Friday, April 15, 2011

Po' Pigs Bo-b-q

This is the real deal! A South Carolina barbecue buffet where the barbecue is delicious but the multitude of sides may be even better. Where to start?

Everything was excellent so I guess the best way to start is to just go around my first plate. Yes, my first plate. This place is so good I of course went back for seconds. But, on second thought, let's start at the bottom of the Po' Pig food pyramid and work our way up.

The barbecue is tender, moist, and tasty. So good that it doesn't really need sauce.

The only problem is that with all of the delicious sides the barbecue gets a little lost. Maybe that is a good thing. The tables have an array of four different types of barbecue sauce: Carolina red, Orangeburg sweet, Pee Dee vinegar, and Midland mustard.

The Midland mustard is good. It is not too sweet with a slight vinegar kick. Of course, I am partial to mustard sauces. The Orangeburg sweet isn't too sweet and appears to have a mayonnaise base. The Pee Dee vinegar makes your mouth pucker up. It is nearly solid vinegar with a little spice, but not hot. The Carolina red had a lot of flavor. It was like a spicy, watery version of a ketchup sauce.
Plate #1
Plate #2

The field peas were meaty and rich with stringy bits of pork throughout. The beans, with the meat cooked down in them, make a delicious sauce covering them. The lima beans are almost a creamy soup. The coleslaw was excellent: crunchy and creamy. The greens n' roots consist of turnip greens with diced turnips. I love greens with a generous dose of pepper vinegar and was not disappointed by this specimen.

If you have never tried pepper vinegar you should give it a try. It turns greens, which could otherwise be a bland dish, into a go-to dish in the barbecue buffet line. You can also see the okra and tomatoes on my plate. I didn't take any notes on the okra, but okra and tomatoes is an excellent dish and, if my memory serves me correctly, it was good. Last, because it doesn't really fit into either the vegetable or hash and rice part of the food pyramid, but not least, are the cracklins. Cracklins are fried pig skins, also known as pork rinds. In one way they are sort of like eating spicy, crunchy, Styrofoam. But they are actually quite good despite the odd description. They have a nice crunchiness and the Po' Pig spice mix was tasty.

The hash was fantastic. Po' Pigs offers two versions. As mentioned in previous blogs, my family has a history of South Carolina barbecue. But I have only ever had one version of hash. Po' Pigs offers the standard version I know, an orange hash, as well as a dark brown hash.

The standard orange hash had the right consistency, like a meat puree, and over white rice was quite tasty. The dark brown hash is made of pork liver. It has a complex, deeper, richer taste than the standard hash. I wish this recipe was more common. While I don't necessarily prefer the brown hash to the orange, I like it at least equally as much and I love the variety.

Finally, Po' Pigs had good sweet tea. The tea was sweet but not necessarily sickeningly sweet like some barbecue places. For dessert, there was banana pudding.

While I am guessing that the pudding was topped with canned whipped cream and that detracts from the dish, I am also fairly certain that the banana pudding itself was homemade.

Overall, I highly recommend Po' Pigs. This is real, South Carolina barbecue and sides. It is even better than most small town South Carolina barbecue buffets both in terms of taste and in the variety of sides. Don't be scared by the fact that Po' Pigs shares a wall with a gas station. The parking lot full of pickup trucks should reassure you.  If you find yourself on Edisto, definitely drop in. If you are in Charleston, consider taking a day trip down to Edisto and having lunch or dinner at Po' Pigs. You could spend the rest of the day on the beach, put your boat in at Steamboat Landing right up the road, or do some hiking at Botany Bay WMA or Edisto Beach State Park. Don't miss your chance to taste South Carolina's traditional cuisine.

Po' Pigs Bo-b-q
2410 Highway 174
Edisto Island, SC 29438

Po Pigs Bobq on Urbanspoon

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