CLT Dives on The Food Network

Because football season has not started yet (I refuse to watch the preseason), I spent most of Sunday afternoon watching a marathon of “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives” on the Food Network. I was captivated as host Guy Fieri took me on a tour of American barbecue joints, rib joints, burger joints, and hot dog joints. He even hit two Charlotte faves, the Penguin and Bar-B-Que King. At The Penguin, he and Chef Greg Auten (who knew the Penguin had a chef?) came up with a new creation that I instantly fell in love with–a corn dog stuffed with bacon and pimento cheese. Doesn’t that sound outstanding? I don’t think it’s on the menu, but I’ll be they’ll fix it for you if you ask. (By the way, here’s a link to Auten’s recipes for pimento cheese and black bean hummus–that’s two separate dishes, by the way.) The episode airs again August 17 at 8:30 p.m. and August 18 at 3:30 a.m.

I’ve been to the Bar-B-Que King before, but only once or twice. I think I’ll go again and check out the fried barbecue chicken. You read that right. Since 1959, the good folks at the King have been frying chicken, then drenching it in their secret-recipe barbecue sauce. It’s a little hot this week for a drive-in, but that is definitely going on my list.

Anyone out there have any favorite Charlotte-area dives? —R.T.

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