Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Chapter 5. November 2014, Wise's BBQ Newberry SC

I have a penchant for quite a few things.. Great food, of course,... my work, networking and hooking people up to each other, and obviously, from this blog, local travel. Especially the mountains.. I love the beach and the Low Country and  don't know If I'd ever leave, but when I drive up I-26 and see that 1st vista of the Smokey's near Tryon, NC, my heart sings!
I also like to write and I think it's a good idea to get things down on paper. So I had gone up to one of my favorite places, Hot Springs, North Carolina and The Sunnybank Inn (Elmer's Place...more on him later...) for a writing retreat, in August of 2013. The teacher was Carolyn Wallace and she was doing a 2.5 day workshop on Writing your Stories.  You know,  the memories that you want to get down as part of that never ending Bucket List. She was a very good teacher, and used lots of prompting to get us to think of the things that were and are important to us, but helped us find a way to JUST START WRITING., which can be the hardest part of any story.
I was so impressed with Carolyn and all I learned, that I had her come down to Charleston, to do a mini workshop for folks in my church. I signed a few friends up to go back to Sunnybank in November of 2014 for another of her workshops...
Yes, the BBQ part is coming, I promise.
So my BBQ cohort, Linda, being one of the participants, goes with me for the weekend. We're on the road and start thinking about food. We had been thinking about BBQ in the Upstate, since we hadn't ventured that way before. That just seems like too much travel for lunch, you know? And we haven't had  time to do a 2 day so far.   Now,  the owner of the Sunnybank Inn, Elmer Hall, makes excellent vegetarian breakfasts and dinners for folks staying in his hostel. So were thinking A) we're hungry and B) we'd better eat earlier than later, so we could enjoy our 1st dinner with the other guests and participants of the workshop.  
So we pull out the trusty technology and the SC BBQ Trail Map once again. We're on the far west side of Columbia, and I asked Linda if she had ever been to Newberry. I had on several occasions for performances at the Newberry Opera House. Totally Cute town! In fact, spent a couple of New Year Eve's there with family and a grandly talented friend, who's an opera singer by trade, and was hired as part of their NYE celebration! 
BBQ... yea.....
We look at the map and on the far side of Newberry, is Wise's BBQ. We look them up, and see that they are only open to the public on Friday an Saturday (catering is the rest of their business). For lunch through dinner.  Well aren't we lucky! Nothing to speak of on the outside, which can often be the case, but the chow made up for it, let me tell you!
We go in and there is a whole steam table for the buffett line... nothing in the steam table, mind you, but a lot of crockpots set up on the top! Like a Church Supper! From BBQ to ribs to bbq and fried chicken, to mac and cheese, green's, slaw, beans...all of it... 
And then we meet the Guy! The Guy who, " Just cooks, cooks cooks...that's all I do is cook!" He was so funny without meaning to be. He talked at the speed of a southern boy who hadn't had company in a while.  He also told us his life story and how he ended up in Newberry.. came down from the upstate to take care of family members, who have all died now, but left him here not knowing what's next. Oh, and he also sews.. all the curtains, aprons and other crafty items for sale in the restaurant.  I laughed ( almost snorted my iced tea) in between bites of succulent chicken and ribs and sides... 

His "cook, cook, cooking" paid off.. we had one of the best meals so far on this journey. I sure hope he figures out what he wants to do, but I also hope the Wise's take good care of him so that bbq stays some that will be hard to beat!

No comments:

Post a Comment