As a bit of general advice, the worst time in the world to go on a barbecue hunt is the week of the 4th of July. Not thinking that through completely, as we were heading over to Charleston for a long weekend, I had a couple of places in mind to try along the way. The first was the Barbecue Barn in North Augusta, SC. I did think to call ahead to check hours and received this message:
“It’s July 4th and we’re out of meat, so we are closed. We’ll be open again on the 9th.”
Next attempt, Jackie Hites in Leesburg, SC, (where we had driven to eat a couple of years ago, only to find that they weren’t open on Tuesdays – this was before my enlightened era of calling). I called them next, only to find that they were closed until July 17. Scrambling, I pulled up Urbanspoon, as we were heading east on I-20, and looked at barbecue in Augusta. I read the reviews and decided on Mot’s Bar-B-Que in Augusta.
When we walked in, we were greeted with a hearty “Welcome to Mot’s!” and walked up to the counter where there were five workers (with a cumulative age under 120). They were extremely helpful (and chatty). The menu is simple – ribs, chicken and pork as either a plate (one side) or a dinner (two sides). All of the dinners, except the combo plate, also come with rice and hash, in addition to the two sides
I chose the combo with Mac-and-cheese and fries and a side of hash & rice. The sauces are lined up behind the plate (from right to left):
- the little clear bottle (from behind the counter) = extra hot;
- clear = sweet;
- yellow = mild; and
- red = hot.
The sweet, mixed with either the hot or the extra hot, made for my favorite combo.
You can see the char and the crust on the ribs better in this picture. They were good, although I think they had sat for a while and were a little tough. The chicken was a little dry and the pork was above average. The Mac-n- cheese was definitely homemade and appropriately cheesy. The hash and rice wasn’t the heaven on a plate from my last low country barbecue experience – it was fairly bland. Our guest taster, Sarah, had the potato salad which she said was very good, except for the “big honkin’ chunks” of celery. (Consider yourself warned.) This wasn’t a great stop, but it beat the standard chain fast-food lunch.