Help me circumnavigate South Carolina, gang!
In February, I set out on a solo road trip driving around Alabama - literally in a great big loop around the state - to eat my weight in barbecue, and a couple of other things. The resulting 7-part series on my blog has turned out to be one of the most popular things that we've ever featured on Marie, Let's Eat! and so I'd like to try to repeat it with a two-day trip around So'ca'lina, eating hash and rice and mustard sauce over pork at ten or more places, plus two or three local curiosities.
I'm assembling a rough itinerary of where I'm going. The basic plan is to start around 11 am on an October Thursday in Pendleton (off I-85 south of Greenville) at a popular place called Smokin' Pig, and then stop into Greenville's Smoke on the Water around 12.30.
What I might do after that is... continue up I-85 to Gaffney and Willard's Hash & BBQ, then SC-5 and SC-55 to Clover and Courtney's BBQ. Another twenty miles along SC-55 puts me in Rock Hill at Bats BBQ. Continue east, via SC-5 and US-521 to Cheraw and Bill's BBQ. The trip wouldn't be complete without a stop at South of the Border. Then south down US-301 to Schoolhouse BBQ in Scranton, and possibly stop for the night in Lake City.
Is anybody familiar with these joints? In most cases, I've picked them for what looks like the ease of getting there, as I have so much driving to do. Am I overlooking a much better nearby alternative in favor of one of these?
I haven't started working on day two yet, but here are some thoughts:
Charleston and Columbia will not be included. There will be time enough to linger in these larger cities later on.
I will probably work my way down I-95 some ways, and cut over to Orangeburg for a stop at the old Dairy-O. Orangeburg will probably be the southernmost stop on the trip, unless anybody is aware of any place around St. George's that I should go.
I'd rather not use I-26 going back north, but haven't considered the most fun other route back to Greenville. I would like to travel *west* of I-26, probably up US-178... Does anybody know of any good places this way, in towns like Batesburg or Saluda?
I have no need to stop by any of Maurice's restaurants.
I am curious, however, to see one of South Carolina's Zestos, if there is one outside Columbia.
Is there anything at all along I-20 between Augusta and Columbia?
Last stop will probably be in Anderson somewhere, before returning home.
Legendary (or otherwise highly regarded) joints that we have already featured at our blog and do not need to revisit: The Beacon, Midway BBQ and Kingsman. I don't need to detour in their directions.
Thanks in advance for any input!