by Jaclyn Jecha
As we continued our road trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina for a family vacation, we were in search of more BBQ. This time, we wanted traditional South Carolina BBQ with that signature Carolina gold mustard sauce. Again we used the Southern Foodways Alliance to find Sweatman’s BBQ in Holy Hill, South Carolina. Our timing was perfect because they’re only open on Fridays and Saturdays.
We were greeted by the Sweatman’s staff and they immediately made us feel welcome (everything they say about Southern hospitality is true). They even offered us a behind the scene’s tour of the smokehouse and we jumped at the opportunity. The tour was a great look into the traditions of this great BBQ establishment and we appreciated every minute of it.
Sweatman’s has been smoking whole hogs since 1977 and they start the process at 4 o’clock the night before by making their own charcoal. After the hogs cook throughout the night, the pitmasters chop up the pork and mix it with their mustard-based sauce. Sweatman’s also slathers their sauce on pork ribs, which can also be found on the menu.
The buffet is all-you-can eat (except for the ribs – you’re limited to two) and includes some of the best in southern cooking including macaroni and cheese, baked beans, coleslaw and green beans. The most interesting side is the pork hash, served over rice. The hash, a South Carolina specialty, is ground pork mixed with seasonings and simmered for hours. It’s delicious and we wanted to go back for more!
And, to top it all off, there’s the famous banana pudding. Wash it all down with lemonade or sweet tea and there is no possible way you can leave feeling hungry. You can taste the love in every bite and you know they truly enjoy what they do. Sweatman’s is a little bit off the beaten path, but it’s well worth the trip.
1427 Eutaw Road
Holly Hill, SC 29059
Photo credits: Dan Jecha