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 Sweatman's BBQ

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  • Total Posts: 37
  • Joined: 8/29/2006
  • Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Sweatman's BBQ Sat, 05/17/08 9:56 AM (permalink)
Has anyone ever been to Sweatman's BBQ outside of Charleston? Any good?
    Baah Ben

    • Total Posts: 3026
    • Joined: 11/30/2001
    • Location: Ormond Beach, FL
    RE: Sweatman's BBQ Sun, 05/18/08 2:25 PM (permalink)
    Yup..Drove 600 miles round trip in one day to eat there. When we told the manager, they gave us a tour of the cooking pits and the kitchen. The place was immaculate.

    It is only open on the weekends so you have to be careful of the times, etc. It is also tough to find; that's part of it's appeal. It is out in the middle of no place. They open around 4:00 pm and by 5:00 the locals start rolling in..make sure you arrive in a truck. It is a buffet line in that you pay, get your drink, and you start on this cafeteria steamtable line and get whatever you want off of that big piggy. Choose and take as mch as you want...Skin, outside meat, inside meat, ribs, hash.

    Look, it's good, but to me, it is not the type of BBQ I enjoy. This is whole hog "Q" and tastes completely different and has a completely different texture than what you may be use to in say Texas, Kansas City or Western North Carolina.

    Yes, I would recommend trying it. But, for instance the ribs...they are cooked within the cavity of the whole hog and so they almost have a steamed texture to them. They are not ribs that have been placed on a pit and cooked from a raw state with all that that entails. If you have ever been to a Cuban pig roast, this is the exact same thing sans black beans and rice.

    The "outside meat" is more seasoned because it receives the basting juices from the pitmaster. The "inside meat" is more tender and lighter in color..I liked it best. The hash (not for me)is chopped up eveything else on the entire hog. The most popular part of hog to the locals is the skin.

    Their banana pudding is just ok..nothing special.

      • Total Posts: 3778
      • Joined: 6/17/2004
      • Location: Columbia, SC
      RE: Sweatman's BBQ Sun, 05/18/08 2:40 PM (permalink)
      Sweatman's does the couple of things it does--pork, ribs, etc.--really well. Now also keep in mind I think they're usually open Fri-Sat and maybe Thursday so you really need to check for when you plan to be there. There was an episode of 'No Reservations' with Anthony Bourdain maybe last season, early this season? where he hit Sweatman's.

      If I'd been advising Baah Ben I'd have told him to definitely go there if you're going to be within about 100 miles--it's a nice aside if you're going to the Francis Beidler National Forest--but maybe not to make a special trip. But that's just me.

        • Total Posts: 37
        • Joined: 8/29/2006
        • Location: Virginia Beach, VA
        RE: Sweatman's BBQ Sun, 05/18/08 3:09 PM (permalink)

          RE: Sweatman's BBQ Sun, 05/18/08 4:11 PM (permalink)
          Though it has been almost a decade since I was there, I loved Sweatman's. One thing they did I thought was unusual.....if it was your first time there, you got to go back to the buffet line twice. If you had been there before, you get only trip to the buffet. Do they still do this?
            Baah Ben

            • Total Posts: 3026
            • Joined: 11/30/2001
            • Location: Ormond Beach, FL
            RE: Sweatman's BBQ Sun, 05/18/08 9:48 PM (permalink)
            Nancy..You know I totally agree with you, but did not want to start an argument with Bub Sweatman fans. When I went to Sweatman's, I'd never been to Arthur Bryant's. So, I posted on and said how great the place was, etc. Ironically, I went on that 600 mile day trip with my friend, who I also convinced to go with me on a BBQ tour that ended up in KC. Today, in comparing the two places, there is no comparison really.

            I agree, it's not worth driving 600 miles round trip in the same day to eat there; Arthur Bryant's is!

              • Total Posts: 3778
              • Joined: 6/17/2004
              • Location: Columbia, SC
              RE: Sweatman's BBQ Mon, 05/19/08 7:01 AM (permalink)
              Cliff that's out in the country where folks *work* all day long so I could maybe see that. I imagine one good shift change could clean 'em out.

                RE: Sweatman's BBQ Sat, 06/7/08 7:19 PM (permalink)
                It looks like I will be eating at Sweatman's again in just a few weeks. I even have some friends driving over from Columbia to meet me. I can't wait to see if it lives up to my memory!

                  RE: Sweatman's BBQ Thu, 06/26/08 8:38 AM (permalink)
                  I did make it to Sweatman's on Saturday. I do have plenty of photos, but they will be put in my trip report. Hopefully, I will get that posted in the next day or so.

                  First of all, they no longer have the policy that if you have been there before, you only get one trip to the buffet line. I was happy to take advantage of that and made two trips. Otherwise, my first plate would have been a skyscraper plate.

                  I think the food here is terrific. The pork was very moist, with delicious piggy flavor and you do get to choose between white and/or brown. I know many people don't care for the yellow mustard bbq sauce, but I sure do. But, they do also a red bbq sauce, too, which I didn't try. The ribs, though, are nothing special. So, I just loaded up on the pork. Oh, and two portions of the fantastic banana pudding.

                  The three people who joined me have not been big fans of South Carolina bbq since moving to Columbia in 2004. But they really liked this place.

                  Baah Ben-
                  Please understand I'm not picking on you and I do respect your opinion. But you did mention Arthur Bryant's earlier in the thread. I ate at both Sweatman's and Arthur Bryant's in less than a week recently and in my opinion, Sweatman's was considerably better.

                  Still, would I drive 600 miles roundtrip in one day for Sweatman's? Probably not. I will go there anytime I am in the area, though.

                  The hours for Sweatman's are Friday & Saturday 11:30AM - 9:00PM.
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