Mike & Jeff’s BBQ | South Carolina Upstate BBQ at its Best

Review by: Michael Stern

Must-Eat Pulled Pork

About the pulled pork: smoky-sweet, finely chopped, mostly melting-tender but with a few ribbons of crunchy bark, it is succulent enough to make sauce superfluous. This is the must-eat on a short list of meats that also includes spare ribs and chicken. Just about every dish this kitchen serves exemplifies South Carolina upstate BBQ at its best.

Regional BBQ Dog

Whatever else I want at Mike & Jeff’s, I’ll always side it with a BBQ dog. This is a dizzying pile-up that starts with a hot dog in a fluffy bun. The dog is dressed with mustard and chopped red onions, then heaped with a mound of the good pulled pork. Then comes BBQ sauce — South Carolina’s unique mustard sauce. What a stroke of genius! If mustard and hot dogs go together naturally, South Carolina BBQ sauce becomes an inspired hot dog companion. It makes for a truly regional rainbow of fused flavor.

Dixie Side Dishes

Side dishes are no afterthought. Beans are sweet and porky; mac & cheese is custard-soft and super-cheesy; sweet potato souffle is an only-in-the-South creation that could pass as dessert.

Elegant Banana Pudding

But the real dessert demands full attention. As I spooned into a bowl of banana pudding, the cookies were so crisp and fragile that I wondered if it was made with something other than the usual Nilla Wafers. Chef Jeff Little advised that they are, in fact, Nilla Wafers; but because the pudding is made fresh just hours before lunch is served, they do not have time to soften. Their elegant demeanor is the right complement for an airy custard that also is packed with slices of ripe banana.

An Upstate Favorite

Mike & Jeff’s is a tiny, charming place with a cozy dining room (much business is take-out) and a staff who are eager to please. To eat here is a taste of South Carolina upstate BBQ at its best.

What To Eat

Bologna Sandwich

Chopped Pork


BBQ Beans

Mac & Cheese

Banana Pudding


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