Excited about Eating by Dora Hiers

Yep, you read that right. Today’s Excited about Eating post was written by Dora! I gave Ernie the day off. Plus, he doesn’t like to talk about himself, so I’m going to do it for him. 🙂

Since we’re all probably rolling from eating too much over the holidays, I decided on a different type of post for today. You all know how much my guy likes to eat. But did you know Ernie’s a certified Kansas City BBQ judge? Many Saturdays during the season he travels to judge BBQ events. When he exceeds a four-hour radius from our house, we usually make a weekend of it.


But he’s also a backyard smoker. When he cranks up that smoker, I swear our son in DC can smell the ribs. Yum! 



Over the last couple of years, he’s been pining for a new smoker, one that doesn’t require constant babysitting and feeding of wood chips. He finally decided on a pellet smoker. Load it with pellets, turn it on, put your meat in and voila! The smoker does all the work for you. Well, almost. 🙂


So this year Santa bought him a pellet smoker for Christmas. 

This puppy arrived in a semi! 500 pounds of smoker, yet-to-be-installed, a few hundred nuts and bolts, and bags and bags of pellets.

Thankfully, Little Man volunteered to help assemble. 🙂

Little Man even read the directions for Grandpa.

And he volunteered to crawl into those hard-to-reach spots.

What’s a lot of work with no play?





The assembly process was a family affair. My part involved a camera. 🙂

Hopefully, we’ll enjoy the goodies coming from this smoker as much as the last one. But no matter. We’ll treasure the memories just the same. ❤
What was your most treasured gift this year?

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This edition of Excited about Eating covers McKethan Brothers BBQ Restaurant in Boone, North Carolina.

McKethan Brothers BBQ serves smoked meats, homemade sauces, and southern sides. This family owned BBQ joint offers all the classics including baby back and St. Louis style ribs, chicken, chopped pork, and turkey.
Dora here. We’d been itching to try this place since discovering it over July 4th, but they were closed. It’s a bit off the beaten track and shares the same driveway with another business. Don’t be alarmed by the empty seats. As usual, we opened the restaurant. By the time we left, they were filling up fast.

We shared the Brothers Sampler Platter, a huge tray of pulled pork, chicken, turkey, St. Louis ribs, and baby back ribs with mac and cheese, Brunswick stew and a corn muffin. Huge, full of flavor, and a great example of southern BBQ! The star of this plate was the baby back ribs, juicy, tender, and fall off the bone. The St. Louis ribs were a close second, full of that smoky flavor that you look for in BBQ. The chicken and pork were great with the turkey being a little on the dry side. The Brunswick stew was outstanding with all of the normal ingredients found in the stew plus a little heat.

Brothers Sampler Platter
Sides – Mac & cheese and Brunswick Stew

Dora here. Delish!! We could’ve eaten for two days on this meal! The baby backs were killer, but I’m not a fan of St. Louis style ribs, so Ernie got lucky. I ate most of the turkey myself, so I was glad hubby thought it dry. lol. Love the zing that hit going down with the pork. If we lived here, we’d be a weekly visitor. Probably more than that in the winter because I’d order a whole bowl of the Brunswick stew on the off days. 


5 forks all the way!


What’s your favorite BBQ restaurant?

McKethan Brothers Barbecue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

For this edition of Excited about Eating we visited Smoke Modern Barbeque located in Huntersville’s Birkdale Village. 


This ultra-modern restaurant is not your normal BBQ joint. With the contemporary, industrial style decor, you would expect a much higher priced menu.

Now I like to consider myself somewhat of a BBQ connoisseur, with my BBQ hobby of judging KCBS events. So when I visit a BBQ restaurant, I expect tournament quality meat, cooked to perfection with the right amount of smoke. I was not disappointed at this restaurant.

I planned to share with our grandson, so I could sample a variety of meats. I chose the Smokin’ Q Combo with pork spareribs, beef brisket, and smoked sausage with sides of mac n cheese and my favorite, tater tots. The ribs were perfect, not fall-off-the-bone overcooked, like so many BBQ restaurants, but with the right amount of pull and full of juice. The brisket was lean and tender, smoky, and definitely not dry. The sausage was a little spicy and full of favor.  

Smokin’ Q Combo – 3 meats, Ribs, Sausage & Brisket

Dora here. A little spicy? Yowzers! That sausage was pop-your-eyeball spicy! Phew! One bite and our grandkiddo nibbled on the brisket and ribs instead. lol. 


Wow! So many items to choose from on their menu, it was difficult to pick just one. The Summer Strawberry Salad was just the right choice for lunch. With two of my favorite fruits, strawberries and pear sticks, how could I go wrong? Piled high with grilled chicken (shrimp was also an option), almonds and melt-on-your-tongue goat cheese and coated with balsamic vinaigrette, this salad was light and fresh. Delish!  

Summer Strawberry Salad

Can you believe that even with three of us eating only two meals, we still brought home two boxes of leftovers?


No debates over this, folks. 5 forks all the way!

Click to add a blog post for Smoke Modern BBQ on Zomato