Dukes Barbecue disambiguation - does the Whitman St. location in Orangeburg, SC serve veggie sides?
Navigating the many different Dukes family restaurant locations between Charleston and Columbia is something of a maze. If you don't believe me, just check out this recent profile on the "empire":
Anyway, I'm going to be driving into Charleston on a Saturday and want to hit up one of the locations that has a full spread of Southern veggie sides. There are two Dukes in Orangeburg alone - based on what I could find, the Chestnut Street location is pretty bare-bones and only has BBQ, slaw, and hash. However, a lot of people like the Whitman St. location a lot more and it seems more "extensive," although I can't find any concrete information on what Southern sides they have and how good they are (homemade, canned?).
I've also seen a lot of strong reviews for the Ridgeville, SC location, which I've confirmed serves up homemade southern sides. Is this location significantly better than Whitman in this regard (or overall)?
I think all the BBQ is cooked in the same place (in Orangeburg), so the difference-maker will be the sides and desserts.
I have been a fan of Dukes for over 40 years. Although I live in Indiana, I go to this Dukes every year. Sides for Dukes on Whitman Street includes fried pork skins, potato salad, green beans, slaw and hush puppies. Meats served on the bar includes pulled pork as well as assorted fried and barbequed chicken. This is one of my favorite restaurants.
My verdict on Dukes Barbecue on Whitman Street in Orangeburg - go for the hash. It has wonderful depth of flavor - it's like a brunswick stew without the veggie content that you serve over white rice. In the SC tradition, I believe there was a mustard component to it, but also a nice mix of other spices.
The fried chicken was classic rural Southern fried chicken - crunchy but not-too-hard and slightly greasy skin, tender juicy chicken meat. I can't say I recommend the pork "BBQ" as it is not cooked over wood coals, but for what it is (roasted pork) there's nothing wrong with it.
This, however, is not the place to go for veggie sides. As lseymour said, the only green veggie are green beans, and they seemed to be canned. The mac&cheese was nice with a slightly burnt crust, but otherwise this isn't the full spread of lowcountry SC containing 15 or 20 from-scratch veggies like you can find at other area country buffets or restaurants.
Mikeh, Do you have any recs for the kinds of places that serve 15-20 from-scratch veggies? I will be in the Carolinas this Saturday and will be around for a couple of weeks. I'd love to check out one of these - may remind me of Grandma's!
lseymour - we are headed down from Indiana (live in Fort Wayne)