October 10, 2009
Our next stop on the way to Florida was Florence, SC, where we would hook up with some friends for dinner. My choice, even though the Dude is vegetarian? South Carolina vinegar-based BBQ. After doing some research and asking our friends, the only choice was Roger’s (www.yelp.com/biz/rogers-barbeque-florence).
As a general rule I avoid all things “barbeque,” especially ketchup/tomato-brown sugar-molasses-based BBQ because I hate that sweet shit [Dickey’s (www.dickeys.com/index.aspx) is palatable because their sauce is not sweet.)] slathered all over a perfectly good piece of beef, and I don’t really like pork, and I cannot stand BBQed chicken, much less chicken on the bone on the grill, or chicken to begin with for that matter…so really I don’t like barbeque at all. But, since I’m a good foodie and not a food weenie (definition: Someone afraid to try a food/cuisine because he/she “might not like it”) and since we were driving through South Carolina and since part of this journey is to try regional foods, well, Carolina-style BBQ was up.
We met with our friends at Roger’s and I have to say that the vinegary mustardy sauce was great. Tangy but didn’t cover up the flavor of what it was on. Make sure you try their hot shredded BBQ beef. It is black pepper hot and if you are not prepared you will cough up a lung (also, don’t take a big whiff because that black pepper will get you that way too). The buffet was a gorgeous example of Southern foodways (www.southernfoodways.com) and a vegetarian’s nightmare with mac and cheese, squash casserole, hush puppies, fried chicken and fish, collard greens with ham, coleslaw, green beans (probably seasoned with ham), and cobblers, along with iced tea (of course it was sweet, what else?). (I think the Dude was able to eat the mac and cheese and coleslaw.) The tables had bottles of Trappey’s Peppers in Vinegar , which I love, and free refills on everything.
We visited for a couple of hours and then it was off to our stop for the night in Manning, SC. We stayed at another Holiday Inn Express but this one used to be a Motel 6 or Red Roof or something because it was obviously a refurb. I wonder if each HI Express is individually owned like a franchise because there were no goody bags for the fur kids and the toiletries, while the same brand, were lacking in quantity and type. For example, the HI Express in Stafford had face soap, bath soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, a shower cap (does anyone use these anymore?), and had toothbrushes and toothpaste at the front counter (ours were “packed” in the truck, somewhere), but the HI Express in Manning had shampoo, lotion, and body soap. I went to the front desk to ask for conditioner (another thing that was still packed in the truck and therefore inaccessible) and the lady said they didn’t even carry it. So, maybe each hotel buys their extras and this owner was just cheap? Who knows.
The day was not too long and the visit with friends was nice and the Dude and I didn’t wish harm on each other even once. It was a good day.
Next installment? Finally, finally into Florida and Biketoberfest in Daytona.