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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Road Food: Mutt's BBQ

When you go to anyplace near Chesapeake Bay you get crabs...or eat oysters...or both. In Wisconsin you drink beer and eat cheese. In Vermont or New Hampshire you drink beer and eat cheese. When you go to upstate South Carolina, you eat BBQ.

Tuesday lunchtime, in the middle of a warm, spring rain in Easley, SC, (just east of Greenville/Spartanburg) I was starving and one of the guys I was working with took me to the perfect place to take care of that South Carolina spring hunger.

Mutt's has a lunch buffet and there were dozens of men in line when we arrived. It didn't take long for us to get through the line though as the buffet at Mutt's is routine for anyone who's been there and I had a guide.

The meat was standard Carolina pulled pork, chicken (fried and pulled) and ribs, with three kinds of shrimp (sauteed in butter, fried, and peel and eat). None of these were better than I've made at home or had at Paul's but the sides were another story.

If you ask me the sides are the reason to eat there because you can get the same meat anywhere in the Carolinas. The cole slaw was creamy but not too saucy. It had a crunch that suggested it was made fresh the night before. The mac and cheese was perfect for a buffet though Patti La Belle would probably object.

Two of my clients asked me if I tried the sweet potato crunch and I did and it was awesome. I usually hate sweet potato dishes that are too sweet but this stuff was awesome. The crunch came from fried sweet potatoes layered on top that were so fried they crunched and the rest of the sweet potatoes beneath the crunch were creamy but you could still pick them up with a fork.

There were a few places in Easley/Greenville/Spartanburg I didn't get to and I didn't go to any of the numerous sushi places (I've gotten so tired of eating at the same restaurants I've been getting veggies and hummus and cheese at local grocery stores). What really struck me was the Greenville, SC and Asheville, NC, Friday papers (both smaller than Lincoln) had really vibrant entertainment sections that featured local people weighing in on food, movies, theater, parks, etc. Ground Zero needs a makeover. Asheville looked especially fun.


Blogger Lincoln Writer said...

Hey, Swoof ... I hope you will remember me? I found your blog last week. You're a good reviewer (though reading about so much meat makes me a bit nauseated! ;-) )

You must have a cool and/or exhausting job to be on the road so much!

Did you by any chance bring home copies of those entertainment sections?

9:48 PM  
Blogger Swoof said...

Hey! It's good to hear from you.

I'll have you know I ate salad for every meal the rest of the week after that BBQ buffet.

I didn't bring back those papers but that's a good idea for the future.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Lincoln Writer said...

cool -- keep in touch!

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Oysterman said...

Good blog. Come on down to Virginia for some Chesapeake Bay softshell crabs and oysters!!!



10:12 AM  
Anonymous Oysterman said...

Any good recipies?

10:14 AM  

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