Mighty fine 'cue

July 30, 2012 

Some barbecue places (often called “joints”) come and go. Wilber’s of Goldsboro has come and stayed. Wilberdean Shirley has been serving his delicious ’cue and hush puppies and slaw and potatoes and what-all for half a century, an anniversary last week which he marked by serving barbecue, hush puppies, slaw, potatoes and what-all.

The truth is, Wilber’s success, which has now moved into what you might call culinary landmark status, is pretty simple. The fellow puts on a good feed and nobody leaves hungry and in the barbecue tradition, it’s not all that expensive.

But it can be a status symbol. Gus Gusler of the Player’s Retreat in Raleigh has his own extensive menu, but when he held a charity golf tournament last year, he considered it a point of pride that “dinner came from Wilber’s.” That boast has been made in mansions and at church picnics.

That’s appropriate. A bite of Wilber’s barbecue is said by some to be ... well, heavenly.

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