We have entered the South. Well, we entered the South several months ago, but I’ve been lazy, and the the barbecue blogs (there will be several) have just now begun!
Great note to start the barbecue blog on. The whole place was filled and surrounded with happy pigs, including Miss Piggy, and a light-up Christmas tinsel pig. It was run by the former head-chef at some fancy country club.
Everything was amazing, but I especially loved the ribs. Crispy and flavorful on the outside, and beneath that so juicy that the meat was literally falling off the bone. The meal came with an array of sauces, from vinegar, to soooiet, to Hog Fire. I had my first piece of pork belly, which I learned is basically giant bacon.
High on my top ten best barbeque list, utterly fantastic in every way.
Clyde Cooper’s Barbecue
Opened in 1938, and just having moved to a new building downtown, Cooper’s is a classic in Carolina Tidewater barbecue. Tidewater consists of meat with a vinegar sauce, for all you uneducated carnivores out there. Honestly, it isn’t one of my favorite types, too bitter. But the meat was all well cooked, with the ribs especially being crispy on the outside, but with their insides left tender and succulent.
I encountered pork skins for the first time, and at first, had no idea what they were or what to think of them. They were nicely crispy, and I was a little surprised to learn they were skins, which I was expecting to be more leathery.
Outside of Charleston, SC
For this place, I honetly have more to say about the restruant than the food. The pulled pork sandwich was good, but nothing to write home about. The order of onion rings we got consisted of one giant, fluffy ring of dough with a bit of a vegetable in it, but that wasn’t as odd as the place itself. Melvin’s was more of an upscale dining establishment than most BBQ, with carefully chosen decor and no happy pigs. The kind of place suburbanites would be comfortable going to. It was also a Christian establishment, with the ten commandments printed on the styrofoam water cups. Seriously. It was weird.
Remember to stay tuned for the next thrilling instalment of The Barbeque Blog!
Skin has to be tanned to make leather. Pork skins are a widespread bagged snack under the name “pork rinds”, “chicharrones” in Mexican Spanish. At least they’re widespread in California. And on pigs everywhere.
I used to walk past a happy pig every day in San José. See
Love your food writing and the BBQ piece is great. I think you are developing a real expertise in BBQ, there are worse things you could be an expert about. The kinds of meat and sauces are interesting and very individualized, the great American experiment in cooking. You should try to make some when you get back home so you can show up your dad!