This is what you get
when you do not time your lunch right.

click photo to enlarge in new window

Showing up for lunch at 3pm does not get you into the BBQ buffet (which was our reason for being there).
For now I’m not naming any names of this Q joint because I want to return during normal hours to review this establishment with a post-BBQ-buffet glow.
They are deserving of your business and my off-schedule experience may dampen your enthusiasm for patronizing the joint. It’s a family biz and they’re good folks.
Founder Big Pappy (BBQ pseudonym) made a leap of faith and tried to provide for his boys by starting a restaurant during the depression by selling the family cow and mule – their source of dairy and veggies.
One son, the proprietor of this place, might have eaten a lot of cabbage cole slaw while growing up.

For you soft handed urbanites:
cow = milk, butter, cheese;
mule = plow, thus = vegetable garden.
Email me for further clarification, including “what’s a mule?”.
Also welcome are reader comments on 40 acres & a mule“, the allegory of dead mules in Southern literature, or covers of “Mule Skinner Blues“.

back to the story.
The place has been around a while, they have good food. Seen above are:

mustard base BBQ sauce. Tangy with mustard and vinegar,
this sauce wants to be a symbol of SC BBQ
and it is a metaphor of the economic situation of South Carolina.
It’s an isolated sauce, found only in regional enclaves.
While worthy and competitive it is not well known nor much sought after beyond its origin primarily due to unpolished presentation and being overshadowed by more effective communication delivered by the BBQ of neighboring NC, GA, VA.
As goes mustard BBQ sauce
so goes South Carolina’s economic indicators.

The one huge onion ring has more batter than the law allows.
But since it looks like the Apple QuickTime logo I like it. I just didn’t eat it without peeling off all that fried batter.

The sandwich was good but we came for their buffet with smoked meat, this is some sort of potroasted or oven cooked pork. While tasty and tender it’s just a sandwich on a bad wonderbread burger roll, not that fire & smoke-based cooking we’ve been spoiled by.
Oh! I just realized what this sandwich is made of: Buffet leftovers.

I hung out a while and read the local free rag with the “shut up” hand on the cover. Lunch after 3pm did get me a good caffeine buzz – refills from the self-serve soda stand. Enough so that while awake at 12:45 AM I figured I’d had way too much diet coke 7 hours prior.

Stand by for their full review!