Maurice’s Piggy Park

Bar-b-q | Hamburgers
Memorable
One of the best
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In the 30+ years since we first came across Maurice’s Piggy Park on Charleston Highway, much has changed. There are now a dozen locations throughout the Midlands. The personality and ideology of Mr. Maurice Bessinger, who passed away in 2014, no longer permeates every aspect of the dining experience — from the image of his face that glowed on the label of sauce bottles to his religious mission next door giving away free bibles to his politically incorrect support of segregation and the Confederate flag. The stars and bars are gone, as is the religious mission, and the clientele is is multi-racial. A person could eat at Maurice’s and never know just how controversial he and, by extension, his restaurant, once were.

But some things have not changed at all. Pork is still slow-cooked over smoldering hickory and oak until it becomes tender and elegant. It is hacked into a mess of shreds and hunks and dressed with secret recipe sauce that Mr. Bessinger’s father developed decades ago over in Holly Hill. This is the sauce that has become a standard throughout central South Carolina: mustard-based with a faint pepper bite and just enough sweetness to halo the smoky pork.

Pork (or ribs or brisket) are served with a choice of classic Deep South side dishes. These include velvety mac ‘n’ cheese, hash on rice that has its own smoky-pepper character, beans, potato salad, creamy cole slaw, fried okra and, of course, hushpuppies. It is possible to order a plate of pork skins which, with a dip of the million dollar sauce, are just about the most indulgent snack imaginable.

Curb service has been discontinued in favor of a drive-through window, which is a popular option; and there are plenty of seats in several dining rooms inside. Place your order at the counter and pay, then the meal is brought to the table where you have settled. In my experience at this place, which is the original Maurice’s and the company headquarters, the staff are extraordinarily hospitable. It adds up to a memorable, classic South Carolina barbecue meal.

What to Eat
Maurice’s Piggy Park, Big Joe Sandwich
Big Joe Sandwich
Must-Try
The Big Joe sandwich features six ounces of real, old-time, pit-cooked pork, pulled into vareigated shreds and clumps, mostly tender but with a few chewy-crispy pieces. Peppery-sweet mustard sauce is its boon companion.
Maurice’s Piggy Park, Cheeseburger
Cheeseburger
Must-Try
While Maurice's is all about barbecue, the hamburgers are pretty darn wonderful, putting me in mind of the best drive-in burgers: full-flavored, thick enough to ooze juice, and dressed to the nines.
Maurice’s Piggy Park, Hash on Rice
Hash on Rice
Must-Try
Smoky with a pepper punch, Maurice's hash is a South Carolina classic, served on rice with a couple of onion-sweet hushpuppies.
Maurice’s Piggy Park, Big Joe Basket
Big Joe Basket
Big Joe basket plate includes French fries, creamy slaw, and a pair of hushpuppies to go with the mighty sandwich loaded with six ounces of sauced pork.
Maurice’s Piggy Park, Macaroni & Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese
Mac 'n' cheese is moist, salty, rich and mostly tender with bits of crunch and skin.
Maurice’s Piggy Park, Banana Pudding
Banana Pudding
There are plenty of big, fresh pieces of banana in the pudding, but the whipped topping is a bore and the pudding itself is heavy.
Roadtrips
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
7 stops | 227 MILES | 4 hr 13 min

Hash (on rice) is the star side-dish at barbecue parlors throughout South Carolina. A byproduct of whole-hog cookery, but frequently also made with beef, it can vary from soup-loose to stew-chunky. It delivers intense barbecue flavor, but beyond that dreamy duet of meat and smoke, it can vary from relish-sweet to savagely peppery. True Barbecue

Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No
Website

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