BBQ Chicken -- Bar-B-Q King, Charlotte, NC
If you've never been lost within the confines of a fast food restaurant, you've never vacationed with Vodka.
|This Statement is True for Both the Upper- and Lower-Case Versions of "Vodka"|
Twenty minutes after landing at the Charlotte International Airport, Vodka and her college roommate, Whiskey Sour, can be found staring helplessly at a blank wall within Bar-B-Q King, searching for a menu, an employee, and/or any clue as to what we are supposed to do next.
|We're People Who Need GPS for INSIDE a Store|
Before long, a sheriff, who is inexplicably stationed within the establishment, implores us to round the corner in order to find the cashier, which is where we can place our order for Guy Fieri's chosen Best Thing I Ever Ate ALL AMERICAN dish, the BBQ chicken.
|Personally, We Find Onion Rings More American, but Okay|
It appears that we are not actually supposed to be inside Bar-B-Q King at all, since every other patron has remained in his or her car, having their provisions fetched for them, Sonic-style, by employees who have worked here longer than we've been alive.
In contrast, our Lyft driver is loitering somewhere within the parking lot, holding our luggage and dignity hostage, as we await our takeout order.
|We're Going to Sue Guy If We Lose Our Backup Jeans on Account of His Chicken Choice|
Overwhelmed by the menu before us, we place an order for two BBQ combo trays and one Thursday BBQ special, figuring this will give us the chance to sample much of what Bar-B-Q King has to offer.
|We'd Appreciate a Better Picture-to-Text Ratio|
Three giant boxes of steaming fried food later, we realize the possible error of our ways.
|A BBQ Meal Fit for Kings, So to Speak|
Perhaps due to a combination of the quantity, the leisurely pace of Southern efficiency, and our growing angst that our rideshare driver is about to make haste with our underwear, it takes an exceptionally long time for our meal to be prepared.
|Please Speed Up the Pickle Placement|
During this lull, we are "entertained" by the aforementioned sheriff, who after ever lengthier pauses, answers such innocuous questions as "What should we see while in Charlotte?" with, "Well... I don't... I don't really... I don't know what you like."
|Charlotte, We Have Found the Next Member of Your Tourism Bureau|
We eventually arrive, suitcases unscathed, at our hotel to meet our third college roommate, Diet Coke.
|And Immediately Place Before Her a Mountain of Carolina Goodness|
Finding a dearth of seating in our room, and discouraged against carting our grub up to the swanky rooftop bar, we hover over the myriad of boxes like pigs lined up at the trough.
Whiskey Sour, who is starving, is moaning with glee at the King's creations.
|It's Worth Noting That We, As Always, Loaded Up on Condiments|
Along with Guy's choice, which is a fried chicken dunked in a generous layer of BBQ sauce, we have pulled pork, French fries, onion rings, hushpuppies, cole slaw, baked beans, and rolls with which to contend.
Vodka, who despite dragging friends to BBQ places around the country for Best Thing I Ever Ate purposes, does not really enjoy the cuisine, is fairly neutral on the buffet before us, as is Diet Coke.
|How Much Pulled Pork Can One Judge... If One Doesn't Like Pulled Pork?|
Due to the addition of the sauce, the chicken is on the soggy side (perhaps why one is encouraged to consume it in the car), and the flavor itself is appropriately sweet and sour, yet still unremarkable.
The standout item among this array is the small sampling of baked beans (of all things), but despite Whiskey Sour's protests, we refuse to give the chicken itself anymore than a respectable, if average, 3 stars.
|That's One Star Per Box|
Appropriately, after quantum physics-level of finagling in order to fit our leftovers into the overflowing minibar refrigerator, it is Whiskey Sour who hauls the five-pound box of North Carolina delicacies up north for a final feast, all the while maintaining their 5 star appeal.