South Carolina – 21775 Miles Driven.
South Carolina like its northern neighbour is known for its barbecue. It’s so popular that the state even has a famed 100 Mile Barbeque, 100 restaurants deemed worthy of driving 100 miles to get to. Two of those restaurants are Cannon’s BBQ and Carolina Bar-B-Que. Both serve great barbecue and both took a lot more than 100 miles to get to.
Located in the very little town of Little Mountain, Cannon’s BBQ is quite literally a trailer; drive too fast and you’ll miss it. Too old to continue working their jobs in construction, brothers Ray and Brice Cannon decided to turn their hobby of cooking barbecue into a business.
South Carolina has distinctive styles of barbecue sauces; tomato based in the west, vinegar based in the east, and in the central region where Cannon’s is located, they tend to use yellow mustard.
The slow cooked pork shoulder mixed with the sweet and tangy mustard sauce was fantastic, as were the ribs. They’re cooked naked, and pick up all the delicious woody and smoky flavour from the smoker. The meat really does fall off the bone. I’m still to be won over by the South Carolina hash, as tasty as Cannon’s was. It resembles ground barbecue pork mixed with mustard sauce, but will normally contain many more parts of a pig than I’m neccesarily used to eating.
All in all it was a fantastic plate of South Carolina barbecue. Ray and Brice may look like two old guys who like to joke around, but there’s no disputing that they take their barbecue incredibly seriously.
I imagine there aren’t too many places that charge less than $10 for all you can eat barbecue, and even fewer where the food’s actually any good. Carolina Bar-B-Que is one of those places, and their pit cooked barbecue pork shoulder is out of this world. It’s owned by Jesse Walker Jr., who wasn’t there the day I visited, but has working for him the friendliest group of staff that make eating at Carolina Bar-B-Que a real pleasure.
The rules are simple for this no frills buffet style eatery; grab a paper plate and get in line. The star of the show is of course the barbecue pork, cooked for so long it falls apart. The South Carolina hash tastes really good, as long as you don’t give too much thought to what parts of the pig you’re tasting. There are whole lot of sides, corn pudding, fried okra, hushpuppies, beans, and slaw amongst others, and pork cracking that would give even the best in Britain a run for its money. The two homemade mustard based sauces offered on the side, one mild and one spicy, are two of the best barbecue sauces I’ve ever tasted. If the barbecue doesn’t fill you up there’s dessert; chocolate pudding, banana pudding, and peach cobbler. The list goes on.
It’s a feast of epic proportions, though Americans would argue the buffet at Carolina Bar-B-Que is small by their standards. Astonishing.
Cannon’s BBQ is located at; 1903 Nursery Rd, Little Mountain, SC 29075. Telephone; +1 (803) 945-1080.
Carolina Bar-B-Que is located at; 109 Main Street, New Ellenton, SC 29809. Telephone; +1 (803) 652-2919.