No, seriously! Cheech and Chong are the names of these huge smokers at Bessingers Barbeque in Charleston, South Carolina.
After leaving Savannah for the next part of our Southern Road Trip, we decided to bypass taking I-95 and take some back roads to Charleston. We popped the top down on the convertible and enjoyed some sunshine and fresh air. We knew we had some time to kill for lunch and being able to check into our Charleston Airbnb.
1602 Savannah Highway
Charleston, South Carolina 29487
Bessingers Barbeque has been doing their Mustard-based Barbeque in South Carolina since 1939! They are known as the first barbeque family in South Carolina, and with 80 years of experience, we’re not going to argue.
Before We Got Inside Bessingers Barbeque
We pulled into the parking lot to find two huge side-by-side smokers. At a closer look, we saw a wooden plaque on each reading Cheech and Chong.
The building has a rustic redwood exterior with a large outbuilding with a few tables and a pile of wood drying. The other notable detail is the substantial take-out line wrapping around the building. As we made our way inside, the line moved pretty quickly.
For us, 80 years of experience, a busy take-out business, and lines that move quickly are all good signs.
Authentic South Carolina BBQ
Inside Bessingers Baqbeque, you order at the counter, grab a drink, and they’ll call you when your food’s ready. The place was filled with big wooden booths, tables, and self-serve drink and barbeque sauce stations.
Menu options include Plates (1, 2, or 3 types of meat) with your choice of Pork, ½ Chicken, Wings, Turkey, or Pulled Chicken. For an additional charge, you can add Pork Ribs or Brisket. Each Plate comes with Bread and two Fixins.
The Fixins offered included Steak Fries, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, Green Beans, Cole Slaw, Skins, Okra, Collard Greens, Mac, and Cheese, Onion Ring and something they called Hash Over Rice.
Our Lunch with Cheech and Chong
Chuck went with the One Meat Plate with Greens and Mac and Cheese. He opted for the classic Pulled Pork bathed in their tangy Mustard BBQ. The Pork was moist, has a light smokiness with excellent flavor. The Mac and Cheese was delicious, and the Greens may have been the best we had on our entire road trip.
Other options include Baskets or Sandwiches with many of the same meats offered on the Plates.
Mark went with the “Big Joe” Basket, named for one of the Bessinger’s sons. This Pulled Pork Sandwich comes with Steak Fries and an Onion Ring.
You may have noticed we said an Onion Ring, just one, but in this case, it’s a HUMONGOUS Donut size Onion Ring. The Onion Ring might have been a bit dark, but we’d guess they take a bit of cooking to cook all the way through.
Bessingers Barbeque’s ‘Original Golden Recipe’ Mustard BBQ is not something we see a lot. We’re more used to Tomato-based BBQ Sauces – like what we had at Wiley’s BBQ in Savannah.
But this mustard-based sauce was excellent and a nice change. The sandwich was packed with tender Pulled Pork, the ‘Original Golden Recipe’ sauce was delicious. And the Onion Ring was awesome. Had we not been gearing up for a weekend of eating, we might have gone back for a whole side order of the Onion Rings.
Do not pass by Bessingers Barbeque if you drive into Charleston, South Carolina, on Savannah Highway. It’s an incredible barbeque place, and you don’t want to miss it!