A trip to down to North Carolina to visit my family was the perfect excuse to pay a visit to Wilber's Barbecue. Wilber's hasn't changed much if at all in the 26 years I've been eating there. Growing up, we'd stop at Wilber's on our way down to the beach on summer weekends and order barbecue, slaw, and bread (hush puppies) from the takeout counter. I didn't realize it at the time, but we were eating some of the best barbecue in the country and, in my opinion, the best Eastern Carolinastyle barbecuewhole hog smoked over an oakwood fire, chopped and dressed with a peppery vinegar sauce.
Wilber’s Barbecue is such a well-loved barbecue institution that the city of Goldsboro grandfathered it into its new air-quality controls. Owner Wilber Shirley can continue to burn wood in his pits, but when he dies, the restaurant must convert to gas cooking.