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“Give it time” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ed Mitchells Que

Ed Mitchells Que
359 Blackwell St #130, Durham, NC 27701
(919) 813-4311
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Ranked #69 of 655 Restaurants in Durham
Cuisines: Barbecue
Restaurant details
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Give it time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

We are so excited that Ed Mitchell has brought his BBQ to Durham! We ate there on Father's Day, and the food was great. We all ordered different entrees and thought they were all great, especially the beef brisket, which was tender and juicy. The different sauces were delicious. I thought my husband was going to drink his from his cup. Mr. Mitchell brought our table several tomato pie appetizers, and they were the bomb. We all left more than full. The only issues we had were that it was a very warm day, and the restaurant was not very cool, but the waitress, who was cute as a button and very attentive, said they had problems with the HVAC unit, and the company had been called to service it. The other issue was that it took several trips back and forth to the table and a very long time to get our bill. In defense of the restaurant, we were a large group, and we had separate checks. I think that these issues will be worked out in time. Make sure you save some room for the banana pudding, which was over the top good and a great value.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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28 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“An education from the old 'que prof”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

Ed Mitchell sits in his sleek new restaurant watching folks enjoy his food. And if he thinks you should try something he goes in the kitchen and gets you some. The food is as gentle and real as he is. His staff work hard to keep up to his standard but this is a big place and it's not so easy. It a real pleasure to learn from the man himself. Parking nearby is unnecessarily complicated. The large parking deck has all sorts of signs that imply you can't use it. At dinner time, ignore the signs. The whole area is restored industrial historic or modern but nothing except the food seems real.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 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.
Chapel Hill, NC
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“5-star barbeque, 3-star restaurant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

If you want good barbeque, *Eastern NC Barbecue*; and you don't want to drive to Ayden, NC, then come here. The chopped BBQ was exactly what it is supposed to be.

Good BBQ is not smoked, does not have too much sauce (of any kind), and is really a very simple thing. It's too bad that most people who do BBQ aren't willing to just leave it alone. But Ed Mitchell now has his own place and so I have good BBQ locally again.

We visited last night; on a night when there was both a game at the DAP and an event at the DPAC. Got there early, about 5:40 pm.

Cocktails were interesting; we had a house special bloody mary which is nearly a meal itself - includes bacon, okra, celery, olives, etc. No noticeable Worcester sauce, but apparently lots of horseradish, celery salt, and I suspect some NC BBQ sauce. Nicely spicy and very different.
The martini was better than the margarita - there was no salt on my margarita and it tasted a bit flat - at the same time there was an interesting flavor profile to it. The Hendricks martini had a nice slice of cucumber in it.

In addition to the chopped bbq we got ribs, and one person got the brisket. I don't know who would order beef brisket in a NC BBQ restaurant, but it seems to be all the rage to have it in the past 15 or 20 years. Don't ask me about the brisket; I'm not an aficionado of brisket and don't think you should be ordering it here anyway.

The RIBS were fallin' off the bone tender, every bite of them. The sauce was fine.

Sides and appetizers included: Tomato pie, black-eyed peas, collards, grilled smoked vegetables, mac & cheese, baked beans.

The Tomato pie was outstanding. I strongly recommend it. The rest were good traditional examples of what you would expect and hope for. Except the grilled smoked vegetables which again were outstanding and are a "do not miss this" side.

The hushpuppies were real hushpuppies. Like good bbq this is something simple that most people don't seem to be able to do.

The corn bread, alas, was made from yellow corn meal and had whole kernels of yellow corn in it; this is not the style of cornbread I prefer and was not to my taste at all; other people may like it a lot. I like my cornbread to be savory instead of sweet and made from white cornmeal and either fried in a pan or baked in an iron skillet.

And the slaw. The slaw is probably what most of their customers want; but it is a sliced cabbage mayonnaise slaw and I don't want that on my bbq sandwich. I want finely chopped cabbage with a bit of vinegar and some pickle relish and you're never be sure if there is really any mayonnaise in it at all. What we used to call here in NC "hot dog slaw" or "bbq slaw".

The service was friendly and attentive. The kitchen got a couple parts of our orders wrong, and I'm still not sure if they intended to leave off the salt on my margarita or just didn't know any better. The room is big and noisy and was a bit warm but there was evidence outside of AC ducts being worked on and hopefully that problem is temporary.

It's not haute cuisine and it is not intended to be. It isn't exactly cheap either, but it is tucked right into the center of the American Tobacco area, and borders on DAP and DPAC, so you pay a premium for that: I don't mind myself. It is by no means a "fancy restaurant" and I don't think it's intended to be. As one other reviewer mentioned, the menus were dirty and wrinkled - the place hasn't been open that long for that to be happening.

And there were no combination plates. I sincerely hope they correct this very soon. Every bbq restaurant in NC has combination plates: bbq, chicken, ribs, stew. You should be able to pick and choose which of any of them you want.

I'll definitely be back. If they decide to allow "to-go" orders or sell bbq by the pound I'll be back more often. I sincerely hope this place becomes a Durham institution; Ed Mitchell and his bbq deserve to be associated with other institutions and historical traditions like the Durham Athletic Park - in this regard the location of the restaurant couldn't be better.

And I'm willing to bet that six months after opening they will have settled the restaurant down and have everything ticking just the way they want

A 3-star restaurant for me is one that has no major failings but doesn't do "extra" regarding atmosphere, service, or value. I'm not willing to compromise on the food. A place with 2-star food would be rated with 2-stars. This is a good 3-star restaurant with some 5-star food offerings - the chopped eastern NC bbq was everything I'd hoped for and I hope you like it too.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Nothing Stands Out...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2014

Before I start my review, I want to say I am an avid BBQ fan - and travel around just to eat BBQ - my favorite all time is Rudy's in San Antonio - and I love all types of BBQ from Carolina to Memphis, to Texas. I know my Q...

We ate here before attending a Bulls game. The motif is modern. They have a nice sized bar and outdoor seating area. The AC was broken when we went, so it was extremely hot and stuffy.

Our table and menus were not very clean. The table was sticky and there were crumbs in the seat. The menus were wrinkled and soiled, and should have been thrown away (their menu is on a piece of paper).

Our server was the highlight of our visit. Gloria was warm, friendly, and attentive, but not overbearing. She was helpful with her recommendations.

We had the deviled eggs and cheese and sausage dip for appetizers. The deviled eggs were prepared well, and the dip was hot and tasty. The dip comes with wheat crackers and pork rinds. In my opinion, the only problem with this dish is the crackers. They were too thick and utterly tasteless. A nice water cracker or even tortilla chips would be much more appropriate and complement the dip better.

Each of us in our party of 4 ordered different dishes to share the different types of BBQ. We had the ribs, chopped turkey, bbq chicken, and the brisket.

The best dish we had was the ribs. They were smoked and grilled properly, with just the right amount of sauce. They were tasty, but lacked a good crust layer.

The brisket was very disappointing. It was bland, and reminded me more of pot roast than BBQ brisket. There was still a great bit of fat on it, and there was no crust on it at all. The meat itself was bland and appeared boiled rather than smoked. The brisket came with sauce already poured over it - which is a big no no in my book as well. Out of the 4 folks at my table, no one liked the brisket. Our server gladly took it to the kitchen and replaced it with ribs instead.

The chopped turkey was not bad. It had a nice taste and was spiced well. It was prepared in traditional Carolina style with vinegar based sauce.

The BBQ chicken was moist, but like the brisket, bland. It could be prepared much better.

Hush puppies came with our meals. They had great flavor - sweet and crunchy - but were a bit on the cold side and were doughy in the middle. However, when our server brought out the replacement ribs, the hush puppies were super hot and crunchy, but somehow still doughy in the very middle.

For sides we all had mac and cheese and cole slaw. The mac and cheese was some of the worst I have ever had. It was dry and not creamy at all. I believe this is due to the over abundance of bread crumbs they put on them. The cole slaw was good. The veggies were fresh and had just the right amount of dressing on it.

Our bill for 4 with drinks was $180 with tip - not exactly reasonably priced.

I feel this place has great potential, but they have some quality and taste issues they must tackle. To me if you are in the BBQ biz, you have to have great brisket. This place greatly misses the mark right now, and prices are a bit on the higher side.

If you are going to a game and need a convenient place to eat, this may work. However, if you are specifically going out to eat BBQ, you may want to try a different place.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Durham, North Carolina
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Ed is BACK”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

After a departure from the restaurant world for a few years Ed Mitchell is back. His new restaurant next to the ballpark is awesome. We went a week or so ago. My partner had the BBQ sandwich and I had the Beef Brisket plate. Both plates were spotless when we finished. The sauces were amazing and Ed was right there to talk to the guests. Sorry to the other "new" BBQ joint in town.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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