Our family went to vacation in Hilton Head last week and I am happy to report that good BBQ can still be found in the low country. I say that because we stayed in Greenville, SC and had some of the most godawful BBQ that I have ever tasted. Ribs that tasted like they had been parboiled and so overcooked that when I picked them up, the meat slid off and I got stuck holding the bone and pulled pork that sat too long in the steam table. As a result, I was a little gun shy to try another BBQ joint, but what the hell, life is too short to avoid the possibility of finding good BBQ. As we were heading to Beaufort anyways, we decided to see if all the good things that we heard about the good Sgt. was true.
Unlike the Greenville strip mall restaurant, as soon as we got out of the car, the smell of hickory told me that we were home. When you walk in, you are literally next to the counter with the various sides present. Off to the side is a nice older style dining room with a knotty pine look to it. Sgt. White's is only open for a short time period and while they serve cafeteria style, it appeared that they were at the tail end of their business day. The hostess/waitress who couldn't have been nicer confirmed that a pulled pork sandwich was the way to go and we ordered flour sandwiches with sides like sweet and sour cabbage, greens, cornbread and mash potatoes and gravy.
The pork was excellent, moist with a good mix of bark and with a smoke flavor which let you know that this was cooked in a pit but not so overpowering that it taste bitter. Serving sizes was ample and coupled with the sides, filled us up nicely. I mentioned to the hostess and the Sgt. how much we enjoyed the food and he apologized for the quality telling us that they got hit by a large party that mostly wiped them out for the day. Trust me - there was nothing to apologize for here. When I come back to Hilton Head and Beaufort, the good Sgt. and his wonderful hostess will be the first place that I go to eat. In the age of fast food and theme restaurants, its good to know that there are still places where the love of the food and the craft of BBQ shines thru.
Sgt. White's Diner
1908 Boundary St.
Beaufort, S.C. 29902