A LETTER TO BUXTON HALL BARBECUE
Dear Buxton Hall Barbecue,
What must one do to secure a Turkey Day Savory Pie, 12 in.?
Would you accept my first-born? He/she/they is yet to exist but I will consecrate the pact in Bojangles sausage gravy. If progeny cannot be produced, would you consider my 1996 Honda Accord? It too dreams of roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, buttery mashed potatoes, green beans, peas, and herbed hog gravy blanketed under a local cornmeal crust. As an oft-deemed “unicorn” of Asheville—one born back in the day at Memorial Mission Hospital—I value the espirit de corps shared with your ground maize.
Credentials are forthcoming: I was a regular at the various iterations of the late night dining services at the Admiral. The “what are you feeling?” menu—pick a protein, a price point, a couple of emotions, a world leader or two (Mao Zedong was my fav)—in particular holds a special fondness in my memories. One late night I asked Chef Maykuth for “something with foie.” He laid several seared slices of the Hudson Valley hunkiness atop a three-layer slice of lavender and vanilla butter cream cake, drizzling the foie juice everywhere with the clumsy, haphazard skill of a pubescent Jackson Pollock discovering Penthouse. It was one of the greatest things I’ve ever eaten. “Finger-banging an angel!” was how a friend described the goat cheese chicken sandwich. We hollered, “Holy fuck, holy fuck, holy fuck!” when we ate a special one-off, hot and spicy kimchi banh-mi sandwich—our mouths hollowed out by hallowed heat.
I was there for the too-dense, too-chewy ramen at Ben’s Tune Up, disappointed by the administrative fallout, the original vision never realized. But I tasted its successor at those sublime Punk Wok nights at MG Road, dishes that could’ve bested Mission Chinese Food. My first taste of pulled pork at Buxton Hall was accompanied by a special request delivered to our table by Chef Moss himself: a plate of crispy pork skin with just enough fat still attached. I’ve had comparable pig only once before in the tropical mountains of the legendary Guavate, Puerto Rico. In the early days, as the Buxton menu went through adjustments, I was lucky to order a pound of the S.C. hash to take home for, like, eight dollars. (I don’t order it anymore because y’all don’t serve enough for $14.97 even though I fucking love it.) I crowed about the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich and was delighted by its decoration by national publications.
Maybe it’s best to simply list possessions you might covet? An HBO GO password. My neighbor’s dormant orchid of which I serve as caretaker. Baby pictures. A DVD copy of “Winged Migration.” Ground cardamom. A blue lacrosse ball perfect for self-massaging your bum. Stickers of Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson scissoring. That time I found a piece of dried ramen that perfectly resembled a galloping Arabian horse which would’ve been perfect for r/mildlyinteresting but was discovered during the AOL era so never did nothing with it…
I was debating going to Golden Corral but I think a pie would be better. A pie is joy. A perfect piece of savory pie is pure joy.
Répondez, s’il vous plaît, at your convenience.
With warmest wishes,