This barbecue spot in Granville is one of the area’s best-kept secrets.
Images courtesy of J&D BAR-B-Q
For North Carolina native John White, becoming an expert barbecue chef was just as likely as being served a tall glass of sweet tea on a hot day down south. It was always in the cards. He went to culinary school, and he’s worked as a professional chef for almost 20 years in all manner of kitchens—from running high-end restaurants to managing university food service.
White and his wife moved to Morgantown a few years back, and now they serve heaping plates of barbecue at their restaurant, J&D Bar-B-Q on Dents Run Road in Granville. We caught up with White to find out a little more about the place, and here’s what he had to say:
Q: Tell us about your food.
John White: When you’re working in other people’s kitchens like I have for so many years, you’re restricted to cooking what they decide. Every now and then, though, they give you an open day to cook whatever you want. Whenever that happened for me, I’ve always picked barbecue, and whoever I was cooking for went crazy for it. When I retired from other people’s kitchens, I knew I wanted to get out there and do my own things. I like creating things. I make everything in-house—all the sauces, rubs, salads—everything is made with my personal recipes.
Q: Why did you choose Granville?
JW: We looked at a few different places in the area, but the problem was always parking until we saw the Granville location. We might be off the beaten path, but we’ve developed loyal customers here who call us a “hidden gem.” The city council folks eat here, the entire police force visits pretty much every week, and we’ve gotten to know the locals. We’ve managed to survive a pandemic in this location, and a little more foot traffic would be great. We’re hoping that things just get better from here.
Q: What makes you different from the other barbecue spots around?
JW: I use original barbecue recipes from the south. It’s not crazy stuff. You’re not going to eat mango ribs here or anything strange. We just do good southern barbecue. You get what you pay for—our plates are very large, and our prices are affordable.
Q: Help us pick. What should we eat first?
JW: The answer comes down to your preference, but you really can’t go wrong. Being a redneck from North Carolina, I’m always going to choose the pulled pork. But surprisingly, one of our best sellers is the catfish. If you come by and see seven police cars sitting in our parking lot, you can bet there are 14 pieces of fish on their plates. People love our catfish.
J&D Bar-B-Q also runs specials each week. The best way to keep up with those specials is to follow them on Facebook. White says they usually post the week’s menu on Sunday.