The Short Story: Southern Sloppy with All the Sides (via Special Delivery)

Chef Witt Pinkerton been Braggin’ ’bout his Sloppy Joes Online

When I see pretty pictures of delicious looking food social media, I want to eat it, but not having a car means I can’t always get to it, especially when it’s a daily special, or some other dish that’s only available randomly or on a limited basis, no where near my house! It can be frustrating for me, and for the food vendors as well! This happened recently with a Sloppy Joe sandwich that I saw a picture of on Facebook, and even though I thought I might miss out on this particular delight, an A-team of friends and food makers came together and MacGyvered-up a delivery right to my front door!*

* Yes, I just worked two totally random 1980’s TV references into one sentence. And for the record, both of those shows sucked back then, as they do now. The 80’s were horrible, Kids, don’t be fooled by Stranger Things.

Chef Witt Pinkerton at Doc Brown’s BBQ makes a Southern-style Sloppy Joe that is the absolute bomb! Super-flavorful, sweet BBQ ground beef, topped with a perfectly smooth cheese sauce, and black-pepper Duke’s mayo, all scooped into, and pouring out of a bread bowl carved from a large City Bakery bun. Boy howdy, that’s some good down-home eatin’! Recommended with Doc’s five slaw “flight,” and don’t forget the mashed taters, mac ‘n’ cheese, and apple sauce, which are all outstanding in my opinion! The sloppy is not always on the menu, but if you ask for it often enough, it might end up there for good! Pop into Doc’s in any case, because no matter what he’s got cooking, I put my faith in Chef Witt’s hands!

Cheff Pinkerton is the definition of enthusiasm when it comes to food, especially his own! Ha ha! He’s got every right to be proud, coming from a strong, authentic, Southern family tradition, and having worked at Buxton Hall Barbecue, with the great and powerful Chef Elliott Moss. Witt is currently learning to perfect Doc Brown’s time-honored recipes, while introducing his own specialties, such as this Stu-Tested, Grandma Approved Sloppy Joe Sandwich! Seriously, Witt told me that his Grandma — his actual Grandma — who is “hard to impress… drove to the car dealership to tell me how good it was.” Witt also works at a car dealership. Yep. In fact, Chef Pinkerton doesn’t even need to cook for a living. He does just fine selling cars and trucks. He cooks for us because he loves it, and he told me that he’s happy at Doc Brown’s, where he can showcase the cooking “from my roots inspired by people who raised me!

ABOVE: (clockwise from the top) Sloppy Joe a al Chef Witt, Lexington slaw, blue cheese slaw, creamy slaw, mustard slaw, potato salad, mac ‘n’ cheese.

The Great Sloppy Joe Delivery Caper

Below is a post I made on Facebook, that set off a chain of events, resulting in all the separate ingredients of this Sloppy Joe being deconstructed and packaged up for me to assemble my very own Chef Witt Pinkerton Sloppy Joe at home!

ABOVE: photo by Witt Pinkerton.

My friend and comrade Chef JIll Worthy, aka The Worthy Baker saw my post on Facebook, and since she delivers her delicious cookies to Doc Brown’s every week, and then brings me some “Take Home Treats” for my tours right afterward, she wrote me a note…

“I could pickup your order on the way to your house this week😉

I immediately wrote to Witt…

It looks like my friend Jill Worthy is going to pick up a Sloppy Joe for me on Thursday. Do you do them daily?

Nah just whenever I make it. haha. Testing the waters. I’ll save you stuff for one Thursday though! Cool?

Yeah, that would be great! Jill says she;’s going to come by early on Thursday, before noon. Does that work, Witt?

Yeah man I’ll put one back for you with instructions, for a to go. I’ll do it deconstructed so it’s not EXTRA Sloppy! haha That cool? It will be dank man! It will be hot just meat in a container, cheese in a container, toasted bun wrapped, mayo on side. I’ll hook it up fat.

That sounds awesome, Witt! I’m excited to try it! Thanks, Man!

Everything is in place. my man. I ran by there and left instructions. We got fresh potato salad I just made that is fire, Mac and cheese is fire, apple sauce is stupid fire all the slaws are stupid fire
Everything is great, that’s my recommendations. 

A few more enthusiastic notes were sent back and forth, and on Thursday morning, Chef Jill showed up at my place with all the fixin’s and mixin’s for me to put together my own Sloppy Joe, plus a box of delicious chocolate biscotti for my tours! What a life!


ABOVE: Chocolate biscotti, slaws, potato salad, mac ‘n’ cheese, apple sauce, cheese sauce, Sloppy Joe meat, bread bowl in cheeckered paper.

This Sloppy Joe was incredibly satisfying and I tore into like the family dog. Almost everything in the South tends to be a little sweeter, so the meat had a sweet BBQ flavor, not the quasi-Italian marinara-style that I grew up (not) eating up North, where they are public school fare, loaded with large, nasty pieces of undercooked onions and green bell peppers. Yuck. No thanks. I’d much rather have this Southern version, loaded with flavor, covered in cheese sauce, and Duke’s, the best commercial mayonnaise on the planet. This Sloppy Joe was waaayyy better than any Sloppy Joe I’ve ever had, #truth and I really hope that it ends up on the Doc Brown’s menu permanently!

The sides were likewise excellent! The slaw flight was fun, and toggled back-and-forth between sweet, creamy, vinegary, and mustardy, which I think covers all four major food groups in southern BBQ! The creamy style potato salad was awesome in my opinion, with lots of flavor, great texture, and a wholesome feel to the fresh ingredients. The baked mac ‘n’ cheese was moist and cheesy, with a perfect bake on top, and I loved it!

ABOVE: Sloppy Joe, mac ‘n’ cheese, potato salad, mustard slaw, creamy, blue cheese and Lexington slaws. 

Not pictured on the plate, because I ate it much later, is the apple sauce, which believe it or not, is a super-star, stand-out dish in my opinion. Never have I said that about apple sauce in my entire life, but when I inquired as to what made it so dang special, Chef Witt made it clear: Bourbon, butter, and ginger. Yep.



And ginger.

Best apple sauce ever, yo.

So, hit up Doc Brown’s for some authentic and delicious Southern food whether the Sloppy is available or not! Say hey to Chef Witt if he’s in the house, he’s very friendly and would love to hear what you think of his food. Oh, and don’t forget to grab a cookie form the The Worthy Baker while you’re there!

Doc brown’s BBQ
A food truck offshoot, this casual barbecue joint serves smoked meats, Southern sides & desserts.
Address: 1320 Smokey Park Hwy, Candler, NC 28715
Phone: (828) 633-6901
Sunday 12–4PM
Monday – CLOSED
Tuesday 11AM–8PM
Wednesday 11AM–8PM
Thursday 11AM–8PM
Friday 11AM–9PM
Saturday 11AM–9PM


end —

Asheville Food Tours


From left: Chef Jacob Sessoms of Table; Chef William Dissen, The Market Place; Chef Steven Goff, Standard Foods; Chef Katie Button, Curate; Chef Joe Scully, Chestnut and Corner Kitchen; Stu Helm; Chef John Fleer, Rhubarb; Chef Karen Donatelli, Donatelli Bakery; Chef Peter Pollay, Posana Cafe; and Chef Matt Dawes, Bull & Beggar./ Photo by STEWART O'SHIELDS for ASHVEGAS.COM

From left: Chef Jacob Sessoms of Table; Chef William Dissen, The Market Place; Chef Steven Goff, Standard Foods; Chef Katie Button, Curate; Chef Joe Scully, Chestnut and Corner Kitchen; Stu Helm; Chef John Fleer, Rhubarb; Chef Karen Donatelli, Donatelli Bakery; Chef Peter Pollay, Posana Cafe; and Chef Matt Dawes, Bull & Beggar./ Photo by STEWART O’SHIELDS for ASHVEGAS.COM

Stu Helm is an artist, writer, and podcaster living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing about food strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook.

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