Sunday, November 15, 2009

Slo' Smokin' Barbeque



April: Like many communities in the United States, the outskirts of Rock Hill in York County, SC are growing. Commercial development, new neighborhoods, road projects, etc. dominate the area between Rock Hill and Charlotte, NC. The small community of Newport, SC is no exception. A new Wal-Mart was naturally added to this area not too long ago. With it comes the requisite Dollar General, large clear cut parking lots, and newly created intersections. Slo' Smokin' Barbecue is mainly a catering outfit run by the Partlow family. It is housed in an 1880's farmhouse on the land that is now the new Wal-Mart. Due to the road construction with the Wal-Mart, the Partlow's were forced to shut down the three day a week restaurant that they ran out of the house. We happened upon this spot and this information a few weeks ago. Mr. Partlow was nice enough to give us a tour of the house and grounds, tell us stories of his years in the BBQ and catering business, and supply us with his call ahead/tailgating menu and encouraged us to order the following week. Needless to say, we did. We picked up a whole rack of ribs, 2lbs of pulled BBQ, sauces, and banana pudding. Mr. Partlow also threw in some of his personal recipe BBQ beans. He also told us that the business would be moving after the first of the year. The leasing company that owns the property and (not surprisingly) the Wal-Mart notified him that the rent for the house would be $3500 as of January 1, 2010. It is an increase of almost three times what he pays now. I do hope that he will relocate the catering and to-go business because he has some of the best BBQ, beans, sauce, and banana pudding around. The barbeque was well smoked and lightly mixed with a vinegar based sauce. While there was not a lot of bark (my favorite part) the smokey flavor was great. His BBQ beans are fantastic. A mix of kidney, limas, and pork and beans along with his favorite spices make these beans darn near perfect. I am not a fan of the super sweet baked beans that most restaurants serve up. These were gourmet quality but a very nice mix with the barbeque. The banana pudding is absolutely some of the best I have ever had. He mentioned that his grandson had a hand in making it. I hope they never stop. My favorite sauce is what he calls the "Growlin' Sauce" in honor of the Carolina Panthers. When the NFL team first came on the scene up here, the Partlow's helped cater their training camp. The players requested a hot BBQ sauce so they developed one and named it after the Panther Growl. What a great story! The one disappointment from this grand meal was the ribs. I am not a huge rib fan anyhow, but these were just not to my liking. They were fresh from the smoker and well sauced with a tomato base, but the meat was very fatty and tough. I liked the sauce and spiciness of the ribs, but the toughness and rubbery quality made them difficult to eat.
Overall, Slo' Smokin' is a great gastronomic experience that I hope will re-open far, far away from any future Wal-Marts.
Lane: I agree with the above to a point, as good as the beans were, they just didn't seem to be that great. The BBQ was amazing and the ribs had a ton of flavor. I do have one issue about the ribs however and its that there seemed to be a line of subcutaneous fat over the meat instead of a marbled layer. To me, this just meant that the meat had an unbalanced texture with most of the flavor in one area of the rib. Sauce wise, they were very good. I enjoyed the mustard sauce more then the "Growlin' Sauce" and I also really, really liked the banana pudding. My advice to anyone thinking of having an event catered. Check out Slo' Smokin'.

Slo' Smokin' Barbeque 4821 Old York, Road Rock Hill, SC 29732
(803) 322-7202
Distance from home: 4.7 miles

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bucko's

April: More than one person in Rock Hill suggested that we give Bucko's a try and review their BBQ. I ate a very good hot dog at their old restaurant location on North Cherry Road a few years ago. I have to admit that the very large pig outside that place might have warned me off the BBQ at the time. Their "new" restaurant is on South Cherry in an old Hardees and is sans the large outdoor pig. We ventured down for a lunch time treat. The Jr BBQ sandwich, fries (or Vidalia onion rings for an extra $1), and coleslaw was $5.69. In this economy, that is a great deal. I opted for the onion rings. The food arrived and I was most impressed with the shear quantity of food. There were easily 10 or more onion rings in the basket. Most places will barely give you more than 4. They were sweet and salty. The BBQ was piled on a buttery bun. I removed the bread and went straight for the meat. It was VERY smokey and savory. This meat held a lot of the oak flavor from the wood used in the smoker. The meat is not sauced, which I prefer, but I did try the sauce which they make themselves. The color is that of light molasses, but it is surprisingly NOT sweet. It was very tangy. I did not use a lot because it gave my tongue serious fatigue after just a few bites. I have to say that this food was very good and we will make Bucko's one of our more regular BBQ haunts in Rock Hill.
Lane: I am quite glad to finally get a chance to enjoy Bucko's after all the build up. The Vidalia Onion rings were very good. They were crisp, warm, and oh so sweet complimenting the tangyness of the cue. The cue was once an excellent cut of pork with plenty of flavor, chopped and pulled to a nice texture and consistency. All together, the next time I have the sandwich I'm putting the onion rings, slaw, and cue together for one big old mama-jama sam-mich! The kind you get messy, drippy, juices flowing down your sleeves. The food was SO good that April and I had already eaten before we even remembered to take any pics. :(

Bucko's
1019 McConnells Highway Rock Hill, SC 29732
(803) 980-2328
Distance from home: 2.0 miles
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