Sure, the Fourth of July celebrates Independence Day in the United States. But the date is also one to celebrate a Southern dining tradition – barbecue.
Around the South, wood-fired pits are fired up, and chickens, Boston butts and whole hogs are being lovingly tended to bring out their ultimate smoky goodness.
If you want to get your share for July Fourth from some of the Columbia area’s best, it’s best to call and place an order in advance for ribs, pulled pork and such.
Here are some really good places to get your ’cue fix this weekend.
BIG T’S: Don’t forget the hash and rice and collard greens. 7535 Garners Ferry Road, (803) 776-7132; 1061 Sparkleberry Lane Ext., (803) 788-4295; 2520 Congaree Road, Gadsden, (803) 353-0488. www.bigtbbq.com.
BRANHAMS BBQ STATION: New place, with wood-fired pits attended to by pitmaster Wayne Branham. 200 S. Dogwood St., Ridgeway. (803) 337-0215, www.facebook.com/Branhams-BBQ-Station
CHEWY’S: Walk-up and take-away only, no indoor seating. Also has fried fish and burgers. 3424 Two Notch Road, (803) 569-6653, www.chewysbbqandgrill.com
DOC’S BBQ: Check out the catfish nuggets, too! 1601 Shop Road, (803) 799-1532, www.docsbarbeque.com
HITE’S BAR-B-QUE: Block-long lines have been known to form outside on holiday weekends, so definitely call ahead. Open Friday and Saturday, call for additional holiday hours. 240 Dreher Road, West Columbia, (803) 794-4120, www.hitesbbq.com
LITTLE PIGS BARBECUE: The question is, what do they NOT have on the buffet line? All-you-can-eat or take out. 4927 Alpine Road, (803) 788-8238, www.littlepigs.biz
MIDWOOD SMOKEHOUSE BBQ & BAR: A Charlotte franchise with great brisket and ribs. 702 Crosshill Road, Suite D, (803) 764-1231, midwoodsmokehouse.com
PALMETTO PIG: Don’t forget the banana puddin’! 530 Devine St., (803) 733-2556, www.palmettopig.com
RONNIE’S RIBS: The name says it all. There’s limited outdoor seating. 2435 Main St., Elgin, (803) 438-8522, www.facebook.com/Ronnies-Ribs
TRUE BBQ: The smoker is in front of the restaurant; your choice of sauces include Sexy Lady and Pretty Lady. 1237 D Ave., West Columbia, (803) 791-9950, www.true-bbq.com