Ehhh it's okay but nothing to write home about.
Okay, here's the thing. I'm from NC and we Tarheels would probably qualify as "BBQ snobs" with our eastern and western styles, but even as a western NC BBQ snob I gotta say that if Bessinger's represents the best of SC BBQ, then it doesn't hold a candle to EITHER of the NC styles. Even the eastern style NC BBQ tops it. If you're from NC and are used to the best of either the eastern or western NC styles, don't waste your time going here-you'll only be disappointed in the BBQ.
The BBQ itself? Okay, but you don't get a distinct smoky flavor in the meat, or at least I didn't from the pork I had there. And the BBQ I had was pretty dry even with the sauce they put on it-granted, it was from their Sunday buffet, but still you don't expect BBQ to dry out that quickly even under a heat lamp unless it was pretty dry to begin with. The sauce? Pretty bland if you ask me-no real zing to it, but what can you really expect from a sweetish mustard-based sauce anyway?
To be fair, the rest of the buffet was decent Southern homecooked fare. Their lima beans and mac and cheese were pretty tasty, the roast beef was tender and the turkey was also serviceable, though the dressing was pretty bland. Unfortunately I didn't try the hushpuppies. But the BBQ was nothing to write home about, and since the place is raved about as a BBQ joint and I consider myself a BBQ connoiseur, I'd have to give their BBQ just an okay rating.
Favorite BBQ Joint in the World!.
I live 3.5 hours away but travel thru Charleston 5-6 times a year. I stop at Bessingers as many times as possible. I rarely eat anywhere else while in town. It's that good!!!!!!!!
Bessinger's has the best BBQ in the Charleston area, hands down! It is much more true to form to his late Father's "secret recipe" than "the other". I would recommend for the food, hospitality, comfort, as well as more like the original.
My favorite Barbeque.
It's so hard to recommend a barbeque place because everyone has their own preferences, but I grew up in Charleston eating my "Little Joe" (pork bbq sandwich with a mustard based sauce), with steak fries and big, bready, sweet onion rings.