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“Much hype little substance” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Bubba's Barbecue

Bubba's Barbecue
4400 Sunset Rd, Charlotte, NC 28216-2354
704-393-2000
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Ranked #944 of 1,848 Restaurants in Charlotte
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch
Dearborn, Michigan
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“Much hype little substance”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013 via mobile

Despite impressive promotional efforts, the payoff is pretty minimal. Bare -almost bleak- interior, limited menu, small-ish portions, okay quality. With two exceptions: the onion rings are SUPERB and the fried chicken outstanding. Unfortunately only two pieces of chicken in an order. Everything else pretty blah. Better choices nearby.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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46 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    4
    11
    17
    8
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Concord, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Below average Q in Charlotte”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

It was not my first trip to Bubba's BBQ but it had been approximately 20 years since the last visit. Bubba's is frequently mentioned as a top Charlotte BBQ spot so I decided to venture back out today and see how the BBQ was holding up in 2013. I brought along Stacy who shares both office space with me in our complex and also a love for good BBQ. Stacy was raised on mustard BBQ in Charleston and admittedly hasn't acquired a strong following of NC sauces yet.

Bubba's has a humble location on Sunset Rd just off I-77 and is easily identified by the two pig statuettes on the lawn outside. The interior is simple with yellow checkered table cloths and multiple photos of patrons wearing Bubba's apparel from around the world.

Bubba's advertises that they use a 33 hour process to cook their pork and 18 of those hours are in the smoker. They also remove and cook off much of the fat during this process. The pork is Eastern NC style. Outside of pulled pork they also serve ribs, chicken, burgers, chicken and dumplings and a a handful of other staples. Our waitress served up two glasses of sweet tea rather quickly and introduced us to the daily special which was a pulled pork plate with slaw, hush puppies and one side and we both decided that would be the way to go.

The sweet tea was good but wouldn't please those that really appreciate the sugar. A small basket of hush puppies was delivered next. Bubba's hush puppies were homemade but very small and didn't pack much flavor.

Before my BBQ plate arrived I sampled some of the vinegar and pepper sauce at the table. The sauce had the typical kick that you find with Eastern style sauces but overall was not impressive. When our plates arrived there was ample pulled pork for lunch and plenty of slaw and potato salad which I ordered as my side.

Pulled Pork: The pulled pork was certainly tender and already had some of Bubba's vinegar and pepper sauce mixed in. I found though that Bubba's process of removing the fat for a leaner pork probably removed a lot of the flavor along with it. Not only did it lack flavor on it's own but after spending 18 hours in a hickory fueled BBQ pit this pork unbelievably lacked smoke flavor.

Slaw: The slaw was unusual in that it was mixed with mustard. It was even more unusual since we were eating vinegar based BBQ.

Potato Salad: The potato salad was also lacking. It was a vinegar based potato salad but didn't have much flavor outside of pure vinegar.

Baked beans: Another disappointment and could have come out of a can directly with no additives and certainly no smoke flavor. How about a little bacon, smoke or anything outside of the minimal brown sugar that these beans seemed to have.

I didn't have a strong recollection of Bubba's BBQ from 20 years ago and after eating there today I think I found the reason. Searching to give Bubba's redemption, I ordered one of their homemade ice cream sandwiches for the ride back. Four bites were all I needed to determine that this sandwich had been in the freezer longer than it should have and lacked freshness. It soon found it's way into the waste can at the gas station up the road.

Bubba's did leave us with at least one surprise: The daily special that we assumed would be a special value turned out to be just under $10 a plate including the tea. I would gladly pay that for good BBQ but Bubba's does not warrant it.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Fairfax, Virginia
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Terrible experience”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

Maybe we were just road weary, but we did not enjoy the food at Bubba's at all. The pork was moist, for sure, but the NC vinegar sauce was awful and did nothing to spice up the meat. The plates were so small, barely bigger than the bun, so you had no room to manuver the sandwich. We should have known by the lack of cars in the parking lot. Also, the decor is really sad and skimpy. Looks like the owners aren't putting any money into the place. It's fairly cheap, so if you eat here you won't waste too much money for the gamble. The sweet tea was good.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great BBQ”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013 via mobile

Not sure why the others are complaining but my BBQ was great. Cli se to one if mt favorite pkaces for BBQ. It was moist with great flavour. Very friendly waiter that was nice and polite. Will be coming back! The only down side it was a little high for lunch.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great BBQ and Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

We were there yesterday (6-16-13). We were driving back to PA from FL and were looking for a great southern BBQ. We lucked out, after missing exits for a couple of other advertised places, we saw one for Bubba's and figured we would give it a try. It did not look like much from the outside, but we got a kick out of the humorous signs outside. We were seated promptly by a very pleasant young lady and a friendly gentleman took our order. When we got the food we were floored! It was great! We lived in SC and FL for years and this was the best BBQ we had! What a fantastic find! The food had lots of flavor and was served nice and hot. The staff was friendly and engaging, even joking around with my 8 year old daughter. They made us feel welcomed. We will definitely be back next time we are passing through.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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