The Barbecue Restaurant Guy Fieri Says Was A Favorite From Diners Drive-Ins And Dives - Exclusive

Guy Fieri's signature Food Network show, "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," is iconic for many reasons. For example, it's the platform that put the metaphorical idea of Flavortown on the map. It boosted the popularity of the mayor of Flavortown, Fieri himself, to stratospheric heights. Along the way, Triple D has introduced Americans to thousands of restaurants across the nation — and mostly, they're the kind of burger-flipping, deep-frying, saucy establishments that might have been otherwise overlooked by glitzy television shows. 

Needless to say, throughout his exploration, this celebrity chef has eaten a lot of food (especially barbecue) at a lot of different places. So, when he mentioned one of his "favorite barbecue joints we ever did on Triple D"  in a recent exclusive interview with Tasting Table, we had to know a bit more. As it turns out, not only did Bar-B-Q King of Charlotte, North Carolina, appear on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," but Fieri also declared it a certified classic when he chose it for Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate."

Why does Bar-B-Q King rule?

To impress a man whose job it is to eat loads of barbecue, the food has to come first and foremost. Bar-B-Q King's specialty is traditional Carolina style, which means pork shoulder and vinegar-based sauce. While talking with Tasting Table, Guy Fieri pointed out the sauce as a particular sticking point, citing the extreme tang as something that makes "your mouth start to warm." Bar-B-Q King relies heavily on its sauce game, topping it over pork that's smoked for seven hours without any additional seasoning or flavors.

If barbecue doesn't fix your hankerings, you can visit this shop without worry. It's known for dishing up plenty of other Southern classics, including BBQ-dipped fried chicken, po'boys, shakes of all sorts, and hand-fried hush puppies. But it's not just the food that makes this barbecue restaurant an All-American all-star. The restaurant has a history: Its kitchens have been cooking for Charlotte since 1959, with the same family working the joint throughout all those years. Plus, it still operates a drive-in model, with press-to-order two-way speakers and bellhops to run the food. These days, you're sure to find a lot of diners and dives, but a true drive-in? That's a rare sight.