Doug Sauls’ Bar-B-Q & Seafood

By Mia Brady

When searching for BBQ restaurants to eat at in Nashville, NC, the researcher cannot avoid Doug Sauls’. Urbanspoon, Google Plus, Yelp all give it rave reviews. The BBQ joint’s Facebook page has 750 likes, and comments such as, “Sauls is the VERY BEST BBQ we’ve ever eaten…anywhere!!!!”. We knew this place was not one to simply drive by. So when planning our Highway 64 adventure, we marked down Doug Sauls’ for lunch on our way back, and stuck to our plan.

Directed by a massive sign, we arrived at Doug Sauls’ on Saturday afternoon, ready to have some much anticipated, delicious North Carolina BBQ. As we pulled into the parking lot, we noticed that to our right was an outdoor smokehouse, which led us to believe that the little blue building on the right would have some authentic, fresh-cooked BBQ.

As we walked in, we immediately noticed that the atmosphere was pig-centered. Pig stuffed animals on shelves, signs with pigs on the walls. Even the curtains had pigs on them. It was pretty clear that these people were passionate about their BBQ. We were excited to get to the front of the long line and order, but once we did, we were faced with the task of actually choosing from the massive list of sides. Green beans, Brunswick stew, yams, rice with gravy, cabbage, collard greens, roasted red potatoes. And the list goes on and on. Deciding what I wanted to order for sides (you received 3 with your meal) was a task, as I’m quite indecisive. But after much deliberation, I decided on yams, green beans and cabbage to go along with my BBQ pork. Two of my fellow travel companions ordered BBQ pork as well, while the other ordered fried shrimp to try out the seafood, with sides including green beans, Brunswick stew, yams and roasted potatoes. Needless to say, as we sat down and waited for our food, we were highly anticipating this authentic BBQ.

As we chose our seats, we were surprised to see a plate full of steaming hot, hole shaped hushpuppies was delivered to our table. Our first thought was “who ordered this?!” but then we realized that they were complementary. Deliciously complementary, with hints of honey, and perfectly crispy. They were a great start to the meal.

When our food was delivered by the smiling waitress, we were all very excited to try this authentic Eastern BBQ. Based on our research, we were certain of one thing- vinegar would be the base ingredient of the BBQ. From the very first bite, I was overwhelmed by the taste of vinegar; overwhelmed in a very good way. This meat had a strong taste of vinegar with tastes of spicy red pepper in every bite. When paired with the delicious cinnamon seasoned yams and flavorful green beans, this meal was a great introduction to Eastern BBQ for me.

After we finished the meal, we were lucky enough to meet with Steve Sauls, the current owner of Paul Sauls’ BBQ and Seafood. Steve was extraordinarily accommodating. He was more than willing to chat with us, and even gave us some free t-shirts. He shared with us about the start of Paul Sauls’. It was originally opened in 1977 by Steve’s parents, and since then, has been a popular destination for locals. Steve notes that about 80% of business comes from locals, but that business has expanded in the past few years as a result of the Internet, supported by the fact that when searching for BBQ in Nashville, Doug Sauls’ is all over the web. And there is no question why. This spot is not to be missed for a friendly place to enjoy some authentic BBQ.