Friday, July 1, 2011

God, Country and BBQ

Sgt. White’s
1908 Boundary St.
Beaufort, SC

You know you’ve found a good barbeque joint when it shares an old run down building in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot with a bail bondsman.

Oh, and a big ol’ pig-decorated smoke stack and the sweet smell of hickory when you open the front door. Those are good signs too.

Look, I’m Suit757.

I’m good at this. I can spot a decent barbeque joint from across a three mile cotton field.

But there is no satisfaction like that first bite of pork to confirm all my theorizing.

After all, great barbeque isn’t an act of faith. It’s about the here and now. It needs to be proven bite after bite, day after day, customer after customer.

Some things in this life – like great barbeque – you have to create with your own hands. Others, you have to put in God’s hands.

Clearly, that’s a concept Sgt. White understands.

While he is busy cranking out delicious smoked ribs, pulled pork and fried chicken, there’s no mistaking Sgt. White’s highest priority.

Prominently displayed are “Jesus” vanity license plates and a framed poster of the Lord’s Last Supper, appropriately hanging in the dining room.

Interspersed with the religious artifacts are reminders of this area’s biggest employer – and Sgt. White’s pre-barbeque occupation – the United States Marine Corp.

Marine Corp flags, “Support Our Troops” banners and plastic pig sculptures round out Sgt. White’s décor.

God. Country. And BBQ.

Make no mistake about it. Sgt. White knows where his priorities lie.

He’s the guy I want in my fox hole when Ben Bernanke reduces America to a barren landscape of marauding looters and flesh-eating zombies.

At least I won’t go hungry.

Sgt. White’s is a cafeteria style diner, a scheme that generally doesn’t lend itself to barbeque excellence. But Sgt. White makes it work beautifully here in Beaufort.

In fact, the biggest dilemma of my day was looking on at all that goodness and choosing just two sides to go with my pulled pork, corn bread and lemonade.

I reluctantly settled on a delicious side dish of pork-studded smoked corn and a spicy Low Country gumbo of okra, onions, green beans, butter beans and tomato.

The corn bread was dense and sweet, good as dessert.

But as good as those sides were, the highlight was the barbeque. Drenched in a mild, tomato-based sauce, this pork packed a smoky wallop. From the first bite to the last, there was no mistaking the strong smoke flavor infused into this meat.

My brand new suit smelled like hickory smoke for the rest of the day.

Let me just say, Sgt. White knows how to smoke the hell – er – heck, out of a pig.

The Sarge’s barbeque may not be heaven-sent, but I’m glad I don’t have to wait until I’m there to taste it.

Rating: Bought the Shirt!

Sgt White's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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