Drake’s Duck-In, Columbia SC

“Are we having barbecue for breakfast, or breakfast for breakfast,” Marie asked. Uh-oh. She’s onto me. Fortunately, I anticipated her desire, and picked a very old and much loved local restaurant for her to enjoy a chicken biscuit. Continue reading “Drake’s Duck-In, Columbia SC”

Dukes Bar-B-Que, Orangeburg SC

The sun had set and we raced against the clock to make it to our final stop of the day, one of about twelve locations of a very loosely-connected quasi-chain called Dukes. We visited the one that people describe as “by the Pepsi plant,” even though that plant closed years ago. How helpful! Continue reading “Dukes Bar-B-Que, Orangeburg SC”

Sweatman’s Bar-B-Que, Holly Hill SC

Here’s an interesting little milestone for our blog: Sweatman’s is the very last of the barbecue restaurants in our coverage area on an old “must visit” list that I have been keeping for years, diligently crossing off as we’ve driven around the southeast. There are plenty more to try, and hundreds more to discover, but my original bucket list from 2010 has finally been completed. It was worth the wait. Continue reading “Sweatman’s Bar-B-Que, Holly Hill SC”

Mike & Jeff’s BBQ Diner, Greenville SC

Two years ago, the last time I spent any time in Greenville (note: I should spend more time in Greenville), Marie and our son and I went by Mike & Jeff’s, but they close after lunch on Saturday, and we arrived after they’d shut their doors. Fortunately, they do stay open for supper on Friday, and so my daughter and I stopped by on our way back from Winston-Salem. Good thing we did, too, because it was my daughter’s favorite meal of the trip. She really liked this place a lot. Everything except the television. Continue reading “Mike & Jeff’s BBQ Diner, Greenville SC”

Little Pigs Barbeque, Columbia SC

Of the five states that we have visited the most over the last six years, South Carolina’s barbecue has been the most uneven. To be sure, we’ve had some transcendent and amazing meals in the Palmetto State, and found some plates worth a very long drive, but we’ve also hit far more disappointments here than anywhere else. I’m very happy that Little Pigs, which is just northeast of Columbia, on the other side of I-77 and on the outskirts of Fort Jackson, is firmly in the “amazing” camp. I was hoping for a pretty good meal, and I got one of the best plates of barbecue I’ve ever had in this, or any state. Continue reading “Little Pigs Barbeque, Columbia SC”

Cromer’s P-Nuts, Columbia SC

My daughter and I went to Columbia to visit the campus of the University of South Carolina, and give her a first proper college tour. She really, really liked the place, far more than I was expecting. Within a few weeks, to be honest, some of the shine and excitement had ebbed somewhat, even after buying a T-shirt (blast it, campus bookstore prices are criminal at every darn college, aren’t they?), only to resume, happily, in the last week, and the visit did wonders for her self-confidence and drive. It’s entirely possible that she might apply here a year or so down the line in the hopes of getting a degree in management, and if she does, we found a great place for her to get a terrific cup of coffee. Continue reading “Cromer’s P-Nuts, Columbia SC”

Hite’s BBQ, West Columbia SC

A couple of years ago, we visited Jackie Hite’s in Leesville SC and had a really good meal at their buffet. In 1957, another member of that family, cousin John D. Hite, opened a little weekend-only takeout shack about twenty miles closer to town. Hite’s BBQ is just a hop, skip, and a jump from US-1, and, like many restaurants with a lot of hype and a hint of legend about them, it gets really busy during the two days of the week that it’s open. It is still in family hands – John’s grandson David is in charge these days – but the business is still as no-frills as it was almost sixty years ago. Continue reading “Hite’s BBQ, West Columbia SC”