North Carolina Barbecue Customer Calls 911 on Restaurant to Report Her Slow-Smoked Pork

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo credit: Tim Thompson / Bradel Images via Getty Images)

Those who know good smoked meat know that the pink smoke ring is a sign of quality. It doesn’t matter if it’s pork. chicken, or beef, that pink ring lets you know that someone took time to get the smoky flavor into the meat. However, for one patron at a North Carolina barbecue joint, that smoke ring was her cue to go full barbe-Karen and call the police.

Clyde Cooper’s Barbecue has been serving hungry customers in Raleigh, North Carolina since 1938. Over the years, they’ve spent countless hours perfecting their smoking process and gaining loyal customers from Raleigh and the surrounding areas. However, the beloved barbecue spot became the site of one of the most ridiculous 911 calls in history earlier this week.

According to WRAL, the issue started when Annie Cooke ordered a plate of smoked pulled pork. When she got her food, Cooke noticed that her meat was a little pink. So, she asked the restaurant staff to replace her meal, give her something else off the menu, cook her meat longer, or give her a full refund. She alleges that none of that happened. However, Debbie Holt, owner of the North Carolina-based barbecue joint said that she offered Cooke a different meal, but she refused.

Holt tried to explain the concept of a smoke ring to Cooke. “I kind of snickered a little bit and told her ‘Honey, that’s when the barbecue is smoked.’ It turns pink,” she told the Raleigh, North Carolina-based news outlet. However, Cooke refused to listen.

In the end, the restaurant gave Cooke a piece of chicken to go with the sides she’d already received with her order.

The Attempted Education of North Carolina’s Barbecue Karen

To her credit, the North Carolina Barbecue Karen didn’t make a huge scene. Instead, she went outside and called 911. That’s right. She called emergency services because her smoked pork was correctly smoked.  

“I had ordered some food from there and the barbecue is pink,” Cooke reportedly told the Raleigh, North Carolina 911 operator. “I asked either for them to cook it some more or exchange my order. They are saying that the mead is supposed to be pink. I asked for them to change my order and they said they are not giving me my money back or they are not going to trade out the food.”

Police Arrive on the Scene

The local police showed up at the hallowed North Carolina barbecue spot. However, they weren’t taking the clueless call seriously. “When the cop cam in though, he had a cute little smile on his face and rolled his eyes and just had his arms folded,” Holt told the local news outlet. “I don’t even think he said that much to me except, ‘I got you.’”

Cooke also took the time to leave a damning review of the beloved restaurant, according to the New York Post.

North Carolina Diners Line Up for “Pink” Barbecue

Holt says that she isn’t holding a grudge. “Tell her to come back and I’ll educate her about North Carolina, Southeastern-style barbecue. I’d be happy to,” she said.

In reality, Holt should be thanking Cooke for her outlandish actions. In a Facebook post, Holt said the restaurant is seeing an influx of customers. It would be safe to assume that they know the difference between a smoke ring and undercooked meat.