Brb, running to Kinston, North Carolina.

By Meghan Overdeep
March 1, 2019

North Carolinians know a thing or two about good barbecue. So, when there’s a barbecue dish that gets residents of the Tar Heel State drooling, we come running.

For those of you who don’t know, King's BBQ Restaurant in Kinston is an eastern-style barbecue institution. What began in 1936 as a filling station and convenience store on the King family farm, has since grown to include four bustling locations—three in Kinston and one in nearby Snow Hill. And the thing that keeps customers coming back for more? A one-of-a-kind sandwich called the Pig in a Puppy: delicious vinegar-sauced pulled pork and coleslaw packed into a hushpuppy bun.

Yes, really.

You might want to wear a bib when you chow down on this mouthwatering sandwich creation, the brainchild of employee Faye Lewis who ran the restaurant’s Piggly Wiggly outpost in the 1980s.

“Faye Lewis thought up the Pig in a Puppy,” Joe Hargitt, the restaurant’s owner and general manager, told Our State. “I saw it for myself.”

“Faye took the cornmeal and balled it up to make a bun, deep fried the whole thing just right, cut it in half, and put the barbecue and slaw inside it,” Hargitt says. “I went back and told Mr. Wilbur, ‘Man, you gotta see this thing. It’s become the hottest thing on the menu.’”

The other thing King’s is known for is their collard greens. In fact, they supply more than 100 cases of them a week to local restaurants that don’t do them as well.

So, whether you go with the collard greens, the Pig in a Puppy sandwich, or both (!), if you find yourself in the neighborhood of a King’s BBQ, make sure you’ve got plenty of room in your stomach, and maybe an extra shirt in case of spillage.