Circumnavigating South Carolina – part one

Earlier this year, I took a two-day “circumnavigation” of Alabama, just driving around the state in a big circle and eating a spectacular amount of barbecue. The resulting series of chapters here at our blog, which you can begin reading here, have proven to be among the most popular things that we’ve written in two and a half years. I’ve been planning a follow-up ever since. Continue reading “Circumnavigating South Carolina – part one”

Mutt’s BBQ, Greer SC

I never realized how difficult it would be to find new barbecue in South Carolina’s Upstate! On Friday evening, I told the girl at the register at Brioso in Clemson that I would be going to Greenville the next day. She told me that she had gone to school at Furman, and I asked her whether she could recommend a place to get some barbecue. She said that she always went to Henry’s Smokehouse, which Marie and I had visited in February. Since I knew that one, could she recommend another? She thought for a moment and shook her head. She honestly couldn’t think of another barbecue place besides Henry’s. Continue reading “Mutt’s BBQ, Greer SC”

Clock Drive-In, Greenville SC

Hello, my name is Grant, and I’m addicted to Urbanspoon.

See, I had this bright idea when I set out on this road trip. After the first three stops, I would just end up where the road took me. I would not plan ahead, and I would not look at Google Maps or my Urbanspoon wish list. I would just end up in Clemson, ask how to get to Greenville, drive around, stop at whatever looked interesting, maybe mosey up to Spartanburg, possibly detour through Anderson, and come home. I’d take pictures of neat signs or bridges, I would pull into any bookstores that caught my eye, and I wouldn’t be enslaved to a schedule or a timetable. And pigs would fly. Continue reading “Clock Drive-In, Greenville SC”

Up and Down Tiger Town

The road took me north, as hoped, to Clemson, which, as college towns go, is a little underappreciated if you ask me. Sure, it’s no Athens, Chapel Hill, Morgantown or Oxford, but it’s a darn sight more impressive than Starkville. Plus, the campus is a real beauty. Continue reading “Up and Down Tiger Town”

The Beacon, Spartanburg SC (take two)

When we first visited the Beacon in February of last year, we were a bit overwhelmed by just how huge, wild and chaotic it was, and that’s despite very old familiarity with Atlanta’s similar Varsity. The spectacle of the Beacon makes for a real experience, and we could not wait to get back and give it another try. Continue reading “The Beacon, Spartanburg SC (take two)”

Henry’s Smokehouse, Greenville SC

For the second stop on our South Carolina trip, we hopped just a few streets over from the Northgate Soda Shop to get some barbecue at Henry’s Smokehouse. Their location on Wade Hampton Boulevard, US-29, is the original. They have, in the 25 years since it opened, spun off two additional locations. One of these, in nearby Simpsonville, was noted in Playboy in the summer of 2002 as the country’s best barbecue restaurant. I use “in” rather than “by,” as the notice came via an advertisement for Mini Cooper laid out in the style of the magazine’s “Party Jokes” page, and so it might not be editorially accurate to state that Playboy itself made the claim. You can get that magazine yourself and check me on that. It’s whatever issue that summer that had Dalene Kurtis on the front cover. She might be fairly accused of distracting a fellow from remembering which month. Continue reading “Henry’s Smokehouse, Greenville SC”

Northgate Soda Shop, Greenville SC

In February of last year, Marie and I took a fantastic day trip to Charlotte and back. We took I-20 and I-77 there and I-85 back, stopping at eight places. We had such a good time that we wanted to repeat the experience a year later. I made some modifications and alterations, and we didn’t go quite as far as Charlotte, deciding instead to connect Spartanburg and Columbia via US 176. And we did the trip in reverse, starting in Greenville. So about 520 miles instead of 590. Continue reading “Northgate Soda Shop, Greenville SC”