I’ve written about BBQ in Churches and of course been eating all throughout the Carolinas. I’m definitely not the first blogger to do so but I believe I can easily claim to be the first blogger to do a BBQ Road-Trip to a gym.
Clay & Elizabeth Burwell have made an appearance on my blog before. Clay’s family tradition is the inspiration behind my Brunswick County Pork Butt. Having BBQ made by natives of the region is always a treat. Clay’s family stems from the coastal region of North Carolina, an area not extensively covered by most food journals. Now as a citizen of South Carolina, he prefers what the region calls – PeeDee seasoning, that is the astute seasonings of vinegar and peppers alone without the addition of tomato products.
The coastal region differs from much of the Eastern part of North Carolina as there wasn’t a heavy emphasis on the production of tobacco. As whole hog cooking had its conception in the womb of the plantations, it’s not really seen outside. So coastal North Carolina barbecue retains the vinegar pepper sauce but never developed a tradition of cooking whole hog. Family traditions here prefer cooking pork butts for their ease of handling and deep pork flavor. You can actually find an example of this in Bunn’s BBQ in Windsor, which while not “coastal” per se is still historically a quasi-port. Same thing here – butts & vinegar pepper.
The pork was slow smoked and dressed in Clay’s personal vinegar pepper sauce. And Clay loves his sauce, even to the point of bringing a bottle of it with him just in case others try to ruin a perfectly good piece of meat with a molasses based sauce. One interesting thing about this sauce is the addition of chopped fresh jalapenos. The classic red pepper flakes are there but there is a different heat involved here. Red pepper flakes are very upfront. You know that they’re there. The chopped jalapenos add a subtle warming effect to the sauce. Too many jalapenos would most definitely overwhelm a sauce with their heat but here it’s very soothing. An undertone rather than a flavor.
It’s wonderful BBQ and one that tastes deeply of family and tradition. But as the name implies, they’re a gym and not a restaurant. While he dabbles on the pits, Clay is a fitness trainer of the highest caliber and is frequently sought after in the movie industry. So if you want some of this BBQ, you can’t buy it. But if you do your chin-ups and ask Uncle Clay nicely, a plate of BBQ might just appear before you. Just remember, he won’t let you leave before you finish that rep, and don’t you dare bring any cumin with you.
High Performance Gym
284 Rocky Creek Road
Greenville, SC 29615