Bobby’s Bar-B-Q | South Carolina BBQ Buffet at its Best

Review by: Michael Stern

The Romance of BBQ

I learned to like Bobby’s Bar-B-Q in the best possible circumstances. I was at a catered, bonfire-lit evening picnic in Aiken, South Carolina’s Hitchcock Woods. The woods are in the heart of town: 2100 acres and 70 miles of beautiful sandy trails that welcome critters on two or four feet (but nothing with a motor). It’s where we Aiken Hounds stage our drag fox hunts (following a scent rather than a fox). We invite people to the picnic every year to raise money for the woods. Under a canopy of trees and a starry sky above, Bobby Jr. stood at a table behind a whole hog he had cooked. There he doled out chunks, strips, nuggets, soft fatty bites and brittle skin to revelers. This was a South Carolina BBQ buffet to remember!

The experience of dining at Bobby’s Bar-B-Q restaurant on Jefferson Davis Highway (Route 1) across from the Ford dealer isn’t nearly as romantic. But the food earns high praise. People partake of it buffet-style, which is the way it’s been done in this region for as long as anyone can remember. The food reflects culinary traditions of the Central Savannah River Area.

Fill That Plate

BBQ pork stars, of course — some chopped, some pulled. Hash on rice is an essential side dish hereabouts. Put a bed of rice on your plate, then dip into smoky-sweet hash to top it. There’s never enough room on one plate for all the side dishes that go with this combo. Mac & cheese, potato salad, and cole slaw demand plate space. In addition to them, the buffet offers such traditional BBQ companions as greens, beans, candied yams, hushpuppies, and crunchy fried fatback twigs. Often you’ll find even crunchier patches of skin stripped off the cooked hog. As is the custom at many full-bore barbecue buffets in this region, the selection also includes fried chicken and BBQ chicken — both of them outstanding.

Help yourself to banana pudding for dessert. It’s just fine, but I prefer to apply any remaining appetite to more savory goodies in the buffet line. (The price of a meal entitles diners to return trips.) However you experience Bobby’s, its sure to be a big, satisfying meal. And at $10 for what is, in essence, artisan cuisine, this South Carolina BBQ buffet is a tremendous bargain.

Directions & Hours

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 8:30 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 8:30 PM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 8:30 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

What To Eat

Fried Chicken

Chopped Pork

Fried Fatback

Hash on Rice



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