In season five’s final episodes, Vivian visited two well-known barbecue restaurants in Eastern North Carolina:
in Kinston. At Parker’s, Vivian dined on chicken livers. At Kings, she took away an order of “pig and a puppy,” a barbecue and coleslaw-stuffed hush puppy. If you are headed to eastern North Carolina this holiday season, you should stop by these chopped pork landmarks. Here’s a little more history on each and where you will find them:
The first location of Parker’s Barbecue opened in Wilson, N.C. in 1946. Billy Parker’s uncles opened the original location and then his father and grandfather open a location in Greenville in the 1970s. While the Wilson location was sold to longtime employees, the three locations in Greenville are still owned by members of the Parker family. After graduating from East Carolina University, Billy Parker decided not to go to law school so he could work alongside dad and grandfather. The restaurants are known for their whole hog barbecue, fried chicken and seafood.
Parker’s Barbecue has three locations:
• 3109 S. Memorial Dr., Greenville, NC 27834, 252-756-2388
• 2020 Greenville Blvd SE, Greenville, NC 27858, 252-758-9215
• 1801 Arlington Blvd., Greenville, NC 27858, 252-364-2826
Kings BBQ started in 1936 as a country store and filling station in Kinston. Two years later, Wilbur King Sr. started serving food; by 1947, he had added whole hog barbecue to the menu. The current owner, Joe Hargitt, was a high school classmate of Wilbur King III, who helped him get a job at the family restaurant. At 17, Joe started as a busboy, graduated to waiter and manager, and eventually oversaw Kings BBQ’s takeout locations for 16 years before buying the company from the King family in 2004. Kings serve at least 500 pigs in a puppy, 8,000 pounds of pork, 6,000 pounds of chicken, and 1,500 pounds of collards per week.
Kings BBQ has four locations:
• 405 E. New Bern Road, Kinston, NC 28504, 252-527-2101
• 910 W. Vernon Ave., Kinston, NC 28504, 252-527-1661
• 2405 North Queen St., Kinston, NC 28504, 252-523-3303
• 416 Kingold Blvd., Snow Hill, NC 28580, 252-747-0126