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Dillard’s Bar-B-Q

Posted by MEZ 17 Dec 2009 12 Comments

I finally stopped in at the bright yellow and red restaurant that always catches my eye while driving down Fayetteville. You know the one, with the claim that “We Feed Durham,” on one side of the sign and “Deuteronomy CH8V3” on the other.


Yep, that’s the place. It’s Dillard’s Bar-B-Q and they’ve got some fun murals on the side of the restaurant that add to their charm, in addition to being a restaurant recognized by the city for their contributions to the Durham food scene over the past 50 years.


Dillard’s serves food up cafeteria-style.


They have two rows of booths and tables in an adjoining room and what looks to be a side room for large parties also.

Intriguing options on their menu list include chitterlings by the cup, pigs’ feet, and a croaker sandwich in addition to their mustard-based bar-b-q and seafood options. There were also bags of pigs’ skin for sale on top of the cases and a nice looking red velvet pound cake that I got thisclose to ordering. I opted for a smothered chicken breast with macaroni and cheese and candied yams.


All their entrees come with a trio of hush puppies. Those hush puppies were delightful and fluffy, possibly the best I’ve had yet. The chicken was pretty good, with flavorful gravy and plenty of meat. Somehow, it seems like they got extra skin on the bird, because every time I thought I had eaten a pound of skin, another biteful would show up. Good, but definitely fatty and I’m not sure what I think about soggy breading, but I assume that’s all part of the smothered chicken tradition. The mac and cheese had a creamy cheese sauce, not too thin or too thick, and there were still some cheesy tendrils apparent when I’d pull my fork away, which is something I enjoy. The candied yams were divine. There was some sort of apple involved, or I just convinced myself there was because it tasted so much like eating an apple pie. Lots of cinnamon and other spices, perhaps some maple, and extra sweet.

What struck me most about Dillard’s was that everyone there seemed to know everyone else and the owners and employees greeted each person who sat down to eat. I’d say, in this Californian’s opinion, that Dillard’s Bar-B-Q is a great example of that legendary Southern hospitality with pretty good food to boot.

Dillard’s Bar-B-Q
3921 Fayetteville Street, Durham
Open Tuesday through Saturday
From $3.75 for a bar-b-q sandwich to $10.99 for seafood gumbo.
My entrée with two sides and hush puppies was $4.99 at lunch.

Reviewed 12.9.09.


  • sarah (ghost world) said:

    to me, redundant soggy chicken skin and ‘cheesy tendrils’ are not going to send me running to dillards, but . . . to each their own :)


    TSQ75 replies on December 17th, 2009 at 2:52 pm:

    why say anything at all? snob


    LM replies on December 18th, 2009 at 12:03 am:

    Well put TSQ75!!


    sarah (ghost world) replies on December 18th, 2009 at 12:14 pm:

    i didn’t mean that to be snobby — just a dissenting opinion as to what different people like! my husband, for example, would be ALL OVER cheesy tendrils. i appreciated the honest and colorful review, and apologize if my comment came off the wrong way.

    burgeoningfoodie replies on December 21st, 2009 at 2:53 pm:

    Because it’s a comment board and they can say what the moderators will allow. That and they put a smiley face to show no malice.. at least that is how I intended it.


  • judas_escargot said:

    But how is the barbeque? The macaroni and cheese looks good, at any rate.


    MEZ replies on December 17th, 2009 at 3:29 pm:

    Hopefully, someone else will fill you in on the barbecue! Being an active loather of mustard, a mustard-based sauce is not something I want to try. Plus, I’m certainly no barbecue expert like others in the area!


    jw replies on December 17th, 2009 at 5:14 pm:

    Dillard’s barbecue is delicious. I first tried it at a Durham Bulls game, assuming that it, like most ballpark food, would be terrible. And as a native North Carolinian (albeit a Charlottean), I thought there was something seriously wrong with mustard barbecue in NC. If there is, I don’t care, because it was good. Really good. The mustard isn’t all that strong, and it provides a richer flavor than the kinds of vinegar-based sauces more common in NC. That said, it’s plenty tangy and has a nice kick to it. The meat itself isn’t nearly as good as Allen & Son, but if you’re going to Dillard’s, it’s because you want to get a different sauce, and the meat is plenty good for that purpose. Get a sandwich with slaw and smile.

    Incidentally, one of my favorite things about Bulls games the beer is of the same quality and same (if not lower) price as the beer across the street at Tyler’s. Or at least that was the case when I lived there.


  • gabefarkas said:

    For those like me who were wondering about the verse:
    “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”


  • Randy G said:

    Try the ribs!


  • Ben said:

    Dillard’s barbecue is excellent. It is south carolina style, with mustard, but the main ingredient is vinegar, so its much closer to a north carolina sauce than say a sweet kansas city sauce. They once had this carrot souffle that was scrumptious.


  • David said:

    I took an out of town to Dillard’s last year. We both loved our entrees (fried chin=cken for me, barbeque for her) but what really knocked us out was the carrot casserole..rich and sweet, almost like a pudding. Unforgettably delicious!!


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