I simply could not help it. The car I was driving on my tri-state road trip seemed to veer off the road and right into a space in the jam-packed parking lot of Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro, North Carolina. (That’s always a good sign, isn’t it?) We were barbecue bound — and what a satisfying stop it was.
A tradition since 1962, Wilber’s Barbecue is a landmark on Highway 70 East. With more than 100 employees handling the restaurant, catering, and take-out orders, business is booming. While you’re dining there, if you look up from your food long enough you just might spot a famous patron or two, as President George W. Bush Sr., President Bill Clinton, Governor Jim Hunt, Governor Terry Sanford and Senator Jesse Helms have all indulged at the eatery.
With it’s red-checked tablecloths and paneled walls, this unpretentious restaurant serves up amazingly succulent pit-cooked barbecue. Service is quick and friendly, and the food is classic. At dinner I polished off an order of some of the best hush puppies I’ve eaten in years. Ask the locals, and they’ll tell you Wilber’s represents the best of Eastern Carolina barbecue.
For the main event, Wilber’s chopped pork is piled high onto soft sandwich rolls, then topped with a heaping helping of creamy slaw. Tableside, Wilber’s Barbecue Sauce and straight vinegar are available for diners to season their barbecue to their own liking.
If you’d rather picnic or eat at home in front of the big game, pick up a carry-out container of pork or ribs, and some “Spicy Good” Wilber’s Barbecue Sauce . Buy a case here.
Serving suggestion for Barbecued Turkey: Wilber suggests a combination of one cup water, one cup peanut oil, and one cup Wilber’s Barbecue Sauce. Cook turkey 20 minutes a pound and baste continuously until done.