Wilber’s Barbecue, Goldsboro, N.C.

The Pit’s third barbecue heritage dinner on September 20 was devoted to honoring Wilber Shirley of Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro, N.C., for its 49 years in business and its outstanding contributions to the legacy of traditional North Carolina barbecue.

Wilber’s is among North Carolina’s best-known barbecue restaurants, due at least in part to its high-visibility location on Highway 70, one of eastern North Carolina’s busiest traffic arteries. For nearly five decades, fans of whole-hog barbecue, pit cooked over oak coals, have put Wilber’s near the top of the “must-stop” list.

Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Wilber Shirley, September 20, 2011

Guests included North Carolina’s First Gentleman, Bob Eaves (husband of Governor Beverly Perdue ),Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Myra Best of the governor’s office. The Pit’s executive chef, Darrell Brown, wowed the overflow crowd with his delicious and inventive appetizers, including twice-baked potatoes with smoked hog jowl bacon, scallions and pimento cheese; grilled ciabatta bread topped with bbq brisket and horseradish cream; and dried tomato/goat cheese bruschetta with spinach and red onions.

Wilber’s Barbecue, Goldsboro, NC

Wilber’s famous eastern North Carolina barbecue and sauce was the featured entree, along with his eastern-style barbecued chicken and well-loved potato salad, while The Pit provided salad, Brunswick stew and dessert.

The Pit is strongly committed to honoring and preserving the tradition of authentic North Carolina barbecue, pit cooked for hours over live coals. We could not do what we do today without barbecue pioneers such as Wilber Shirley having paved the way over the years, and it was a pleasure to recognize his many achievements through this special evening at our restaurant!