Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Grady's Barbecue: "This Day is the Last This Day."

Stephen and Gerri Grady, Dudley, North Carolina. (photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

Stephen and Gerri Grady married in 1986, the same year they established their eponymous barbecue house. The newlyweds purchased the pithouse from Mr. Grady's brother, who lasted only one day in business (he found the hardwood smoke overwhelming). Grady says he always knew how to cook a pig; by the time he was "big enough to walk," he was helping his grandfather, the neighborhood pitmaster for hire. Mrs. Grady, who, like her husband, grew up on a farm in nearby Seven Springs, also remembers helping her family roast whole hogs in ground-dug pits. The Gradys call what they do the "old-fashioned way." Tea is brewed on the stove top. All items on the generous vegetable spread are peeled, chopped, and cooked daily. The whole hog is still slow-smoked over oak and hickory coals. Grady's Barbecue was launched as a post-retirement pursuit for the pair; plans to close their business, dates circled on the calendar, have been made and passed over. But now Stephen and Gerri want to take their first vacation in three decades, and they acknowledge that their barbecue run may soon finally end. Modest and grateful, the Gradys live by the axiom "this day is the last this day."

-Rien Fertel/ The Barbecue Bus

The crisp skin from one whole hog is piled up after being pulled from the pit at Grady's Barbecue. The skin is chopped and served along with the rest of the meat from the pig. (photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

The dining room of Grady's Barbecue. (photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

Homemade sweet potato pie at Grady's Barbecue. (photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)
Gerri Grady at Grady's Barbecue. (photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)
Potatoes, collards, cabbage and black eyed peas. (photo by Denny Culbert)

Chopped barbecue plate, pork, potato salad, coleslaw and hush puppies. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

Stephen Grady at Grady's Barbecue. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)
Grady's barbecue sandwich. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)



Grady's Barbecue
3096 Arrington Bridge Road
Dudley, North Carolina 28333

(919) 735-7243
Hours of Operation:
Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

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