After my memorable breakfast at Eddie’s Place in Charlotte, I finally began my First Upland South Carolina Barbecue Tour. For once, I did considerable planning before the trip, and it was a good thing. My main resource was my Ultimate South Carolina Barbecue Guide, with intersection or overlap between the Campaign for Real Barbecue South Carolina list of wood-only places and the South Carolina Barbecue Association’s list of 100 Mile Barbecue Places. I went through the Upland places on both of those lists and was ready to go. Almost.
I also uncharacteristically checked to make sure each targeted place would be open. That was a really good move. It was now Wednesday and I had to pick up Nancy at the Savannah airport Friday morning, and many top places in South Carolina are open only Friday and Saturday. That eliminated a lot of potential spots, and the COVID lockdowns had eliminated a lot more. But as we lawyers say, nil desperandum, which is Latin for “Hey, watch this!” I proceeded undeterred and headed to Bucky’s.
Bucky’s has several locations, and as a matter of policy, I chose the original location, the one on Roper Mountain Road. That was serendipitous: Bucky’s now does all of their cooking at Roper Mountain, and readers will recall what that can mean for the outposts. The location looked promising from the road.
Inside, there are two good sized rooms with a restrained number of barbecue symbols and signs, including this one —
I ordered a pork plate with two vegetables, green beans and a sweet potato crunch, a casserole topped with pecans. Feast your eyes on this —
That’s some beautiful pork, and it tasted just as good as it looked. It was freshly chopped, with no chance to dry out one bit. As you can see, it had a fine-medium chop and lots of both inside and outside meat. What you can’t see is the flavor. My notes are, “Wow! Smoke! Delicious. 100 mile.”
The meat came unsauced, which was good. Bucky’s offers two sauces on each table, a mustard sauce and a second sauce that I’ll bet includes some mustard. Neither knocked my socks off, but both were good and neither, judiciously applied, would interfere with that great pork and hickory flavor.
Don’t forget the vegetables. The green beans were excellent, certainly not vegetarian, and thus top notch. The sweet potato crunch was a vegetarian dish although, with butter and sugar and pecans as the most prominent ingredients, it was more of a dessert than a side. Be sure to get some.
I didn’t leave hungry and the chairs were as mismatched as anyone could desire. I didn’t see the cook, but I can assure you I didn’t leave unhappy. It’s hard to see how anyone could leave unhappy. The staff at Bucky’s are outgoing and cheerful, and it seems like a family operation, with a very young girl at the cash register and bussing the tables. I enjoyed some trash talk with Clemson fans at the next table. The food is great, the portions are generous, and the $8.75 you pay for a pork plate Includes a drink. As we shall see, Greenville itself is worth a trip, and any trip to Greenville should involve a meal or three on Roper Mountain Road. Head on over.
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