Finally after several months on the “Pig Pen Trails” I have gotten back to “square one” where my buddy Skipper Beck and I first began on Day 1. If
you recall, Skipper and I flew from Charlotte to Raleigh, where we visited The Pit in a refurbished warehouse/mill in downtown. Originally opened as Nana’s Chop House by my friend Scott Howell, the restaurant was converted to The Pit with pitmaster Ed Mitchell from Mitchell’s BBQ in Wilson, NC at the helm. From here we flew into Greenville, NC where we visited and had great BBQ at world renown Pete Jone’s Skylight Inn where we had my favorite Eastern NC BBQ to date. Unfortunately, the Skylight had a pit fire last week and the testimony of other BBQ restaurants who showed up to help out the Jones in the down time was wonderful and inspiring – chivalry and honor are not dead in NC! Those guys at Skylight make the best Q I have had in the East to date!
On the way back to the airport, you may recall B’s was out of food. From here Skipper and I flew to Conway SC, rented a car and drove to Hemingway SC to eat at Scott’s only to find it closed. I knew I would never hear the end of Skipper’s raggin’ on me about Scott’s being closed, not to mention I made him throw out the great BBQ at Skylight to save room for 4 more BBQ joints that afternoon. Skipper said “Noble, I am so hungry now (about 5 o’clock pm) I would pull that Q out of the trash can if I could. I can’t believe you brought me down here and didn’t know they were closed.”
Well, Skipper, you will be glad to know I finally made it back the Saturday after Thanksgiving on a deer hunting trip.
You have to make a point to visit Hemingway SC and I found out that the deer lease my father-in-law and brother-in-law have is only 15 minutes from Scott’s BBQ. What a great coincidence! In fact, Patrick Cook who manages the lease and works with Dick & Sam (father and brother in laws) knows Rosie (Roosevelt) who owns Scotts. So I took the trek to Scott’s and I am sure glad I did.
- I got to Scott’s about 2 in the afternoon and there was a steady stream of people coming in and getting BBQ pork, skins and chicken to go. As I approached the order window inside, I saw a large pile of pulled BBQ pork waiting to be ordered. Scott’s uses whole hogs and have been for some 30+
years. The pork was cooked with precision and was dressed with a little sauce, but they provided some on the side. It was more of a NC BBQ sauce than the expected mustard based SC sauce. The meat was tender and luscious. I ordered a pound of pulled pork, a whole BBQ chicken and a pack of skins which came in a ziplock bag. As I was paying, I asked the lady at the checkout if she was the owner, and she pointed to a man sitting a the only table inside and said that he, her husband and she owned the restaurant. Knowing there was no place else to eat, I asked if I could eat inside and she told Rosie to slide over for me. What a treat, to sit down with Rosie and eat his BBQ. We struck up a great conversation about BBQ, Scott’s, the NY Times article and his history in BBQ. He was a great host and after asking, he showed me around and showed me the pits. This place is a classic. He has a room to the side that is the pit room with about 10-12 pits end to end with a walk way through the middle. He also has more pits outside. Rosie showed me the iron walls and said they were there because the pit room had burned down 2 times already. He kept a 8′ fire barrel outside where they fired up the wood from which they would pull the coals for the pits. Rodney Scott, son to Rosie and Ella is the pitmaster and has been cooking whole hogs for over 27 years.
Rosie and Ella Scott are good folks and I loved their place. Scotts BBQ was founded in 1972 by Ella and Roosevelt “Rosie” Scott in Hemingway, SC. If ever I am in the area hunting (which I hope is soon) I will return to Scott’s for the BBQ Skipper and I only dreamed about until last week.
from 9:30am to 8:30pm
2734 Hemingway Hwy.
Hwy. 261 Brunson Cross Road
Hemingway, SC 29554