Bad BBQ, Blues to die for

Charleston, SC

I can’t say I’m a fan of Carolina BBQ. Granted, this is personal taste, but I HATE vinegar. Carolina BBQ really does nothing right in my opinion. First, there’s the vinegar based sauce (actually having a sauce may be a nod over Memphis style BBQ, but I hesitate to confirm). Secondly, there’s the chopped meat aspect–who dices meat for BBQ? Thirdly, there’s the slaw; why would you serve perfectly good meat over cole slaw? What can I say; I’m from Kansas City.

South Carolina, however, came up roses as concerns a second passion of mine–the blues. We’re doing shows in Charleston this week and got lucky enough to be here during the Low Country Blues Bash. There are blues bands spreading happiness all over the city this week. This evening I went to The Pour House and heard Eddie Shaw and the Wolfgang. This is the best blues band I’ve heard in 2 years. Eddie “Vaan” Shaw Jr. may be the best guitar player I’ve ever heard–controlled, crisp, expressive, fantastic.

The Pour House is a blues joint through and through. There’s no food, only beverage. They have a nice beer list, about a dozen or so on tap and several dozen bottles. I had an Allagash Brewery Trippleboch for the first time. This was a very nice beer; a tad sweet to drink a lot of, but quite good. The liquor list is short but the drinks are good.

If you’re in Charleston in February make sure you check out some of the Blues Fest.

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11 Comments

Filed under Charleston, Entertainment, Music, The Blues

11 responses to “Bad BBQ, Blues to die for

  1. Paul Flocken

    Blipey, Do you realize the blasphemy you have committed? Carolina Barbeque is simply heaven on earth. You will now go to hell. Forever. No get out of hell card for you. Period. When you repent you may have a ten pound bucket of CBBQ.

  2. Well, I’m afraid I’ll just have to stay if my reward for getting out is 10 pounds of Carolina BBQ. All ribbing aside, I do appreciate what makes a good Carolina BBQ; I just don’t care for it. I’m a molasses and chili pepper man–the vinegar just isn’t in my blood. I’ve also had some really nicely BBQ’d meat in the Carolinas.

    I figure if you’re from Kansas City, Texas, Carolina, or Memphis you are obligated to poke a little fun at each other’s BBQ. Of course, it’s an excuse to sit down and eat some BBQ–just so you get the argument right, don’t’cha know. :)

  3. Shit had I known you were in my area of the world I would have shown you good non-chopped BBQ and bought you a beer or 12.

  4. EyeNoU

    Blipey, did you try the BBQ when you were down here in Texas? We use beef instead of those “unclean” pigs………

  5. Rev. BDC:

    I would certainly have taken you up on that–I’ve been known to drink a beer or 4 (though rarely 12 :) ). Even better, I would have loved to have gotten some non-chopped, low-vinegar BBQ. I’ll probably be back in your area in October; maybe we can grab a brew then.

  6. Hidee-ho EyeNoU and welcome.

    I have eaten a lot of BBQ in Texas and I have a dirty secret to tell (dirty because I’m from Kansas City):

    The best BBQ I ever ate was in Texas, at a little place in Crockett called Thompson’s BBQ. In general, I like the pork better. I don’t have anything against beef ribs; they’re meatier, bigger, and hold onto rub and sauce nicely. However, I like the flavor of the pork a bit better and I think it can be a tad bit more tender than beef at its best.

    Overall, I’d say I like Kansas City BBQ better than the Texas stuff, but Thompson’s is the bomb!

  7. EyeNoU

    I was just kidding about the pig, I like pork BBQ as much as anyone. I work away from home, and I usually do a rack or two of babybacks on the little water smoker I have when I get back home. When you talk BBQ in Texas, most people go for the beef brisket over anything else.

  8. Oh yeah, Texans like their beef. We love it in KC too, but more as a strip steak than anything else. Now a defining moment: sauce or no sauce?

  9. EyeNoU

    Are we talking about brisket, or BBQ in general? If the brisket is done properly, no sauce. It will be moist, tender, and flavorful on its own.
    If you are talking about BBQ in general, I usually get the sauce on the side. There are a lot of different sauce types, and I have had good meat that was ruined by a bad sauce. I generally start with a seasoning rub on anything I smoke.

  10. I was talking about BBQ in general. I agree, any meat done properly needs nothing but bit of salt and pepper. That’s not to say that the flavors can’t be enhanced with sauces and rubs and what-not, but the most important ingredient is always to cook it properly.

    Your comment on bad sauce is exactly right, and was the original point of this thread: I can’t stand Carolina-style BBQ sauce.

    Personally, my favorite BBQs involve a nice, spicy Memphis-style dry rub, finished off with a bit (technical term for enough sauce to almost coat the rib or pulled meat in a sandwich) of Kansas City-style molasses based BBQ sauce.

  11. EyeNoU

    IIRC, isn’t what they call “sauce” just vinegar and red pepper flakes? I think I would pass on using that also. Your idea of good ‘Q sounds damn good to me, too.

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