lost that loving feeling Tommy...... Bullocks was the ONLY place our family would eat BBQ for over 20 years but something is wrong and it needs to be fixed.... The service has gotten lousy, the BBQ has become so vinegary that it can take your breath (probably an effort to make it go further) and they are almost always out of chicken breasts and wings on the family style. We never minded standing in line when it was at it's peak but the last 5 times we have gone, it has become increasingly more disappointed. So, off to the chain of Smithfields BBQ and Chicken, who do still have consistently good food for the money.
Great Food, Not Great Atmosphere.
I've been eating at Bullocks for over 20 years and it for a long time was my family's standby "in a hurry" restaurant as we lived about 10 minutes away. The food was and is consistently delicious, no problems there. However, since I started college (in 1999), every time I go the service and atmosphere seems to be getting worse and worse.
First, as someone who rarely carries much cash on hand, it's quite a hassle to only accept it at a restaurant that does such a high volume of business: they can afford a credit card machine and exchange fees.
Second, the staff are often flat-out rude. I have been there probably 5 times in the past seven years with groups of seven or more who all got the homestyle dinner at a flat price. Of these fives times, twice they have added our total incorrectly, once charging us for 13 dinners when we only had 10 people in our group, coming to around 35 dollars too much. It took (I am not hyperbolizing in the least) three of us explaining to numerous Bullock's staffers that they were counting wrong to appease them to the point of "letting us slide" (their words) with only paying for 10 dinners.
Third, if you go at off times or order something other than BBQ, there's an almost 100% chance it will be served to you cold. And if you ask them for hot food, they will just microwave it, which I find unconscionable in a BBQ restaurant. I understand that it makes little sense to keep frying up chicken when you can leave it under a heat lamp, but at least leave it under a heat lamp! You might ask: how do I know they just microwave the food? Well, once I had some of their (excellent) beets as a side, which are cold anyways, and I got back my plate back and the beets were scorching hot.
Fourth, a good friend of mine is a masters student in folklore who was doing a project on the different ways eastern NC BBQ is cooked around this part of the state. Stamey's in Greensboro, very nice, Allen and Sons, very nice, Bullock's , mean at best.
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