yellow bbq and doughnut sized onion rings

If you have followed my blog, then you have heard my feelings on BBQ. For those of you who are new, I will sum it up. Pulled Pork is KING. End of story. I have been to Texas and had brisket and beef ribs, but for me, NC pulled pork is the way to go. I have had South Carolina style BBQ several times and it is like non other.

What makes it so different? Well, it is YELLOW! In NC, the western part of the state has a red tomato based sauce, while the eastern part goes more for a vinegar based. In SC it is a yellow mustard base that is King.

So yellow BBQ, what else could I find in Charleston, SC. How about this Onion Ring! Yes you are looking at an onion ring, not a doughnut. Although the batter was pretty sweet and did taste somewhat doughnut like. I ordered the Big Joe combo. It came with the large sandwich you see above, french fries and ONE onion ring. I found it strange that it specified coming with only one onion ring, now I know why. When your onion ring is the size of your sandwich, you only need one!

You are probably wondering where to find this yellow BBQ and enormous onion ring. You will find them at Bessinger’s in Charleston SC.

Bessinger’s has a buffet dining section, a sandwich shop, and a drive through! O and they also cater. So however you need to go about getting your BBQ fix, they have it covered. If you are a BBQ fan, you definitely need to try some South Carolina mustard based pulled pork. Red tomato based or yellow mustard based, which is better?

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  1. Trudy Pettit says

    I’m a new fan to your site.
    What an adventure and to have all these beautiful photos included!
    Having the photos gradually build up in size as you scroll through the blog entry…Damn!

  2. mallory m says

    growing up in kansas city ive always been a fan of brisket and Gates BBQ’s famous sauces. But this post (and the mouth-watering photos) has intrigued me to get my butt to South Carolina and test out this crazy yellow mustard-base BBQ concoction.

  3. says

    This is just sexy talk Taylor. And you are making me very hungry. Pulled pork is my husband’s most food in the world. I have been to Bessinger’s a time or two in my day. (I went to CofC) The only thing that I like more than Bessinger’s is Melvin’s in Mount Pleasant. The best hangover food in the world, the only problem is that they are closed on Sunday. :(

    Your blog makes me miss the South and I love it.

  4. says

    Bessinger’s is on the way to the oyster place you know ….might have to get me a Little Joe tomorrow :)

    Thanks for staying with us Taylor! I had a blast and you are the perfect house guest! Come back anytime my friend!

  5. says

    I love your blog. I love what you are doing here…please keep doing it. The pictures are amazing, great posts and I am so excited to see where you are going next. Love it!!

  6. says

    Hey I have visited your blog for the first time and it’s just fantastic…I just had a meal but looking at these photos just make me hungry.

    I spend my last semester in college working on a project about NC BBQ for my documentary photography class. I was only able to tryout couple places of the Triangle area, and I really regret that after seeing what I missed to explore more (although this one’s at SC).

    Anyway, next time when you’re in Chapel Hill, try Allen & Son’s BBQ (not the one at Pittsboro). It’s one of the best barbecue I’ve ever tried.

  7. Stan says

    Hi, I live in Charleston, SC and have been to Bessenger’s many times over the years. Joe was the father and Thomas who owns the one you have pictures of is one of his sons as is Melvin’s in Mt. Pleasant and Maurice’s in Columbia, SC. They used to be called Piggy Park and at that time was a drive in type place. I remember as a just driving teen going to Piggy Park to see who all was there. It was a hang out for all the cool cars and young folks out on Date Night in Charleston.

  8. Terry Brown says

    Lived in Charleston in the late 1960s. Went to Piggy Park drive in all the time. Onion rings were the best. however the pork sandwich I remember was more tomato based and would run down you hands as you ate it. Sure brings back good memories.

  9. Raymond says

    Grew up eating Piggy Park food. Stan in his post above forgot about Robert Bessenger, another of Joe’s sons and owner of Robert’s in North Charleston. They also serve the original mustard based bbq pull pork and enormous onion rings made famous by Piggy Park. My mother was a carhop at Piggy Park on Rutledge and then Dorchester roads and later became a cook at Robert’s when he was located at Rivers and Remount, so I had plenty of opportunity to enjoy the food there. They also made a killer cheeseburgers. Always was a hard decision between a bbq sandwich or cheeseburger basket, but always with a side order of onion rings. One, just was never enough. Man how I miss those days.

  10. MelP says

    We just moved to Nashville from Charleston and one of the things I miss most about Charleston is Bessinger’s. I was SO HAPPY when I found the recipe for Bessinger’s BBQ sauce so that I could make my own. I have tried to explain how big those onion rings are but no one believes me. Thanks for the pictures that I can now use as proof. :)

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