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“Get while it lasts!”

Shemwell's Barbecue Downtown
Ranked #1 of 6 Restaurants in Cairo
Cuisines: Barbecue
Good for: Local cuisine, Child-friendly
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Child-friendly
Asheville, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Get while it lasts!”
Reviewed 24 October 2012

Shemwells has been serving barbeque over 80 years in Cairo. Their pork sandwiches and vinegar based sauce are legendary. Regrettably, Cairo, and Shemwells with it, seem to be slowly deteriorating. Visiting last month, it was still good, but seems to have lost something. The atmosphere is still "greasy spoon." It is still worth a go, but I recommend the take-out option.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Gary W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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40 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    21
    9
    3
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    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Hopkinsville, Kentucky
1 review
“best bbq in town?”
Reviewed 28 August 2012

This had to be the worst excuse for bbq I have ever had.I had heard people talking about how good this place was so we gave it a try and after tasting the bbq I had to laugh (very dry pork on toast).If you consider this good bbq you should get out more often

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
Thank banded72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jackson, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“It's just bizarre.”
Reviewed 21 May 2012

I know everybody thinks that the bbq in their own part of the world is the only real barbecue but a dinky little sandwich of sliced pork on white bread with that strange sauce is not normal. It's kind of good if you're really hungry but, on the other hand, it's not enough if you're really hungry. You people who refer to it as "southern" have obviously never had bbq from the real south.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank feralkitty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“At least we can laugh about it”
Reviewed 30 July 2011

This is the grossest thing we have ever eaten! 4 of us went there and the food was inedible for all of us. And their sauces - eeeeewwwww!!! So we decided to have a sauce making contest with the condiments we had - apple vinegar sauce, hot vinegar sauce, ketchup, sugar, salt. (I won!!!) but even my homemade sauce was not enough to get past the 2 strips of dried meat on a flattened bunt bun on a dinky styrofoam plate! We left it all there and regretably paid our $35 for that nastiness. We have decided to NEVER eat Illinois BBQ again!! (Being from Tx and Memphis I think I know what Bbq should taste like and this isnt it. Sorry.)

    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Heidi876
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Very dialectical -something out of the Old South in the Land of Lincoln”
Reviewed 2 April 2011

This is a curious place, with interesting people and a very good BBQ. It's worth coming to Cairo for, and stopping down at the confluence, where America's two greatest rivers come together and the ghost of Ulysss S. Grant still walks along Fort Defiance Park. Don't give up on Cairo. It is coming back.

Bill Kreml

  • Visited May 2010
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank billkreml
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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