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Exit 98 on rt. 95


shugga
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We found Maurice's Barbeque on Rt. 95 exit 98 in SC.

Their BBq was super! I think he runs a few others in the area.

Life is too important to be taken seriously.[br]Oscar Wilde

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We found Maurice's Barbeque on Rt. 95 exit 98 in SC.

Their BBq was super! I think he runs a few others in the area.

Please elaborate...

i.e. SC barbecue and/or others?

what dishes did you eat and what do you recommend?

distance from the exit?

did you notice if this place has odd opening hours? Weekends only perhaps?

Thanks,

Foodie Penguin

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Found the take out menu that I took with me. Maurice has 12 locations. Here's his website. www.mauricesbbq.com

There was a buffet set up for 9.99 so that's what I had. There were ribs, fried chicken, pulled pork, pulled chicken, coleslaw, potato salad, dirty rice, hushpuppies, baked beans, black eyed peas, greens, corn on the cob, banana pudding, chocolate pudding, and I don't remember what else. But I did eat like a Piggy!

Edited by shugga (log)

Life is too important to be taken seriously.[br]Oscar Wilde

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I think this is a different Bessinger's than the one you mentioned. Maurice Bessinger's is located in Columbia and has 12 locations throughout central SC, nowhere near I-95. He is well-known for his racist rants and support of huge Confederate flags in front of his stores. However, his brother operates several stores (under the name Bessinger's, while Maurice Bessinger's is called "Maurice's"). Most of the Bessinger's BBQs are in the Charleston area. I believe that's where you may have actually gone?

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I'm not good at exit numbers, but if you were near Santee on I-95 that is indeed one of Maurice Bessinger's places, complete with a small display near the front door selling literature espousing his pro-Southern views. I don't think the sign even gives the restaurant name; it's a giant, lighted BBQ sandwich. If you have not experienced the sweet, bright yellow mustard sauce unique to South Carolina, Maurice is the standard. If you are uncomfortable with the Confederacy, venture a little farther from I-95 to Sweatman's in Holly Hill, which I think is the best in the State.

"Eat at Joe's."

- Joe

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I'ld like to say a few things right quick:

1. It is a Maurice's BBQ on I-95, Lake Santee is about as far south as Maurice's go. The earlier poster was correct that Paul Bessinger operates a Charleston variety that is more buffet than Maurice's fast food. Also note that Lake Santee might soon become a premier gambling destination in SC thanks to the Catawba Indians et al.

2. You should care about Maurice's politics because his story is so entertwined with that of SC and his actions are so bizarro and off the wall that it has engendered press from SC to NY and back. Personally, I am surprised that you were able to even eat the Maurice's BBQ without a rebel flag slapping you in the face while waiting trying to put the sandwich into your mouth.

3. For some superior BBQ nearby I would recommend Bub Sweatman's outside of Holly Hill or Duke's -- which are all around there.

For those of you who don't have BBQ impresario's typically gracing the front pages of your daily newspapers, Maurice Bessinger is a BBQ businessman who does serve outstanding BBQ. I have eaten it many many times, at the restaurants and from the frozen food counters in Bi-Los. Maurice was also notable as Lester Maddox-style gubenatorial candidate in the early 1970s and his standing outside his restaurant in Columbia with an ax during integration. Law and order and what not. These sorts of previous grandstanding have never really impacted Maurice. Up until the mid-90s you would see billboards of him and USC football coach Brad Scott up together for different Gamecock related causes.

After SC's ordeal in taking the non-sovereign rebel flag off that dome of the SC State House (and placing it on the state house grounds), Maurice "retaliated" by placing enormous rebel flags at all his restaurants. Additionally he opened up "Confederate Memorabilia Gift Shops" in the stores and began selling cassette tapes that offer biblical justifications for slavery, and such.

I understand the last few ideas have not been as successful, and Maurice has backed off the memorabilia hucksterism...I would congratulate him for doing so.

In the process Maurice's BBQ and BBQ Sauce ("Carolina Gold") were removed from grocery stores. Maurice sued the stores for taking away his sauce (on 1st ammendment grounds), but the courts ruled against his request (in part because the stores had a first amendment right not to carry products they did not want to display).

Regardless, somewhere in the mix of this, a boycott of Maurice's BBQ was established. I observe it, though many friends of mine who observe it have admitted that their observation of the boycott means they go to Maurice's on the other side of town so nobody sees them.

Before you write all of this off as some jeremiad against all that Maurice Bessinger stands for, I would like you to note that he is not a bad person. He is old, and probably not as with it today as he once was. During the 1960s and 70s when my grandfather was head of the Red Cross in SC, whenever there was a natural disaster or whenever people were hurting the first person to call and offer coffee, food, whatever, was Maurice -- regardless of that persons's race or beliefs, or anything.

Finally, I would note that James Pettigrew nailed it in 1860 when he said, "SC is too small to be a republic and too large to be an insane asylum."

wcm

Edited by wcmckinney (log)
William McKinney aka "wcmckinney"
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