Having grown up in South Carolina, I was curious to see how the barbecue home turf was holding up. As "The gf Commander" and I arrived at Bucky's Bar-BQ's Roper Mountain Road location, we found that it was slightly frumpy. This is a good thing, because had we found a fancy-pants barbecue joint we would have probably left. Once inside, we walked past plain chairs and the semi-plain tables which have Bucky's memorabilia laminated to them, and arrived at the short counter in the back corner. I was a bit confused until I found the "order" sign. I have to say, the set up has me still scratching my head, but it did work somehow. The counter man had a whole Boston Butt on a chopping board. As soon as we placed our order he proceeded to whack away and fill the plates with the carefully chopped pork. That was the magical moment in time. Hang on to that moment as it explains much.
My Sassy Chef associate, who was traveling with me (the aforementioned "gf Commander") ordered a pork plate with green beans and cucumber salad (This was a gluten free lunch FYI). She reported that the cucumber salad was ok, but the green beans needed some much needed help. She suggested putting them back into the can whence they came, and start over with some fresh green beans. I know, ouch already! She also reported that the chopped barbecue was some of the best she has ever had. Unbelievable, that now makes two "best I ever had" comments. She did not use any sauce and said that the meat had a mild smoked flavor which was not overpowering.
I ordered a combo plate which had the chopped pork and smoked chicken with sides of Cole slaw and sweet potatoes (souffle). The chopped barbecue was as the Sassy Chef had reported . I am not sure if it is the best I have ever had, but it is definitely in the top ten. Now then, the chicken was on point. It was very tender and seasoned well. The cook brought me a sampling of the ribs (cut up spare ribs) so that I could get the whole experience. My undying charm undoubtedly persuaded his conscience to do so. They were fall off the bone and tender, albeit a bit lacking with rub/seasoning. The moisture in Bucky's meats makes the difference. Nothing is worse than dried out barbecue; every bite was tender and moist.
Sides... what are we to do with these sides? If I were a betting man, I would put $100 down in Vegas on that the sides are not fresh-made in house. The sides need an overhaul. The Cole slaw was drab, and the sweet potatoes were not as good as "the gf Commander's".
Is Bucky's being penny foolish with the sides? According to gf... yes indeed.
However, the fixing of this side debacle should be fairly painless. My suggestion is to have a contest. Yes, hold a contest for the locals to bring their "A game". Certainly someone in Greenville SC can whip up some green beans and Cole slaw.
This is one of three "big ass" cookers we were able to see.
Secret brisket for a special gathering.
New school BBQ.
Old school BBQ ready to go for a night class. There is a $60 a head charge for a BBQ class that the owner puts together.
Spices for the class.
Hickory wood is always a sight for sore eyes.
I almost forgot to mention the barbecue sauces! Holy crap! The mustard base was too thick and too sweet for me. Mustard sauce needs to be runny and spicy according to gf. The tomato base was the best sauce they had. It was a good blend of sweet and hot. The vinager base is what I ended up eating the most of. It was good stuff. Hey, I like hot what can I say?
Bucky's Bar-BQ has it going on. Are they the best that gf has ever had? Well, fix the sides and they are in the top five. Hey, they could even bust out some peach cobbler and vanilla ice cream if they wanted to impress me.
"Barbecue is a package deal. One cannot just do one part great." gf
This was a good lunch served by a great staff who had a heaping helping of care. Overall, I understand why my friend Merle said this was the best barbecue that he has ever had.
Thanks for reading,