We had originally planned to visit a place called the Sims Country Barbecue today. This place is written about as if it is some sort of mecca for mountain music people, good food, and great performances. After yesterday’s disappointments, I decided it would be best to phone ahead to make sure of their availability. (I did phone the Orchard yesterday, several times, but they weren’t answering their phone.) I managed to make phone contact with Sims, and was greatly disappointed to find that they are not open on Thursdays any more. Well, at least we found this out before driving all the way out there.
Another stop on our planned tour was to be the Earl Scruggs Center, in Shelby, NC. We were planning to stop there at the end of next week. However, we found that we were only about an hour away from there at our current campground, so we decided to go there today instead.
Shelby was a nice town, and the Scruggs Center was absolutely wonderful. The entire (small-ish) museum is a tribute to this 20th century master of the banjo. We learned all about him through a variety of interactive exhibits. I will confess that the banjo has always mystified me. I cannot visually process what banjo players are doing with their fingers to produce all of the notes that they produce. There was a very helpful exhibit in the museum that showed me the difference between claw-hammer strumming, two-finger picking, and three-finger picking. I feel that I finally have a beginning of an understanding of the banjo. I’m still pretty intimidated by the instrument, however.
While we were at the museum, E was peppering the docents with questions about BBQ. Since we were not going to be going to Sims, she wanted to find the best place here in Shelby for good, authentic, southern BBQ. She has been asking several people for explanations of the difference between “Eastern” BBQ and “Lexington” BBQ. We received strong recommendations to go to a place called Red Bridges Lodge. They are said to have the best in town. So, off we went in our quest for slaw (red), beans, meat, and sauce.
I’m glad we did! The food was delicious, and now we can say that we’ve had the best BBQ Shelby, NC has to offer.