Over the past few years, my family has been going to the beach for a long Labor Day weekend. This year was no different, but I wanted to make it a little more memorable. For the months leading up to the trip, I've been talking Dawn and the rest of the family into driving an hour+ away from the beach to eat at Scott's BBQ and an hour+ back. It seemed like a no brainer to me, but a few others didn't want to "ruin their vacation" spending so much time on the road. I had to meet a guy in Sumter to pick up some bowling pins for a game I'm going to make for a tailgate later this year, so Dawn suggested we just go on down to Hemingway and eat on the way down.
We left the house shortly after lunch and started the trek down. Neither of us had ever been to either of these places, or the towns between, so it was a very eye opening ride. Everything had an old school feel to it. Some of the towns had really nice downtown areas with older buildings, and a classic small town in the South feel to them.
Hemingway is a little different from those towns. From what we saw, it was more woods and fields than shops and diners.
What Hemingway may miss in "modern living" they definitely make up in with BBQ. Scott's BBQ has been in the NY Times and other publications and also on numerous TV shows. When you go to a place like this you always have to worry if it's a tourist trap, or it's really that good and the locals enjoy it as well.
We were the only (obvious) tourist when we were there until another group of guys walked in dressed in business casual attire. They may have been local, but I highly doubt it. As a rookie, I didn't notice they had their own homemade pork rinds for sale. As we were eating, I saw numerous people walk by with multiple bags of it. Another way to know that we weren't from around there. The locals were picking up to-go boxes of pounds of pork. Yes, boxES of POUNDS of pork.
We apparently got there just in time, because the wait was only about 10-15 minutes. By the time we left, I would guess it was a solid 30-45 minute wait.
I've mentioned it time and time again, but when I think of BBQ joints, I don't want some fancy restaurant with cloth napkins and $3 drinks. When I think of a BBQ joint I think of exactly what Scott's is. It's an old building with a couple of tables, a line out the door, hand written signs, and a welcoming feel.
My favorite sign is easily the "no drop down pants" sign. When I saw that I almost busted out laughing. You can tell these people mean business, and just want good people to come in and enjoy their good food.
We each ordered the BBQ Plate which comes with slaw, baked beans, and a tea. Dawn's mom was the only one that had the slaw and really enjoyed it. Once the beans cooled down a little we were able to dig in, and they were really good too. I'm a new bean eater, so I wouldn't say take my word on it, but Dawn ate ever bite of hers. I'm not a huge tea drinker, but this was some of the best sweat tea I've ever had in my life. I drank every last sip of it.
Those little specs you see on the pork is the seasoning and spices. This was some of the spicest BBQ I've ever eaten, but dang was it amazing. It wasn't spicey to the point that it would light your tail on fire, but it was spicey to let you know it was there. Their sauce is a vinegar base and it complimented the spicey Q perfectly.
Scott's BBQ is EASILY in the top 5 greatest BBQ joints I've ever been to, if not #1. I would personally prefer some mac'n'cheese or other sides, but that's not their forte so I can't knock them on that.
If you're ever in town ... ok let's not joke, you will never been in town in Hemingway ... so do yourself a favor and go OUT OF YOUR WAY to visit Scott's BBQ (just make sure you go by the bank on the way, because they only accept cash). The building looks like it could fall any day now, but once you taste this BBQ you'll be willing to sit there with one hand in the air to hold the roof up if it came to that to keep eating their BBQ.