CAROLINA BAR-B-QUE109 Main Street
New Ellenton, SC 29809
Hours of operation: Thursday - Saturday, 11:00 to 9:00
In years gone by when barbeque buffs would gather to exchange information on barbeque joints around the state the one that everybody said you had to try was Carolina Barbeque in New Ellenton
Carolina started in 1968 and it hasn’t missed a beat since. It may not have the largest buffet around but it probably has the largest cult following in the state.
As to the buffet; it is more than adequate even if a little small. There is plenty of seating but the arrangement inside is such that the serving area is small and the staff is constantly re-filling the trays on the buffet. When you think about it, that is actually a fine thing. The last time I was there I went to reach for some hushpuppies and even though the tray was still about forty percent full, a young man was taking that tray out and putting in a fresh one.
And speaking of hushpuppies, I always take home a dozen extra for my wife to enjoy. The first time I ask “how much are they?” I was prepared for a price of fifty cents each or at least twenty five cents each which would be, at a minimum, $3 a dozen. Nope, they are only a buck fifty a dozen. Now you see why I always get and extra supply to take home.
But while the hushpuppies are great, it is the barbeque that steals the show.
Their barbeque is pit cooked and smoked they way it used to be everywhere in the South but is now found in only a few places. And their doing it for over 35 years has lead to barbeque perfection. The only negative with Carolina is that they only do shoulders and don’t do ribs. What I wouldn’t give for some ribs done in the same expert manner as the barbeque!
They have two kinds of sauce at Carolina, a mustard sauce and one that is reddish mustard based sauce which they call “spicy.” Both are very fine. Again, my wife thinks their sauce is one of the best in the whole state if not the very best.
The slaw at Carolina is fine too and they have baked beans, sweet potatoes, Macaroni and cheese, a potato salad they make themselves and which the locals regularly stop by to buy as take-out, plus rolls, various types of pickles and the afore mentioned hushpuppies.
That is pretty much it on the buffet line. As I say, it’s a small buffet. But then this is Carolina Barbeque after all and the barbeque is what you come for and not the pickles. After you load up your plate with their barbeque you don’t need much else.