Address: 706 Saint Matthews Rd, Swansea, SC 29160
Hours of operation: Friday & Saturday, 11-8:30; Monday night is Fish Fry night, 4:30-8:30
Country Side has been operating quietly in Swansea, SC for over 30 years. I say “quietly” because it’s a little off the beaten path on old St. Matthew’s Road and lots of people outside of the area have never driven past it. St. Matthew’s Road is also SC Highway 6 which is off US 321 and goes right through Swansea so it reasonably easy to find for those who don’t spend their time flying down the interstate.
Country Side is a small, white cinder block barbeque that harkens back to the way it ought to be. In the world of barbeque lore there are some aficionados who say that if a restaurant isn’t made out cinder block it can’t be real barbeque. Rest assured Country Side is the real thing.
Country Side may not be very well known outside of the local area but it should be. The locals have kept it busy for over three decades.
Even though Country Side is in the lower part of Lexington County the sauce style is more akin to an Orangeburg Sweet sauce. That is, it’s mustard, but it’s sweeter than the standard mustard sauce that is found at Maurice’s or Hite’s or many of the others who serve in the German tradition. Since Swansea is on the road to Orangeburg (if one is going there from Columbia), it’s a bit of a transitional style barbeque sauce in a transitional barbeque area.
When vegetables are in season the country buffet is always fresh cooked. That, plus real homemade bread pudding and great hushpuppies, make for a great outing. Top flight barbeque, home-cooked fresh vegetables and sides made with extra loving care. Country Side is worth the little trouble it takes to find it.