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 SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE RECOGNIZES FULLER'S OLD FASHIONED BAR-B-Q AS A TOP STOP ALONG INTERSTATE 95

 

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A plate loaded with food from the buffet sits on a table at Fuller's Old Fashioned Bar-B-Q in Lumberton. Fuller's Old Fashioned Bar-B-Q has been named one of the South's Top 5 Interstate eateries by Southern Living magazine.

 

LUMBERTON - National food blogger Robert Moss was looking for barbecue.
He found a little slice of paradise in Lumberton - with a generous helping of fried cornbread on the side.
Moss, a regular contributor to Southern Living magazine's "Daily South" section, recently named Fuller's Old Fashioned Bar-B-Q one of his Top 5 "Great Interstate Highway Barbecue Joints." The reaction, including phone calls and emails from across the country, took restaurant owner Eric Locklear by surprise.
"My phone's been blowing up for the past few days," Locklear said during an after-lunch break.
Even when the lunch crowd leaves, there's still a steady stream of customers drawn from nearby Interstate 95 to Fuller's promise of "home cooking - and plenty of it."
"My mom always said, 'If you're going to cook, cook with your heart,'" he said. "Treat people like family, and feed them like family. Never serve up something you wouldn't eat yourself."
That attitude, and quality, is what led Moss to choose Fuller's from an interstate ocean of what Moss called "big blue sign" dining. Most barbecue restaurants, even the good ones, can afford to pay for that coveted spot on the blue "Food - Next Exit" signs. Fast food chains generally gobble up the available spots, leaving places such as Fuller's unseen to drivers zipping past.
Moss offered five spots in the South less than a mile from the exit. Fuller's and Carolina Barbecue in Statesville were the only spots in the Carolinas to make the cut.
"I never met him," Locklear said of Moss. "He didn't let anyone know he was coming, so we take it as a compliment that he enjoyed his visit.
"But that's the way we like to treat people here. So many spots on the highway, you're a customer. Here you're like family."
It's been that way since Fuller and Delores Locklear opened a small barbecue sandwich shop on N.C. 211 in the mid '80s to augment their farming income. Ironically, that shop wouldn't have made the Top 5 list, because it was more than a mile from the interstate.
"It was a few miles down the road, but it was a place all the locals knew," Eric Locklear said.
"Everything was fresh from the community. Mama and Daddy put everything we had into the shop, and they did the cooking. Our first buffet table was bout four feet long with three or four sides."
Things are a bit different now. The new Fuller's, which opened in the '90s about a quarter mile south of I-95, boasts a 40-item all-you-can eat buffet, with parking for tour buses.
Most of the recipes, however, haven't changed. Moss praised Fuller's for "local Lumbee Indian specialties, like collards and round, flat discs of cornbread."
Put the two together and you have another local delicacy: collard sandwiches.
"We have the makings for a real good collard sandwich right there," Locklear said. "But there's a lot more to try as well.
"It's always fun to see people come in for the first time and just stare at the buffet. We've had people say they hadn't seen some of this food since they left home."
Which makes Fuller's a sort of home away from home for travelers. It's a reputation the restaurant tries to maintain.
"Folks can come in off the interstate and relax," he said. "It's not a place to just eat and run. There are plenty of those already.
"We have a place to sit back and enjoy your meal, then leave relaxed. You may be full - I hope you're full - but you're relaxed."
Staff writer Chick Jacobs can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 486-3515.

  • The sweet tea was delish! Friendly staff, clean bathrooms and good food. Something for everyone...

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    • Joy M.
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  •     ...their chicken is actually better than KFC and the fried fish is a work of art.

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    • Seth S.
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  •     Wow, I'm stuffed. Incredible fried food with excellent flavor. Would definitely recommend!

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    • Brooks Y
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  •   Wonderful service from the staff! The hostess greeted us with a friendly hello and a smile, the cashier was super sweet, and our waitress was more attentive than many fine dining experiences we've had.  

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    • C M
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  • Wonderful fried chicken- super moist and the crust was light and flakey. Good, country food....  

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    • Cheryl M
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  •     Dad gum good buffet. Good NC BBQ with vinegar pepper sauce. Extra credit in my book because they have fried chicken gizzards. Wonderful fried chicken. First time I've ever seen chitterlings on a buffet.

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    • Rodger Y
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  • Great fried chicken and mashed potatoes with the best beef gravy I have ever tasted. An unbelievable value, too. 

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    • Brendan W.
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  • We stopped here for lunch on a road trip down to Charleston.  Had friends who recommended it and we wanted something close to I-95.  This was exactly what we wanted - no frills, inexpensive down home bbq.

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    • Christine P.
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  • My absolute favorites were the mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, bbq chicken, hush puppies, and biscuits.

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    • L C.
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  •   Stopped here while traveling to Florida on I95. Wanted something different than the standard chain fare that is usually right off the interstate. This place fit the bill. Plenty of locals, friendly service, buffet with plenty of choice, easy to get to.

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    • Rodger

  • I love this little southern country buffet, the service is excellent and employees very friendly....

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    • Amber S.
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  •     Traveling up 95 and wanted to get some BBQ. This buffet we great. The fried chicken and fish were some of the best I have had.

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    • Terry M.
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  • Peach Cobbler to die for as was banana pudding...

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    • Char C.
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  • This place has some delicous pulled pork.  I wanted some real North Carolina style BBQ and this was the right place to get it.

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    • Steven R.
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  •     What can I say? We were in town for two nights and we ate at Fuller's both nights! The price is great for a buffet and the staff is wonderful. Smiles and hospitality!! The food was all fresh and in a party of 5-6? There was not one thing that anyone did not like. The second night they had fried oysters that you ordered and they brought out fresh to the table. The sweet tea and tea/lemonade was perfect! Oh how I miss southern sweet tea! Let's see what we tried....mashed potatoes - fresh and WONDERFUL! Chicken and Dumplings, baked apples, cabbage, fried chicken, baked chicken, fried oysters, bbq pork, chitlins, rice, mud pie, brownies, pecan pie, bread pudding, strawberry cake....I think that about does it! This will definitely be a go to spot whenever we visit!

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    • Alison
    •  
  •   Did you know Fullers BBQ Fayetteville is #18 out 441 on TripAdvisor for top restaurant in Fayetteville NC!!! And the only buffet restaurant on the top 20 list.  WOW!!!

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    • Karen
    •  
  • This is the a true down home, back woods, back in the old days soul food southern cookin'....

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    • Ada M.
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  • Worth the stop for the fried chicken and sweet potatoes!! Easy to get to, right off of I-95.

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    • Melissa F.

  •   Beef tips and gravy with mashed potatoes was so yummy....

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    • Danielle W.
    •  
  •  I was very impressed with the crab cakes; not only was the crab cake itself perfectly prepared, but it was then stuffed in an actual crab shell..

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    • Geoff L.
    •  
  • The baked chicken was perfect, not dry in the least....

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    • Rochelle S.
    •  
  • Friendly service but the food made the place! I had to check to see if they had kidnaped my Granmaw and hid her in their kitchen....

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    • Jessica F.
    •  
  • It was wonderful.....Tasted just like you cooked it at home...

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    • Jennifer H.
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  •   This was absolutely excellent. Very surprised on the food quality considering it is a buffet. The waitress we had was absolutely outstanding.

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    • Dustin E.
  • I love the biscuits/Grandma Molasses with the fried chicken....

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    • Ran Girl A.
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  • This place is just off I-95 and is worth a trip if you like North Carolina barbecue and/or country cooking...

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    • Fred B.
    •  
  • Really nice, friendly place! Food is the real deal. Delicious, food and plentiful....

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    • Billie S.
    •  
  • This food is great!! I do not live in the area any more but I when I get a chance I drive down 95 and enjoy home cooking....

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    • Kellie R.
    •  
  • Standouts were the greens, white beans, okra, and cabbage....

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    • John S.
    •  
  • Overall, the food was very tasty, especially the pulled pork with the vinegar-based flavor.  Good stuff!

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    • Lou M.
    •  
See all
  • The sweet tea was delish! Friendly staff, clean bathrooms and good food. Something for everyone...

    Author image
    • Joy M.
    •  
  •     ...their chicken is actually better than KFC and the fried fish is a work of art.

    Author image
    • Seth S.
    •  
  •     Wow, I'm stuffed. Incredible fried food with excellent flavor. Would definitely recommend!

    Author image
    • Brooks Y
    •  
  •   Wonderful service from the staff! The hostess greeted us with a friendly hello and a smile, the cashier was super sweet, and our waitress was more attentive than many fine dining experiences we've had.  

    Author image
    • C M
    •  
  • Wonderful fried chicken- super moist and the crust was light and flakey. Good, country food....  

    Author image
    • Cheryl M
    •  
  •     Dad gum good buffet. Good NC BBQ with vinegar pepper sauce. Extra credit in my book because they have fried chicken gizzards. Wonderful fried chicken. First time I've ever seen chitterlings on a buffet.

    Author image
    • Rodger Y
    •  
  • Great fried chicken and mashed potatoes with the best beef gravy I have ever tasted. An unbelievable value, too. 

    Author image
    • Brendan W.
    •  
  • We stopped here for lunch on a road trip down to Charleston.  Had friends who recommended it and we wanted something close to I-95.  This was exactly what we wanted - no frills, inexpensive down home bbq.

    Author image
    • Christine P.
    •  
  • My absolute favorites were the mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, bbq chicken, hush puppies, and biscuits.

    Author image
    • L C.
    •  
  •   Stopped here while traveling to Florida on I95. Wanted something different than the standard chain fare that is usually right off the interstate. This place fit the bill. Plenty of locals, friendly service, buffet with plenty of choice, easy to get to.

    Author image
    • Rodger

  • I love this little southern country buffet, the service is excellent and employees very friendly....

    Author image
    • Amber S.
    •  
  •     Traveling up 95 and wanted to get some BBQ. This buffet we great. The fried chicken and fish were some of the best I have had.

    Author image
    • Terry M.
    •  
  • Peach Cobbler to die for as was banana pudding...

    Author image
    • Char C.
    •  
  • This place has some delicous pulled pork.  I wanted some real North Carolina style BBQ and this was the right place to get it.

    Author image
    • Steven R.
    •  
  •     What can I say? We were in town for two nights and we ate at Fuller's both nights! The price is great for a buffet and the staff is wonderful. Smiles and hospitality!! The food was all fresh and in a party of 5-6? There was not one thing that anyone did not like. The second night they had fried oysters that you ordered and they brought out fresh to the table. The sweet tea and tea/lemonade was perfect! Oh how I miss southern sweet tea! Let's see what we tried....mashed potatoes - fresh and WONDERFUL! Chicken and Dumplings, baked apples, cabbage, fried chicken, baked chicken, fried oysters, bbq pork, chitlins, rice, mud pie, brownies, pecan pie, bread pudding, strawberry cake....I think that about does it! This will definitely be a go to spot whenever we visit!

    Author image
    • Alison
    •  
  •   Did you know Fullers BBQ Fayetteville is #18 out 441 on TripAdvisor for top restaurant in Fayetteville NC!!! And the only buffet restaurant on the top 20 list.  WOW!!!

    Author image
    • Karen
    •  
  • This is the a true down home, back woods, back in the old days soul food southern cookin'....

    Author image
    • Ada M.
    •  
  • Worth the stop for the fried chicken and sweet potatoes!! Easy to get to, right off of I-95.

    Author image
    • Melissa F.

  •   Beef tips and gravy with mashed potatoes was so yummy....

    Author image
    • Danielle W.
    •  
  •  I was very impressed with the crab cakes; not only was the crab cake itself perfectly prepared, but it was then stuffed in an actual crab shell..

    Author image
    • Geoff L.
    •  
  • The baked chicken was perfect, not dry in the least....

    Author image
    • Rochelle S.
    •  
  • Friendly service but the food made the place! I had to check to see if they had kidnaped my Granmaw and hid her in their kitchen....

    Author image
    • Jessica F.
    •  
  • It was wonderful.....Tasted just like you cooked it at home...

    Author image
    • Jennifer H.
    •  
  •   This was absolutely excellent. Very surprised on the food quality considering it is a buffet. The waitress we had was absolutely outstanding.

    Author image
    • Dustin E.
  • I love the biscuits/Grandma Molasses with the fried chicken....

    Author image
    • Ran Girl A.
    •  
  • This place is just off I-95 and is worth a trip if you like North Carolina barbecue and/or country cooking...

    Author image
    • Fred B.
    •  
  • Really nice, friendly place! Food is the real deal. Delicious, food and plentiful....

    Author image
    • Billie S.
    •  
  • This food is great!! I do not live in the area any more but I when I get a chance I drive down 95 and enjoy home cooking....

    Author image
    • Kellie R.
    •  
  • Standouts were the greens, white beans, okra, and cabbage....

    Author image
    • John S.
    •  
  • Overall, the food was very tasty, especially the pulled pork with the vinegar-based flavor.  Good stuff!

    Author image
    • Lou M.
    •  
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