In the last few years I've taken an interest in visiting 'well known" NC bbq establishments in search of the 'best one' IMO. (NC BBQ means only one thing - chopped pork sandwiches with a vinegar base sauce served with slaw on a bun)
My main checklist has been the NC BBQ Society Historic Trail but I'll consider anyplace that fits the criteria.
I've been pleased and disappointed but never overwhemed... until this weekend. On a round trip to Beaufort, NC, I was able to stop twice at Wilber's BBQ in Goldsboro, NC.
If not THE perfect NC bbq sandwich - it sets the bar for all others. Fresh bun. White slaw. Course chopped pork - not mush. Flavorful pork with just the right spice. Perfect.
I always expected to prefer Lexington style (lexington sauce and red slaw) over Eastern style but I may have lost my religion. The thing I noticed with eastern sauce is: it's just a bit spicy - which I prefer, and the absence of sugar and ketchup let's more of the pork flavor shine. Good stuf! I picked up 2 bottles of Wilber's sauce and can't wait to give a try.