On The Road: Piggie Park, Columbia, South Carolina

by Bryan on October 16, 2009

PP-SignCloseupI have wanted to try Maurice Bessinger’s Piggie Park for a while. Maurice’s Barbecue is a mustard-based barbecue, and as I am sure you can tell from the name, primarily pork. On our recent vacation, we planned on stopping at the original in Columbia, SC as we traveled from relatives in Rock Hill, SC to Perry, GA.

Part of the attraction of the place is a family connection. My mother-in-law is a Bessinger, although no one is sure how close that relation is. Maurice is a somewhat controversial figure. Let’s just say, learning that he has even a distant relation to a Sherman probably wouldn’t sit well with him. Luckily my relationship to that “other Sherman” (as he is referred to in my presence down here) is far more tenuous than my mother-in-law’s to Maurice..

Piggie Park majors in pork, but also has chicken, beef, and other options. I took a quick shot of the menu board:

PP-Menu

Of course, you may find it easier to refer to the web site’s menu.

I wanted to go whole hog, so I went with the Big Pig. It is described as a Half a pound of pit-cooked BBQ Pork, 2 large tender BBQ Ribs, Carolina Hash over rice, homemade cole slaw, hushpuppies and dinner roll.

PP-BigPig

So here is what I found distinctive about the plate. Obviously, mustard-based sauce is not what I am accustomed to, but in addition you have hush puppies, and Carolina hash over rice.

M0st folks are used to hush puppies. I associate them with seafood, but they were very good and made a nice addition to the platter. South Carolina is big on rice, so no surprises in that respect. The Carolina Hash was… interesting. It is similar to a thicker brunswick stew, but kind of bland. I am not a fan.

The pulled pork was fantastic. I loved the mustard-based sauce. I found myself savoring every bite. The ribs were pretty unspectacular. I did not care for the texture or taste. The next time, and I dearly hope there will be a next time, I’ll go with the Little Pig (which subtracts the Ribs) or potentially a basket.

I got some other nice pictures while there. The headquarters are across the parking lot:

PP-Headquarters

I liked the covered parking. I assume they used to serve at the car in the old days. I am sure the cover is appreciated on hot days here in the South.

pp-CoveredParking

On the inside, I found the booths very interesting. They actually fold up:

PP-Booth

Here is a shot back towards the front desk. The tables you see in the distance sell sauces, rubs and assorted “Southern Heritage” reading material.

PP-Inside

And I couldn’t resist an extreme closup:

PP-BigPigCloseup

If you like barbecue, and haven’t had the opportunity to sample mustard-based barbecue, this is a good place to try it. I even picked up a bottle of the original sauce to give it a try at home. Piggie Park does not unseat my favorite barbecue, Fincher’s, but it is highly recommended.

Maurice's Piggy Park on Urbanspoon

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