Despite living in Knightdale, it's been quite awhile since I ventured over to Knightdale Seafood & BBQ. The owners must have been visionaries, because the restaurant first opened in 1988, quite a bit ahead of the growth spurt that Knightdale is now experiencing. The current building opened in 2001.
The outside is a somewhat sterile brick building, typical of many local shopping centers. Inside, however, the place has a nice small town restaurant atmosphere with big, wooden booths. Old advertising signs dot the walls, and with fish netting and patio lights, the attached oyster bar feels like a beach hangout.
The staff was very friendly and attentive, adding to the feeling that this is a family run establishment. I got the feeling that if I showed up more frequently than once every two years, they'd probably greet me by name.
I ordered my standard rib and pulled pork combo with mashed potatoes and okra on the side.
When my food came out, it had a nice, smoky barbecue aroma. I tried the pork first. I was a bit disappointed that they serve chopped pork instead of pulled. I've found that that chopped is usually a bit too fine for my liking and has a tendency to dry out quickly. Not to mention to psychological hurdles posed by looking like tuna. After tasting it, though, my concerns were eased. The meat was nice and moist, and had a subtle smoky and peppery flavor.
The ribs were good, too... meaty with just enough fat to make them tasty. The meat was moist and pink and had a good amount of smoke flavor. For the most part, it pulled cleanly from the bone. The only downside was the sauce. It was sweet, but not spicy or smoky and appeared to be brushed on as an afterthought, where a bit of cooked-on charring would have added flavor and character. Much of the sauce flavor was tomato and brown sugar, which failed to enhance the flavor of the ribs. On the other hand, the sauce didn't overwhelm the ribs, either.
Overall, Knightdale Seafood & BBQ is a decent place to grab a meal. The food isn't my absolute favorite, but it's good and the reasonable prices and friendly, courteous staff make it a welcoming place to eat.
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