B & C Steak and Barbeque-Dillon, South Carolina

If there's one thing that we embrace when traveling, it's 'eat where the locals eat'. Several of the travel based cooking shows say this over and over, and it's something that we've done since our California trip in 2006.

Now, the prevalence of smart phones and apps make this proposition way easier. Instead of picking an exit and hoping there's food beyond a mini-mart, we can use the Urban Spoon and I-95 Exit guide app (I've been using their website for years, now it's an iPhone app, too) to determine what is available at each exit. On our travels through South Carolina, we found many exits with barbeque. The south is the land of good 'que, and the exit we decided to take had two listed, B&C Steak and Barbeque and Sweetey's BBQ. Both sound like they are mom and pop places-sign us up.

As soon as you get off exit 193, the first place you see on the right is B&Cs. It's lunchtime, there are a ton of construction pickup trucks and that's another clue to look for, besides the local feedback-construction workers like good food. Hey, it's a buffet, that could be good, too.

When you walk in the door, There are two steam tables right in front of you, laden with traditional southern fare. It might be a little confusing, because there is no hostess station or sign to direct you. A server promptly came up and directed us to the back wall, where there was a counter and this menu greeted us:

After seeing the prices and how good the salad bar and hot table looked, we opted for all four of us to enjoy the offerings on the buffet. In the time we were there, it appeared that everyone else went the same route. They serve iced tea, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, lemonade and Dr. Pepper. You order your meal and drinks at the left end of the counter, then slide a tray down to the cashier to pay (they take debit and credit.)

First up, fried chicken and pulled pork. The latter is moist and tender, and is served with a the Carolina style vinegar style barbeque sauce, thin and full of pucker. The fried chicken had a slightly salty and very crispy batter, even with
being on the steam table. There are two soups with cracklins available as a garnish, and baked chicken.

If you're following a low-carb diet, this buffet may tempt you with all the fantastic representations of that food group: mashed potatoes (with gravy on the side), roasted potatoes with onions, homemade macaroni and cheese, corn and rolls that are similar to popovers. Each of these were well seasoned and fresh.

Also on the table when we visited were collard greens (Ed said they had a nice peppery bite), chopped and bright green, which tells me they had not been sitting there very long. Several beans were represented: limas, pintos, and pole beans, the latter were very tasty with a light salty taste. Peas, okra, stewed tomatoes, sliced sweet potatoes and rice rounded out the hot side.

The salad bar had a good variety of health veggies and some add ons that can be a little decadent (ham, pasta salad, bacon bits, cole slaw, and croutons). There were plenty of dressing options and when you're traveling, something about a fresh, crispy salad with the exact ingredients you want hits the spot.

Leave some room for the dessert, because these appear to be made in house. Cherry and Peach cobblers, a vanilla mousse and banana cream pie were sampled and each had great flavor-the topping on the cherry cobbler was fantastic.

The server was attentive, taking our plates and refilling our drinks throughout the meal. She offered us to-go cups, too. The only negative (for us) is that the restaurant is not smoke-free, but it wasn't too bad to deal with. YMMV.

Dillon is famous for this landmark:

If you're hungry when you travel through, you can get some good Southern home cooking and fill your belly without breaking the bank.

We're adding this one to the list of places along I95 that we need to visit again.

B C Steak & BBQ on Urbanspoon


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