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Update on Bub Sweatman's BBQ

Ate at Sweatman's last weekend - Was wonderful outside Q, ribs, and skins. Two sauces - mustard based, and a sweeter tomato version. Contrary to previous posts, Sweatman's still have AUCE (All You Can Eat) for $7.95.

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  1. Thanks for the news, Tarheel.

    I LOVE Sweatman's ribs. And from this avowed NC BBQ lover - red and pepper base - their mustard sauce is quite fine.

    1. You have good taste Ellen - Their ribs are the best - falling off the bone - Their slaw was unusally good this time. I live in Greensboro near Lexington - so my favorite local Q is Speedy's coarse chopped with hot dip.

      1. I agree went there a month ago and had the best eating experience...had a better time than the rest of the meals in Charleston...love that hash and the sauces were excellent.

        1. Being based in Columbia I don't often get to visit Sweatman's. But had business in Charleston today and drove through Holly Hill this evening hoping to savor those ribs.

          Alas, I had forgotten they are open only Fridays and Saturdays. Oh! The injustice!

          So. I swerved through Eutawville and dined at Tastie Twirl #1 on Highway 6. Thier cheeseburger may not make news, but the 60s era roadside diner atmosphere is to die for.

          Tonight I'm a happy girl.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ellen of SC

            Ellen - traveling through Charleston area again on way to Savannah. Want to try another BBQ similar to Sweatman's. Do you have any suggestions - Thanks

          2. Oh dear. Wish I knew the area better. Have seen mention of several lowcountry joints - will get back to you.

            1. I have been to neither, but two names appear often and I hope to try them: Dukes of Walterboro, and Harold’s Country Club of Yemassee.

              Harold's sounds like a good-time place.

              2 Replies
                1. re: Ellen of SC

                  I went to Dukes in Walterboro, SC about 4yrs ago and it was all great, especially the fried chicken & slaw. I always looked forward to going back there when I traveled by on I-95.
                  However, I was at Duke's (2) weeks ago and was disappointed. Chicken was very greasy & rest of food was just average. I was told by the person at the register that all the Duke's have been sold & all are now independently owned. Apparently there were other Duke's in the South all owned by the same family.

                2. Here's 2 places between Charleston and Savannah that I've enjoyed..step (or 2) down from Sweatman's

                  Beaufort..Sgt Whites


                  Hardeeville..Pink Pig


                  1. Thanks for info - heading to Charleston for 3 days and Savannah for 2 week of Thanksgiving. Pink Pig is on list

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: TarheelFoodie

                      Pink Pig cooks with a commercial cooker(Southern Pride?)not a real pit. There are better choices in the area. And worse, for that matter...

                    2. I just heard about this place, in Garden City, just outside Savannah..Pit Stop..912 964 1185.

                      My bro went and said it was great..real old school bbq joint. I plan on checking it out soon...any reports?

                      1. If you want true old school go to Statesboro, around 45 mins. from Sav. Vandys has been dishing out quality cue for over 50 years. Definitely the best in South Ga.

                        1. I'm here to tell you, Sweatman's is good but I've had BBQ all over SC and the best I've ever had is McCabe's in Manning. It's on 301/521 going towards Florence/Sumter. Thur.-Sat. (only open for lunch on Sat.) I promise you the BBQ is better.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: GrillMaster

                            I guess it's like most anything and boils down to personal taste, but yeah, I prefer McCabe's to Sweatman's by a rather substantial margin (get it right off the pit for a buck extra). If you like McCabe's check out Scott's. Leaving Manning, on 261, head toward the coast. It's just before Hemingway at Brunson Crossroads.

                            1. re: GrillMaster

                              GrillMaster (or anyone else who may know),

                              I'm a big fan of Momma Brown's BBQ in Mt. Pleasant, more for their buffet than for the actual 'cue, though the 'cue is decent, too. That being said, I suspect they cook with gas as there is not much of a smoke taste to their 'cue. I'm pretty sure their pit is located off-site, so I can't get a look at it and I'm too shy to come right out and ask. Do you happen to know definitively if the Brown clan uses gas at their restaurants? I've been curious for awhile. Thanks.

                            2. You can generally tell by the taste so if you think it's gas you're probably right. I've only eaten there once and that was a while back but I remember that it was pretty good and I think they had a large variety of side dishes as well. To me that can make up for less than stellar BBQ.
                              I think one of the reasons why Sweatmans (and also Lone Star near Elloree) are so popular is the setting so for some folks I guess the setting can also make up for less than stellar BBQ.
                              Another good one is Momma B's in Kingstree. Their BBQ has a little too much black pepper for my taste but they have the best BBQ turkey I've ever tasted. Usually BBQ turkey is dry and rubbery but there's never is. It's on 52 heading towards Florence.

                              1. About Sweatmans Barbeque. How do you find this place? We are driving down from NC and will surely get lost. I have looked at all posts and maps and they seem to have more than one address. Help! I really want to go.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: deborahtnc

                                  We're usually coming from the west so we don't go this way but the easiest seems to be
                                  I-95, exit at SC-176 go east (bears ESE) 7.5 mi on 176
                                  turn left onto SC453 (Eutaw Rd). From memory, its maybe 3 or 4 mi from there. The printed address (Gemini drive, is another mile or so on the left

                                2. I grew up being taken to Sweatmans by my Grandparents when we visited. It is the barbeque that I use as the standard to judge other, usually lesser, barbeques. I've eaten there a few dozen times and never been disappointed.

                                  Here's the only difficulty, in my teens I noticed this and when my wife was taken there the first time, she actually pulled me outside (away from my hash) to ask me: is it a policy (explicit or implicit) that white people eat in the dining room and african-americans get takeout in the back?

                                  It could be a fluke of when we were there or persistence of custom from the bad old days rather than continuing, purposive segregation but it gave us pause. I'd love to know if anyone else has noticed the same.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: brokegradstudent

                                    Must have been a fluke. I've seen black folks eating inside on a number of occasions. I tend not to take note of such things, but it got my attention because on each of my dozen or so visits, I have noticed that lots of folks in the dining room know each other.

                                    1. re: brokegradstudent

                                      Color of your skin has nothing to do with eat in or take out, but were you live.
                                      I live in Holly Hill and locals get take out and out of towners eat in.
                                      We eat in when we have out of town guest and very seldom do I see anyone I know. When we get take out, I seem to know everyone.

                                      1. re: purplehurricane

                                        I'm always chatty with folks at Sweatman's as I want to find out how far they drive to eat there. Many of the eat-in folks like myself are out of towners. If I lived near by I'd take out too as the price is better and you don't have to tip. One take out is more than enough for one person. McCabe's is excellent but no better while Carolina in New Ellenington might be slightly superior. It's certainly the best value in SC Que.

                                    2. anyone know the 07 vacation schedule for sweatmans? i seem to remember going there in july to find them closed for a few weeks. heading that way this saturday (7-21) and dont want to be dissapointed again .............

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: sadie1


                                        Above is link to Sweatman's on GoogleMaps. Also, if you search the Southeast board you'll find lots of info. It appears they close for three weeks - possibly late July into August? Their phone number appears with the map link.

                                        Good luck!

                                        1. re: sadie1

                                          While waiting on my take-out order on the way back to Cola, I wandered out back to the smoke house and talked to the guys doing the smokin'. They showed me how they did everything - really nice guys. We talked about the "vacation time" and I'm thinking it's mid-late August. Hotter than hell back in that cinder block building.

                                          1. re: SweetPea

                                            Thanks .. As usual listed phone numbers not operable. Will swing by this Saturday and hope for the best ... but seem to remember going at this time one recent JUly and finding them closed

                                            1. re: sadie1

                                              FWIW, my sweetie and I stopped at Sweatman's about a month ago and discovered that Tony Bourdain and his film (tape?) crew had preceded us by several weeks. Apparently, from what the lady at the cash register said the episode is going to air (cable?) in October or so---I don't know if it's about Q or about the Carolinas or what, but anyway if it matters to you that is what I heard. It can't help the crowd situation.

                                              1. re: johnb

                                                It's a piece on the Charleston area. I was amused to read in a local write-up that he took part in a Civil War reenactment, donning the gray and gleefully "firing" upon the Yankee regiment from New York.

                                        2. Heading for cue heaven next week. Can anyone tell me if Sweatman's is likely to be open Aug 10 or 18? Thanks a bunch.

                                          1. Anyone ever try J.B.'s Smokeshack on John's Island in Charleston? i love the place. Really fine barbecue with a good amount of smoke flavor. If you eat in, they have a fantastic buffet with the best sides I've ever had at a bbq joint and outstanding pork shoulder and chicken. They have a variety of sauces you can use, representing all the regional variations from KC molasses to SC mustard. An exceptional place that never gets the attention it deserves.