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Story & Photos by Becky Billingsley
There have been a lot of new barbecue restaurants in Myrtle Beach open during 2013, but the newest one, called True BBQ, has the best smoked meats.
The restaurant, which is located at 4002 Socastee Blvd. in Myrtle Beach, isn’t fancy. There’s no dining room – you order at a window, and if you can’t wait to get home to dive into deliciousness there are picnic tables out front. But what it lacks in amenities is made up for in providing authentic southern smoked barbecue.
Operator Joseph Evans and his family are smoking pork, beef brisket, chicken and ribs in two Cookshack pits, and Joseph’s lifetime of experience cooking in Myrtle Beach restaurants is evident in every bite. He has perfected his craft.
The smoky flavor of the oak wood he uses is infused throughout Evans’ meats. I’ve tried them all, and while the pork barbecue is fantastic, the tender pulled smoked chicken is nothing less than incredible.
Then there are the ribs. These are the best ribs I’ve ever tasted: they’re juicy and tender and full of delectable smokiness. They don’t fall off the bones, but the meat easily pulls away. Just enough of a small amount of fat enhances the flavor, but overall the ribs are lean.
Brisket is notoriously hard to cook and have it come out tender and moist, but Joseph Evans has perfected the process. His brisket is sliced thin – almost shaved – and is so wonderful a pound may be devoured before anyone can grab a fork.
Side dishes are also great, with the exception of the baked beans, which taste canned. However, the coleslaw is fresh, creamy and sweet, macaroni salad doesn’t skimp on the dressing, and potato salad contains firm chunks of fresh skin-on potatoes.
A special southern side dish you may not have previously experienced that’s served at True BBQ is Hash and Rice. Barbecue hash is delicious broth-like gravy containing pork barbecue.
True BBQ has plenty of portion size options starting with sandwiches for $5.75, plates with two sides, garlic bread and a drink for $9 and bulk choices such meat by the pound. A whole Boston butt and a bottle of barbecue sauce goes for $42.37. Ribs are served by half or whole racks, and on Saturdays a $7 special is a half-pound of rib tips, one side dish and a beverage.
About the barbecue sauce – True BBQ has several recipes. One is a sweet tomato-based sauce, and another is traditional South Carolina-style mustard sauce that has a pleasantly mild spicy kick. North Carolina barbecue traditions are evident in apple cider vinegar sauce.
Two more sauces combine tomato and vinegar to create the medium-spicy House Vinegar and the super-spicy True Fire Hot. They’re all great.
You have to heed the operating hours to ensure you don’t get your mouth set to enjoy this barbecue and then become disappointed. True BBQ is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and the food is noteworthy enough to plan your week around. The phone number is 843-267-1787.