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Carolina BBQ

109 Main St., New Ellenton, SC - (803) 652-2919
Posted By Michael Stern on 2/26/2013 7:38:00 AM
Having driven straight through from Connecticut, I arrived in Savannah River country early Wednesday evening, ravening for supper. First place on my hit list: Carolina Bar-B-Que. I was Travelin' Manned, having forgotten that classic South Carolina barbecue parlors are weekend-only affairs. I returned the next day (the weekend here starts on Thursday) for what was, indeed, classic South Carolina barbecue: a serve-yourself, all-you-can-eat buffet featuring hog meat with constellations of side dishes and pitchers of ice tea on the tables.

The pork is a gorgeous, hacked-up mess of smoky pig that ranges from velvet soft mouthfuls to long, chewy shreds to crisp and crunchy bark. It's sauceless as presented in the buffet; tables are set with sweet red sauce that is fine if that's what you like and hot-sweet mustard sauce that is just right for this meat. You'll also want hash and rice, the hash being a hearty stew that is comfort-food supreme, despite its being made from pork unmentionables.

Among not-to-be-missed side dishes are sweet 'tater tots rolled in sugar, buttery discs of fried squash, onion-sweet hushpuppies, a wonderfully ragged macaroni and cheese, extremely candied yams, and three different kinds of pickle chips.

Great as the meal was, dessert was a let-down. The banana pudding was gummy and leaden; peach cobbler, although made with nice firm hunks of fruit, was more about sweetness than flavor.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Barbecued Pork
Hushpuppy
Sweet 'Tater Tots
Peach Cobbler
Hash & Rice
Pickles
Macaroni and Cheese
Banana Pudding
Fried Squash
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

South Carolina barbecued pork at its finest, dressed with tangy mustard sauce.
"South Carolina barbecued pork at its finest, dressed with tangy mustard sauce."
Michael Stern





Brilliant idea: sweet 'tater tots, rolled in sugar.
"Brilliant idea: sweet 'tater tots, rolled in sugar."
Michael Stern


It wouldn't be a South Carolina pig pickin' without hash and rice. You might not want to know what, exactly, goes into the hash, but you should know it is delicious.
"It wouldn't be a South Carolina pig pickin' without hash and rice. You might not want to know what, exactly, goes into the hash, but you should know it is delicious."
Michael Stern


Open since 1969, Carolina BBQ is a South Carolina classic.
"Open since 1969, Carolina BBQ is a South Carolina classic."
Michael Stern


These warm discs of yellow squash were sheer heavenly scrumptiousness inside their crisp crust. A real luxury vegetable.
"These warm discs of yellow squash were sheer heavenly scrumptiousness inside their crisp crust. A real luxury vegetable."
Michael Stern


The big, spherical hushpuppies deliver two kinds of sweetness -- corn and onion -- in a crisp-fried coat.
"The big, spherical hushpuppies deliver two kinds of sweetness -- corn and onion -- in a crisp-fried coat."
Michael Stern


Because this place is a buffet, you can dip your own macaroni and cheese, selecting as much chewy 'bark' as you wish. Even the softest parts, though, are not creamy. This is mac 'n' cheese that you chew ... with pleasure!
"Because this place is a buffet, you can dip your own macaroni and cheese, selecting as much chewy 'bark' as you wish. Even the softest parts, though, are not creamy. This is mac 'n' cheese that you chew ... with pleasure!"
Michael Stern


The peach segments in the cobbler were pleasantly al dente, but the pastry part had little flavor.
"The peach segments in the cobbler were pleasantly al dente, but the pastry part had little flavor."
Michael Stern


Left to right: mixed pickles with cauliflower, bread-and-butter pickles, dill pickles.
"Left to right: mixed pickles with cauliflower, bread-and-butter pickles, dill pickles."
Michael Stern


Either I am very fussy about banana pudding or central South Carolina's banana pudding ideal is different than mine, but the one served here, like several others I ate during a recent trip, was dense and heavy, without leavening meringue or Cool Whip.
"Either I am very fussy about banana pudding or central South Carolina's banana pudding ideal is different than mine, but the one served here, like several others I ate during a recent trip, was dense and heavy, without leavening meringue or Cool Whip."
Michael Stern


Each table is outfitted with a tall pitcher of sweet tea and two different types of barbecue sauce.
"Each table is outfitted with a tall pitcher of sweet tea and two different types of barbecue sauce."
Cliff Strutz


This is the secondary dining room at Carolina BBQ, tables lined up for no-nonsense eating.
"This is the secondary dining room at Carolina BBQ, tables lined up for no-nonsense eating."
Michael Stern



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