Memorable | One of the Best
Rikard’s Roadside Barbecue | South Carolina Midlands BBQ
Review by: Michael Stern
BBQ West of the South Carolina Midlands
At Rikard’s Roadside Barbecue, smoke-infused, hacked-up pork comes as an infinite variety of shapes and textures. You will get a few crunchy nuggets of bark as well as velvet-tender shreds. It radiates flavor as-is. But do drizzle it with mustard sauce. BBQ in these parts demands it! Thick and complex, it adds tang and sweetness — just what pork wants.
Essential Side Dishes
The pork comes in a sandwich, which is swell. But go with a plate instead. That gets you a great mound of the regional essential, hash on rice. No smoke-cooked meal hereabouts goes without it. (Check out Roadfood’s South Carolina hash tour.) Like all good Carolina hash, it needs a photographer better than I to make it look pretty in a picture!
Other excellent BBQ companions include a casserole of squash whose own natural sweetness is laced with firm little bits of sweet onion. Mac ‘n’ cheese balances its palliative nature with a fusillade of black pepper. Cool potato salad tastes of eggs’ luxe. Pork is ribboned throughout silk-textured green beans.
More than Pulled Pork
If you plan to eat only one meat, make it pulled pork BBQ. You might also pray that Mr. Rikard is making some of his special order “pork Candy.” That’s his name for pork belly burnt ends. He bathes these double-bite-size nuggets of smoked meat in sweet sauce then sizzles them on the grill. The sauce caramelizes into a whirl of sugar and spice.
Chicken turns supremely tender over Rikard’s coals, as do ribs. Smoke renders ribs so supple that a gentle tug pulls meat cleanly from the bone. Before its wholesale price went through the roof, brisket also was a specialty. But late summer, 2021, Mr. Rikard lamented that he’d have to charge too much to make it fit his otherwise very affordable menu.
Like a Picnic
When it opened a few years back, Rikard’s had no seats other than a few al fresco picnic tables. A screened-in area with a handful of mismatched tables has since been added. It’s out here they set up an every-Sunday BBQ buffet.
Directions & Hours
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|