Neighborhood Eats: Doc Brown's BBQ

Doc Brown's BBQ in Candler, North Carolina, in April 2018. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

History is woven into the fabric of Doc Brown's BBQ in Candler. Owner David Brown (AKA Doc Brown) says nearly every dish on the menu is rooted in a family recipe.

"The potato salad is my grandmother's, the baked beans come from my aunt ... The macaroni salad is my mother-in-law's," Brown explained.

The family connection in the recipes offers a little taste of history in each bite. But Brown's love of the past goes beyond cooking as he has a PHD in history.

"So, I was sitting in the basement, looking at my rolled-up diplomas and wondering what I was going to do," Brown recalled.

His answer was to start a food truck in the summer of 2013 and later a permanent brick and mortar home in Candler.

From PHD to "BBQ" -- Brown is serious about doctoring his food. He says his restaurant has no freezer, no fryer, and no microwave.

"It's an identity. It helps us be cognizant of the food we make, of how we make it, the way we make it everyday," he explained.

Cook Mark Faust said he knows a lot of places in the mountains have food like Doc Brown's, but argues they have their own spin on southern staples.

"David has all of these old recipes from different people, and it's like, back in the day recipes are hard to get unless you know where you're getting them or who you're talking to," Faust said.

Among the barbecue standards -- pulled pork, spare ribs, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese -- you can find something a little different, like fried cabbage, bourbon apple sauce, and barbecue tempeh.

Doc Brown's BBQ also offers slaw flights, where customers can choose four out of six different varieties of slaw to sample.

Brown said his restaurant is very Candler-oriented. Painted on the exterior is a portrait of Mt. Pisgah, the dominate landmark in the area. You can even get your ribs in a "Candler glaze."

Doc Brown's BBQ is located at 320 Smokey Park Highway in Candler. They are open Tuesday - Saturday from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon - 6 p.m.

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