What I Miss Most About South Carolina

Barbecue.  I’ve eaten at almost every barbecue joint in this damn city (and in the suburbs), and I just can’t find that perfect cue.  Oh how I long for the days of Duke’s BBQ.  I had another disappointing episode in my quest to find good barbecue last Thursday (pictured below).  I’ve only found one decent bbq place in the metro area, but it’s distant, distant suburban location and it’s kind of cliche barbecue “dive” wannabe atmosphere detract from the goodness (although, it gets an extra point in my book because it serves PBR and Natty Boh in a can…most bbq places don’t serve booze).

Le Sigh.


7 responses to “What I Miss Most About South Carolina

  1. BBQ is an amazing thing… Every place I’ve lived in the south has been somewhat different. Here in Alabama, most of the sauces are mustard base, while in my area of the Carolinas – it’s tomato. Down towards your old stomping grounds, I guess you’ll find a lot of mustard sauces.

    There’s also a “white sauce” in Northern Alabama. I don’t really know what’s in it, but it tastes delicious.


    Found it,

    1 cup mayonaise
    1 cup cider vinegar
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne

    Mix ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using. Brush lightly over chicken, turkey or pork during the last few minutes of grilling. This barbecue sauce is also great as a dipping sauce so set some aside before you start grilling to serve on the table.

  2. Correction:

    This sentence: Here in Alabama, most of the sauces are mustard base

    Should read: Here in Alabama, most of the sauces are vinegar based

  3. North Carolina is known for Lexington style cue; just smoke and salt. although the vinegar-based eastern style is also prevalent in Raleigh and points east. In Lexington there are over 20 bbq restaurants. not bad for a town with only 20k.

  4. Personally, I prefer mustard based sauces and light tomato sauces. I loathe sweet sauces (think overly sweet Kansas City style cue). I’m not to keen on the eastern NC vinegar and pepper flake style, but I’m convinced that every time I’ve had it, it has been from some half rate restaurant (read: the photo above).

  5. I agree that Urban BBQ is the best I’ve had in the area. They get high marks in my book because they can do both brisket and pork really well, on top of having great collards–the golden ratio of sweet, bitter, and a little heat–which is rare to find in the north.

    I’m pretty sure that there are some solid places in Northern Virginia, but they’re just hard to get to. It doesn’t help that I avoid “NoVa” like the plague.

    “It’s kind of cliche barbecue ‘dive’ wannabe atmosphere.” I take issue with this comment, at least partially. I think, at least off of the Rockville Pike, it’s hard to have *any* sort of non-Salvadorian dive. Urban is definitely more of a hole-in-the-wall, and I’d argue here that there’s a difference. However, I fully accept the irony that Urban BBQ is in the suburbs.

    I respectfully disagree that , while the place has sort of a corny interior, I don’t think that Urban is really trying to have a real dive feel to it. I mean, it has microbrewed root beer on tap, for petessake.

  6. PR – can you really defend Urban as a “hole in the wall” as opposed to a “wanna be dive”, but then go on to point out that it has microbrewed root beer? I don’t know too many hole in the wall places with such attention to detail. I’d also mention that very few hole in the wall places are able to franchise their brand to an extent (read: Urban Burger).

    Atleast we can agree that they have good barbecue.

    As for barbecue in Northern Virginia, all the good places are in distant towns (even more distant from DC than Rockville!). Boo on that.

    All comment bickering aside, I look forward to our next trip to Urban BBQ.

  7. I haven’t seen microbrewed rootbeer *anywhere*, so I’m not sure there’s precedent with that (p.s. I’m also not that crazy about it…way too sweet and not much bite…). I’ll call it a hole in the wall since it’s so small, sandwiched between a place that sells pianos and a liquor store (what more could one ask for in one place?).

    But agreed that, despite differing opinions on their interior decorating, Urban has the best BBQ within DC Metro lines. Substance definitely trumps style there.

    And I’m doing my best not to salivate while typing this and thinking about pulled pork.

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