Phil & Mel In The Afternoon

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Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of social media and print features debating the virtues of one type of barbecue over another. Whole hog or Boston butt? Who makes the best brisket? Are ribs better served slathered in sauce or dry-rubbed? Speaking of sauce, what’s the difference between those favored in Eastern North Carolina, Western North Carolina, and South Carolina?

It seems like food writers can go on and on about the minutiae of the meat, obsessing over things like “smoke rings” and “bark,” but they almost never consider the foods that accompany the ‘cue. Well, I’m here to take sides, pun intended.

The sides are an integral part of the experience whether you’re enjoying barbecue in Lexington, NC or Lockhart, TX. You need different flavors and textures to balance out the smokiness and barkiness of the meat. And your parents always said to eat your vegetables, so it only seems right that I include a few on this list:

10. Green Beans

9. Squash Casserole

8. Collard Greens

7. Fried Okra

6. Potato Salad

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5. Baked Beans

4. Cole Slaw

3. Brunswick Stew

2. Macaroni & Cheese

1. Hush Puppies