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“Good barbecue in Durham/Chapel Hill Area”

The Original Q Shack
Ranked #6 of 771 Restaurants in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Takeout
Denver
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Good barbecue in Durham/Chapel Hill Area”
Reviewed October 26, 2013

If you are looking for good BBQ in Durham and Chapel Hill---Look no further because the Q shack got you covered. We indulged in the beef brisket which was very juicy with a perfect smoke ring. The Pulled pork BBQ was great and the Ribs were good as well. The greens were "real" not canned so this was a plus and food portions(including meats) are plenty!!!

Negatives; the macaroni and cheese was sent back. Lacked taste and appeared to be straight from the box. I was a bit surprised with this blunder being that other sides appeared to be freshly prepared.

Will definitely recommend.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank L R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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569 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    51
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    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Winter Park, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“When you need that NC BBQ fix ......”
Reviewed October 24, 2013

We are fortunate enough to have family in Durham so we visit several times a year. We really do love our family members, but to be honest, we REALLY crave NC barbecue so there is a little selfish motivation behind our frequent visits. Our visit to Durham would not be complete without a visit to Q Shack. Last week we stopped by The Q for dinner. Hubby got the chili rubbed beef brisket with a side of fried okra which he shared with dear sweet wife. I ordered my usual- the Q-Cobb Salad. My husband actually has a strong aversion to fatty beef so when we order beef , I kinda hold my breath until we I see the fat content of the order. We've found Q Shack's beef to be very lean, tasty and NOT dry. The fried okra is good,but not the Best fried okra ever ( that distinction goes to my grandma's fried okra). That being said, we will continue to order the fried okra for a side because: 1. We love fried okra and 2. My grandma's fried okra probably can't be beat . My salad was delish! It is served with romaine lettuce, smoked turkey, beef brisket, avocado, hard boiled eggs, and tomatoes. They offer blue cheese dressing or ranch. Blue cheese was my choice. My method of eating the salad is to put a little blue cheese dressing on it and a mixture of the BBQ sauces. Our dishes were served with hush puppies which to me, could use a little more seasoning. I solved the problem by dipping them in the yummy BBQ sauces. So, we got our NC BBQ fix and we are content for another month. Happy, happy, joy, joy! I just can't finish this review without commenting on a previous reviewer's remark- I think we are all entitled to our own view concerning the taste of the food, we come from different backgrounds and different experiences so what other people have reviewed about the food is not my issue. One reviewer said the parking was "dicey". The word dicey to me conjures up feelings of scary place,a seedy part of town, muggings, etc... I thought well perhaps my idea of dicey is different from others so, I looked it up...my dictionary said, "unpredictable, risky, uncertain". Hmmmm.....the parking at Q Shack is none of that. We feel very comfortable parking our car, although the parking lot is often times crowded, we have always been able to find a place to park so... my point is please don't let THAT remark keep you from visiting. :)

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank comeflywithme2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham NC
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Some of the best BBQ, including more than just traditional NC”
Reviewed October 20, 2013

The Q Shack reminds me of some of the places I've eaten BBQ in Kansas City. There are various beef and pork varieties and combinations, all well-presented and hot (temperature-wise). Their sides are good, too, particularly the slaw, which cools down some of the hot (spicy-wise) your mouth will encounter. Great for kids.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GeorgeSmart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham
Level 6 Contributor
376 reviews
270 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Great food and usually good service”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

This is NOT a North Carolina BBQ place. This is Texas and Tennessee BBQ. They have pulled or chopped pork, but if you are hankering for Eastern NC pork BBQ, you'll probably want to go somewhere else.

That said, their brisket, turkey, and chicken are really most excellent. The brisket and turkey and tastily smoked and oh-so-tender. The brisket falls apart as you put your fork to it. The crusty end pieces are succulent caramelized jewels that make my mouth water at the thought of them.

The brisket chili is worlds away from ground beef chili, chunks of brisket, slow cooked until they are a stew of spicy goodness. The Frito pie is a kind of kitchen sink concoction of deliciousness. The mac and cheese, creamy and comforting, with a hint of onion. The okra, always hot and fresh. The creamed spinach, decadent.

That said, my favorite item is the Q-Cobb salad. It's a simple salad of romaine, tomato, egg, avocado, and scallions with cubed smoked brisket and turkey, served with home-made ranch or blue cheese dressing. Aside from the sumptuous meats, the egg and avocado are transformed with the dressing into creamy goodness that makes this salad a winner.

I love the Original Q Shack, but it has a few quirks. They serve Pepsi products, and I'm definitely a Coke products kind of guy.

And I had an experience there a few years ago that I still can't push fully out of my mind. I arrived late in the day with friends. We all planned to get the salad. There was an exceptionally long line that day, and we waited probably 20-30 minutes as newcomers debated what they would order up to the last minute. When we got to order, we were told they were out of lettuce!

When I got home that night, I sent a note to their customer service address suggesting that the next time they run out of lettuce, perhaps they should run to any of the local grocers and pick up several heads to tide them over. The response I got said that while that might sound like a good solution, it was not a good business decision. To be honest, I was shocked. It seems to me that it would have been a better business decision than to run out of lettuce and even better than telling a customer such.

That incident has stuck with me for many years. I still go back to the Shack--the food IS that good--but this incident has tarnished what could have been an excellent rating. For the record, since that time, I've spoken with other restaurateurs, and most of them have been shocked that the Q Shack did not go purchase lettuce at retail. It might cost more for that moment, but keeping customers pleased is good business.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank EdRockster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotch Plains, NJ
Level 6 Contributor
193 reviews
137 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Fun, casual and tasty”
Reviewed September 30, 2013

Recently went to Q Shack for the first time. Parking is a bit dicey. While there may be a line at prime times, it moves fast. We had pulled pork, mac and cheese and creamed spinach. The smoked, pulled chicken was a a bit spicy. Potato salad and hush puppies rather bland. Portions are big, there are many selections and the prices are fair

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jillef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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