There’s something called 100-mile barbecue, as in “I’d drive a hundred miles to get some.” Jackie Hite’s is right up there in the top of the pack.
We tried to beat the after-church crowd on Sunday and just barely made it. Cars and pickups were already parked almost a block down the road alongside the tracks; the takeout door had a line out the door and the sit-down line was almost to the door. Fortunately it’s a buffet, so we got ourselves huge loads and sat down.
We had two kinds of pork, regular pulled pork and mustard-sauced finely-chopped pork. The pulled pork was good but really isn’t Hite’s forte; the addition of some mustard sauce made it better. The chopped pork sauced with a somewhat different mustard sauce was absolutely wonderful and is what Midlands barbecue is known for.
The fried chicken was great, moist, drippy and juicy but not greasy and far better than the Kentucky fried colonel. And this is at a barbecue restaurant. Mom even ate the skin.
A Midlands specialty is BBQ hash. It’s sort of hard to describe other than to say it’s a thick soup/stew made up of all sorts of piggy parts with some mustard sauce and served over white rice. There are hash cookers who work for restaurants and there are others cooking in a shed out back; what they have in common is that hash is a BBQ art of it’s own.
Jackie Hite’s has hash nailed, hitting all the right notes without going too far in any direction. Great!
I reckon it’s time to mention sides. We both got the same things except Mom got some greens and mac’n’cheese that I didn’t have room on the plate for. The fried okra was amazingly crispy, the flat beans and taters were tasty and Mom said the greens and somewhat Velveeta-style mac’n’cheese were good.
Then we hauled ourselves off to the dessert bar and zeroed in on one thing, Nanner Puddin. Light fluffy whipped cream, banana cream, lots of bananas and crispy ‘Nillas. That was amazing; crispy ‘Nillas means that it was made like right now or a little while earlier, not yesterday. Superb!
All the while, at least an hour or more, the line for the buffet snaked around the room.
Jackie Hite’s BBQ
460 East Railroad Avenue
Leesville, SC 29070