For those traveling north on 1-85 from Georgia to the Carolinas, I suggest that you take Exit 1 in SC and travel 4.5 miles north to the Spotted Pig for some of the best barbecue that I have had in recent years. Note: Only open Thursday - Saturday.
We travel this route several times a month from Atlanta to a second home in the Lake Toxaway/Cashiers area of North Carolina. This restaurant popped up recently and we decided to give it a shot.
It was fantastic! We had the pulled pork with onion rings, baked beans and slaw. All exceeded our expectations. The meat was tender and moist with very little visible fat. The three sauces - a regular smoky tomato-based sauce, a hotter version of the same, and an out of this world mustard based sauce - were some of the best I have ever tasted.
I don't like slaw with too much mayonnaise and this one was perfect for me. The onion rings were clearly homemade, perfectly battered, cooked to a dark brown and crunchy. The baked beans were dark and full of delicious flavor.
We got our food to go. It wasn't until two hours later when we sat down to eat that I really began to regret all of the menu items that we did not try. I cannot wait to get back to try the ribs and brisket. This is just how a barbecue restaurant should be - simple, family-owned, efficient and delicious.
Give it a try!