At Green River BBQ, carnivores can sink fangs into a sumptuous selection of smoky, saucy, pit-fired meats, served alongside a spread of hearty, homestyle sides. The Saluda Stuffer sandwich fills bellies with a half-loaf of italian bread hollowed and stuffed with chopped barbecue pork ($9.49), and plates piled high with quarter ($8.99) or half ($10.99) barbecue chickens quell cravings for the other, other white meat. Pork ribs by the whole ($19.99) or half rack ($15.99) are prepared St. Louis–style by slow-cooking them on the world’s largest flaming ferris wheel, and arrive tableside with a pair of hush puppies and a choice of three Southern-inspired side dishes such as homemade slaw, barbecue beans, or the eatery's signature tomato pie. Green River BBQ invites its guests to sup saucily both inside the wood-paneled dining room and outside on the quaint patio—though no matter where you sit, the friendly, attentive serving staff will try to meet any request, except for those beginning with "I dare you to…"
Big Mountain Barbeque fashions mouthwatering Southern-style feasts from a menu of fresh, slow-smoked meats, flavorful house-made sauces, and tantalizing traditional fixings. Each juicy cut of meat, such as a half smoked chicken ($9.75), fall-off-the-bone ribs ($11.99/half slab; $17.99/full slab), or beef brisket ($10.75), slow-cooks to perfection amid the smoky flavor and structural soundness of 100% hardwood before basking beneath one of six signature house-made sauces, including South Carolina mustard, Memphis dry rub, or Big Mountain original. Traditional barbecue sides ($1.99 each) roll out fresh from the kitchen each day, garnishing meaty meals with tasty servings of vidalia-onion casserole, brunswick stew, fried green tomatoes, or fried green cotillion gowns. In addition to gracing barbecue banquets with the meaty bounty of the smoking pit, Big Mountain Barbeque safely contains unfettered flavor molecules between buns in the form of a half-pound Big Mountain burger ($7.99) or a spicy buffalo chicken sandwich ($7.50).
Founded in 1974, The Fireplace Restaurant originally stuffed appetites with its juicy steaks and seafood in the Hayes House, a century-old cabin. Home to the area’s first salad bar—a smorgasbord of fresh produce—the Diners Club of America–honored eatery ultimately relocated to accommodate its growing clientele. Nowadays, the historic restaurant continues its growth and culinary tradition on Baird’s Cove Road, custom grilling steaks, slow cooking ribs, and heaping plates high with shrimp, mahi-mahi, and other seafood creations that are more nutritious than wheatgrass coated in Flintstones vitamins. The Fireplace Restaurant’s all-you-can-eat buffet rotates regularly between barbecue, seafood, and homestyle dishes, and on Sunday mornings, chefs whip up omelets, Texas-style french toast, and other breakfast classics.
Bucky's Bar-B-Q owner Wayne Preston honed his craft at a young age, spending boyhood afternoons in his father's meatpacking plant and Wednesday nights preparing suppers for his local church. Word about Wayne's saucy ribs and pulled pork spread shortly after he founded his own roadside barbecue stand, forcing him?like the barbecue-sauce barons of years past?to expand his operations to new frontiers. Today, each of Bucky's four locations fashions heaping plates of never-frozen Boston butt, tender chicken, and St. Louis?style ribs in the traditional country style: hand-rubbed with secret seasonings and slow-cooked over a smoky fire of hickory chips. Three housemade sauces garnish slices of juicy meat served alongside traditional sides of baked beans, coleslaw, and sweet potatoes. When they aren't dishing out meals in the restaurant, Bucky's tireless staff serves parties, formal events, weddings, and flash mobs as large as 1,500 people with fully catered barbecue feasts.
Wayne shares his more than 15 years of barbecuing expertise with aspiring grill masters during in-depth classes offered at his Roper Mountain and Donaldson Center locations. Students not only learn the art behind sauces and rub but also get to eat their class materials.
Amid red-and-white checkered tablecloths, a canopy of team pennants, and TVs playing episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, Dixie Barbeque owner Alan Howell serves up a wide-ranging menu of succulent southern barbecue. The pulled-pork sandwich ($5.19 for a regular; $6.35 for a large) bundles up with a side of rolls, slaw upon request, and E.T. Red barbecue sauce, mesmerizing mouths both human and Martian. Or order a sandwich plain and douse it with a choice of sauces, such as Alabama White, South Carolina Gold, and the understated Sauce from Hell.