REVIEW: Pulliam’s Barbeque – Winston-Salem

You may have already seen the post we did on Pulliams in Winston-Salem and how Rachel Ray Magazine recognized them as the Best Hot Dog in the South. Well, we finally got a chance to try out their dogs and can confirm that they are worthy of that title (even if it is from Rachel Ray).

I jumped in the car with two of my buddies, Ron and Larry, and headed over to Winston-Salem to check out a record store that they heard had a good selection and grab a late lunch. On the trip over, I was selling the hell out of Pulliams because I had been wanting to try that dog ever since another friend, Doug Grimes, had recommended to me that I try it.

The menu at Pulliam’s Barbeque is pretty basic. You can get hot dogs or barbecue. I didn’t try the barbecue but Larry did. He said it was alright especially if you add a little bit Big Ed’s Hot Sauce to it but he didn’t go back for a second one. I was a little thrown off by the fact that they reserve space on their very limited menu for a barbecue sandwich with cheese. That combination just doesn’t sound right…especially in North Carolina. It is a combination that I can’t really fathom anywhere even though I am notorious for throwing cheese on about anything.

They don’t serve french fries like a lot of North Carolina’s infamous hot dog places. You can pick up a bag of chips to go along with it but I wouldn’t waste stomach space on chips because the dogs are so good.

If you are a old-school soda lover, you have just hit a gold-mine. Pulliams has a variety of old-school bottled sodas like Cheerwine, Sun Drop, RC Cola, NuGrape and Nehi in a few different flavors. Pulliams also serves beer and Coke if you aren’t trying to go with a retro dog. However, I like to take things back to my childhood so I grabbed a cold-ass bottle of Cheerwine out of the cooler. Cheerwine in the bottle is truly a North Carolina thing and one of the fondest things I remember about growing up.

One of my favorite things about Pulliams (obviously other than the dogs) was the tree trunk table that they had outside that you could eat it. This is the only table outside so if it is busy you might be out of luck. We got there a little late in the day so it wasn’t busy and we were able to land the stump. It was a beautiful day so sitting outside was perfect (except for a car wash directly next door which was a getting a lot of traffic the day we went).

I think their hot dog very close to  perfection. It is the classic Carolina style with chili, slaw, mustard and onions. Pulliam’s uses the classic North Carolina red dog which isn’t the prettiest wiener in the world but it makes for one helluva hot dog. Before the toppings are added to the dog, Pulliam’s brushes a good amount of butter onto the bun and then toasts it, basically to a char, on the grill before covering it with the classic Carolina toppings. The chili has a nice spice to it and the slaw is cool and crunchy. A lot of people like to add Big Ed’s Hot Sauce to the dog but I decided to stick with the way they normally serve it.

Pulliam’s is a 100-year-old place that is definitely worthwhile taking a road trip for if you are a hot dog lover and should be added on your places to eat in North Carolina. I’ve recently tried a few other legendary hot dog shacks across the state (reviews coming soon) and Pulliam’s is definitely winning so far in my book.


I am the founding blogger of Eat It, North Carolina. I started Eat It, North Carolina because I am always looking for awesome, local restaurants in different places around North Carolina but have never been able to find one place on the Internet that lists them.

I’m a recent graduate from East Carolina University & currently live in Greensboro. I like all types of food but am a sucker for Chinese and greasy spoons.

Charlie Brinson
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4 Responses to REVIEW: Pulliam’s Barbeque – Winston-Salem

  1. Doug Grimes says:

    I fully agree. Pulliam's is a special treat. Any business in existence for over 100 years stays in business for a reason. I'll just leave it at that and let others debate the "best of" game.

  2. Steven J. Austin says:

    As an international food and travel writer for almost 30 years, I can tell you that I would be happy if I knew my last meal on earth would be at Pulliams. I have going there for 30 years, whenever I am in town. It is perfection in every way. I knew big Ed back in the day, and the family runs the place in his honor. My favorite food on the planet. Steven (NYC native living in Mississippi)

    • Charlie Brinson says:

      Thanks for sharing Steven! Glad to know we aren't the only ones who think this. Do you have any other places across the state that we should check out?

      • Steven J. Austin says:

        Charlie: Thanks for the note. I haven’t lived in NC since 1991, so I can’t recommend other places. However, I imagine Parker’s BBQ is still in operation in Wilson, NC, and I always enjoyed that spot. I was back in Winston-Salem a couple of weeks ago and went to Pulliams as I always do. My only regret is that I ate only 2 hot dogs and 2 BBQ sandwiches while standing at the counter. I should have had more! The cool thing is that the following week I set two ‘personal best’ record lifts at my gym. So I can only conclude that Pulliams is the ultimate training food!!! Best, Steven

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