This was where I ended up in the end:
1. The Smokin' Pig, Pendleton
2. Tanner's Big Orange, Greenville
3. Willard's Hash & BBQ, Gaffney
4. Courtney's BBQ, Clover
5. 521 BBQ, Indian Land
6. Bill's BBQ, Cheraw
7. Schoolhouse BBQ, Scranton
-stop in Lake City for the night
1. Scott's BBQ, Hemingway
2. Brown's BBQ, Kingstree
3. McCabe's BBQ, Manning
4. Dairy O, Orangeburg
5. Shealy's BBQ, Leesburg
6. Smokey Joe's BBQ, Greenwood
7. Dixie Drive In, Greenwood
8. Pompous Pig, Anderson
9. Cook Out, Anderson
I'll write it all up for our blog in a couple of weeks, but the gold star went to Scott's, which was absolutely incredible, just about the best, or darn near close to it, barbecue I have ever had. Amazing!
I abandoned South of the Border for time constraints, which was just as well, as I took a long break at a Best Buy in suburban Charlotte and then got caught in very long rush hour gridlock on I-485, and the sun set before I would have arrived, making the visit pointless. I am, of course, quite familiar with Blenheim's. It is very good, but not a patch on Buffalo Rock.
The other very good places were: Smoking Pig, McCabe's, and Pompous Pig. Everything else (bbq-wise) was pretty good / okay with three terrible exceptions: Schoolhouse, Brown's, and Smokey Joe's. I did not enjoy any of these at all.
Scott's, and Midway in Union (which I've visited before), are by leagues the best SC BBQ that I've found. Interestingly, Midway now runs Willard's, but while their hash and mull are the same, and fabulous, the pork is emphatically not, just kind of so-so. One day, I'll do a two-day tour like this again, and try some different places on a different route.
<message edited by Heartbreaksoup on Fri, 10/19/12 9:59 PM>