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  • Writer's pictureChopped Onion

Skylight Inn Ayden, NC

Updated: Oct 31, 2021

1501 Lee St Ayden, NC 28513 (252) 746-4113

Where is the barbeque capitol of the world? In 1988, National Geographic recognized The Skylight Inn (Ayden, NC.) as its choice for "Barbecue Capitol of the World". As a result of its new title, a replica of the US Capitol Dome was built atop the Skylight Inn. So when you drive near it, you can’t miss it. I pulled into the dirt, gravel and puddled lot. The rain had just stopped before I got there. When I opened the car door, I could smell the incredible aroma of the meat cooking over the oak and hickory coals. The smoke moved with the wind and enveloped everything near it. While you are in line, you can see them chop the Q right in front of you. One guy has two cleavers and chops the barbeque in rhythm with both hands at the same time. You get your order with a paper boat of chopped barbeque on the bottom. That is topped with a plank of cornbread. It is covered with restaurant wax paper, and topped again with a paper boat of coleslaw. Then you have to balance your meal back to your table without dropping it. They don’t have sweet tea or baked beans. They just have bottled drinks. The barbeque was very good, even with the tiny pork skin "crackles" in it. The "crackles" add more fat, but they also add more taste to the Q. The barbeque was so good, it didn’t need any sauce. They do have Texas Pete and apple cider vinegar (Piggly Wiggly) if you need sauce. The slaw was incredible! It was sort of yellow in color with green and white specks in it. It was also nice and sweet. The cornbread plank, instead of hushpuppies, was also very good. I love the Skylight, and I can see why Presidents` Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Nixon and Ford have visited. Now I have too.

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