Review from Tyler B.
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We stopped here on the way back from the beach. I found this using the map area search and found this place with consistent five star review from other Yelpers.
We walked in, took a look at the menus and ordered our plates. Recognizing that our generic American accents were an anomaly in this part of the North Carolina, Charlie (of the restaurant namesake) introduced himself to us, and told us to expect vinegar based, eastern Carolina BBQ. With that primer from the owner himself, we were excited to try our lunches.
The food: absolutely unbelievably delicious.
I ordered the Duke sandwich, which, from JTops was named in honor of a longtime friend. While the sandwich was great, it was also really fascinating to hear this back story.
He asked about us, our jobs, our lives, etc. To have the owner of the establishment make the guests feel at ease and at home is a very rare thing, and that personal touch was really refreshing.
If you are even remotely in this area, please do yourselves a favor and GO. Here, you will authentic local color and cuisine, amazing food, and top notch service. If you’re lucky, perhaps Charlie himself will regale you with stories about his days as a state trooper.
Review from Marc C.
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I’ve been on a long and increasingly desperate search for good brisket since Holy Smokes closed a year or so ago. That search ended at lunch today in a strip mall in rural Johnston County. I found Charlie’s BBQ!
The brisket was perfectly smoked, lightly sauced and down right delicious. Several pieces had bark attached and the consistency was perfect. As Bob Garner would say, “ummmm ummmm”. The sides were top rate as well.
My wife had the burger with chili and slaw. It was terrific. The burger was grilled, assembled and then the whole thing was placed on the griddle to warm the bun. Very nice indeed.
I’m definitely trying the eastern NC BBQ and one of the home made desserts on my next visit.
Charlie’s is located in a rural strip mall and is just what a BBQ joint should be. Small, homey and friendly. The owner, (a retired NC State Trooper) genuinely likes people. You won’t get out the door without him knowing where you’re from, where you work and who your family is. He made us feel like regulars on our first visit.
I’ll admit that this is a hike from downtown Raleigh but, I think that on a nice weekend day, it would be worth the drive. Even better would be to take a short jog off I-40 on your way home from the beach to refuel!
Review from Leandro D.
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I found Charlie’s BBQ and Grille on Google and read one other review on Yelp and I had to try it. Very Good. I had a pulled pork sandwich with the coleslaw on top. The bun was fresh and delicious. It came with a side homemade fries and I dumped the homemade BBQ sauce on it was well.
The service was genuinely the nicest I have ever received in my life. Charlie, the owner, happened to be up front and recommended my meal. Afterwards he sat down with me for about 20 mins and shot the breeze. I rode there on my motorcycle and he even recommended a safety class that he and other state troopers started.
Next time your out in that area, or are looking for a good little BBQ joint to ride your motorcycle to, I suggest this one.
Review from Becky F.
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I found out about Charlie’s BBQ when I opened the Clayton Newspaper a few months ago. It was opened by Charlie, who is a retired cop/trooper and has served this area for many years. He and his wife had this dream of opening a BBQ Restaurant and they followed it. Thank You Charlie!!
When you enter the small strip mall restaurant, you are immediately a friend. Charlie himself will greet you or at least stop by your table to get to know you a bit as time permits. The walls have great photos, awards, and local fun things to look at while waiting for your food to come out to your table.
The food… Oh My Gosh, the Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich is the best I’ve ever had. I always order it with Cole Slaw, and my son gets additional BBQ Sauce on the side because it is so perfect. I don’t need additional sauce, it is already a wet and saucy Q, which I LOVE. The Hush Puppies here are Perfect, the way I love them, round, with bits of onion, and served with a small brick of fresh butter. Fries are okay… who needs them, just get 2 Sandwiches and Hush Puppies! I have mixed reviews on the Brunswick stew – the first time I ordered a quart (to have at home) we really enjoyed it, it is very thick and has a spicey kick to it, just that and some cornbread is a good meal for 2. However the last time I brought some home it seemed like it had been in the pot for too long. I may take a chance on it again.
My son and I practically lose consciousness when we bite into the soft, moist sandwich, and its so sad to take the last bite because now its gone!
Review from D H.
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Top Notch customer service, and food. The Brisket is my FAVORITE along with the cabbage and squash. Great food, quality and quantity too! I always leave stuffed. I highly recommend to go on a empty stomach and enjoy excellent food. However, I have to say get the brisket! YUM!!
Review from Unoti L.
Previously, the best BBQ I’ve ever had was in Georgia. Now, this is my new favorite. Based on Becky F’s recommendation, I ordered 2 pulled pork sandwiches and some hush puppies. Now I have to admit, I expected 2 sandwiches and some hush puppies wouldn’t be enough. Well, after some of those delicious, surprisingly golden awesome looking hush puppies, and about half of the first sandwich, I was just about ready to take a break! That’s a surprising amount of food!
Charlie was there, and told me that his sauce uses a unique blend of all three primary styles of BBQ. The sauce really is amazing. I feel honored to have such a terrific restaurant so close by, with such a friendly and awesome owner. We’ll definitely be going here as often as we can. Go check it out!
First Name : Wilbur
Last Name : O’Neal
Comments : My wife and I agree there is no comparison that can come close to JTops BBQ Shop! We had our first dinner there the other night and it was the best BBQ dinner we had ever had. It reminded us both of some great down home southern cooking. Outstanding food and great service.
Absolutely the best food ever…My wife and I are still smiling!
The kid’s BBQ sandwich spoke to me. It said “Peace on Earth; good eats to men.” Thanks Mr. Charlie!
There was just “something” about walking in that very first night. We all just loved it….and YOU too !!!! You just can’t say that about every restaurant you go to.
hey Charlie the food was the best i have tasted in a long time and i am already asking my parents to bring me back the fries were the best i have tasted in my life and after I finished mine I helped my friend finish his and kims bannana pudding was delicious and me and my friend ate it in about 2 minutes I love your resteraunt and you need to keep up the good work I will spread the word and you might get even more customers
Name: jonathan wall
Question/comment: Undoubtedly the best bbq I have ever tried. Thanks for the great food, service and atmosphere. Let me know when you are ready to build a bigger restaurant!! Jonathan and Christy Wall
Charlie, just wanted to let you know that everyone was raving over all the food on Saturday night. It was wonderful. (Again, as usual !) Thanks again so much for catering our party. It made it easy on me, all I had to do was get my house cleaned. Hope you and Kim have a good week.Thanks Again !
Terry M. Hopkins, PE
State Traffic Safety Engineer
NCDOT Division of Mobility and Safety
1561 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699 – 1561
Name: Joan Turner
Question/comment: My husband James and I eat at Charlie’s at least once a week, and we just love the food, the clean and wholesome atmosphere, and the friendly hospitality. We love Kim’s desserts and her chicken salad is to die for!
Name: j creech
Question/comment: I just love Charlie’s BBQ sauce, and if you add ribs or chicken, then I am in heaven!
Name: Emma Corbett
Question/comment: If you haven’t tried it, you should. It is a wonderful place to enjoy a great meal with your family; there’s something for everyone…
Name: Bill Allison
Question/comment: I ate “The Duke” today at Charlie’s…Man, what a sandwich!
Name: Tony & Kay Bullard
Question/comment: The Party Was Wonderful!
Charlie & Kim,
Our party wouldn’t have been as good with out the wonderful food! Everyone raved about the food! They loved it and we spread alot of free advertising around! Thank you both so much for catering for us! You may want to send cards with your catering orders so people can pass them out. I’m sure I could have given out at least 10 or 15 today.
Name: Rod & Bev Barlow
Question/comment: Charlie is a great guy to talk with. The Food is here is fantastic!! Best BBQ i’ve had in 25 yrs bar none!!!!
We can’t wait to try your Brunswick Stew today!!
Don’t miss out people, go try out this fabulous food!!!
Rod & Bev Barlow
Question/comment: JTops is GREAT!!! I eat in there at least twice a week and I love it =)
Name: Carla Roberts
Question/comment: Wow! this was my 1st visit to Charlie’s and I was very impressed with the food. It was wonderful! Keep up the good work.
Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our lunch today. The meal in itself was wonderful but the company was just as good…and sometimes that makes it just that more enjoyable! It was very nice having the chance to talk with you and get to know a little about you and how your business came about.
We will definitely be recommending Charlie’s to everyone we know, and everyone we meet along the way! Will be returning soon to try the next delicious dish and enjoy your back home, friendly atmosphere. Again, it was a pleasure to meet you and our only regret is that we didn’t know about you sooner!
Take care…until next time!,
Lori Norris and Mary Denning