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Country Side BBQ

Heritage Rekindled: A Look Inside Swansea’s Country Side BBQ

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In the heart of Swansea, South Carolina, where tradition intertwines with mouthwatering culinary craftsmanship, stands Country Side BBQ, a beacon of authentic southern comfort food that has captivated the taste buds of generations.

With a legacy spanning over six decades, this cherished establishment continues to thrive, now under the conscientious stewardship of Dorinda Riley and Art Myers, who revere the indelible imprint left by the late Stanley Myers.

Front of Country Side BBQ in Swansea.

“Country Side BBQ’s resilience can be attributed to more than just its delectable, slow-cooked offerings or the nostalgic waft of barbecue that beckons from miles away. It’s an homage to a rich past, preserved within the very walls of the establishment and in the hearts of the Swansea community,” explains Dorinda Riley, one of the torchbearers of this culinary landmark.

“As the new owners, we felt it was necessary to keep the name Country Side BBQ due to its extensive 60-year history of being in Swansea, SC.”

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Special Seasoning

Barbecue sandwich piled high with a side of slaw.

The restaurant, renowned for its signature dishes, invites patrons to indulge in its unique charcoal and wood-cooked pulled pork, meticulously prepared with “a unique blend of herbs and spices crafted by Mama D herself,” as Riley affectionately divulges. This exclusive seasoning is the secret behind the unforgettable flavor that keeps loyal customers returning and new ones flocking.

Not to be overshadowed, Mama D’s Savory Ribs deserve their acclaim. “The combination of savory and sweet flavors in these ribs is simply irresistible,” Riley asserts, pride evident in her tone. “Our secret blend of dry rub adds depth and complexity to the meat, while the option to add our in-house made mustard-based sauce brings an extra kick of flavor to the table.”

Rib plate with baked beans, collards, hush puppies, and Mac and cheese.

In addition to the ribs, their South Carolina barbecue hash is on of the menu items that draw in young and old alike.

“Country Side BBQ hash uses its long-time favorite recipe. If you remember the hash from several years back, this is it. Our freshly cooked side items include our housemade to prefection pork hash, our country fried chicken, slow-cooked BBQ, made from scratch squash casserole, with our housemade mustard based sauce, and many more daily sides”

Serving All

Yet, it’s not just about what’s smoking on the grill or stewing in the kettle. Country Side BBQ extends its southern hospitality to all, ensuring that even those adhering to a vegan diet can savor a satisfying meal. The menu boasts an array of entirely plant-based options, including collards, green beans, rice, lima beans, field peas, and cabbage.

In an era where dining establishments endlessly reinvent themselves to stay relevant, Country Side BBQ remains steadfast, valuing the timeless over the trendy. While adaptation is vital, in SC it’s especially important to remain true to tradition. As such, the buffet which is dying in so many SC BBQ restaurants remains a feature here.

Buffet line at Country Side BBQ

“Our all-you-can-eat option gives our guests the opportunity to come up for seconds, even thirds, on our fresh sides and meats served daily. It comes with a dessert and a drink,” Riley explains, signifying the careful balance between tradition and modern-day dining expectations.

Despite the waves of change, some things remain constant: the commitment to quality, the community, and the essence of what makes Country Side BBQ a “Great Place for Good Ole’ Country Food!”

As they navigate through this new chapter, the owners remind patrons to “please check our website, social media, or call for updated hours. Thank you!”

Fried chicken plate with beans, hash and rice, Mac and cheese, and hush puppies.

For those yearning for a taste of tradition served with a side of love, Country Side BBQ awaits.

Whether it’s the slow-cooked BBQ, the country-fried chicken, the made-from-scratch squash casserole, or the myriad of daily sides, there’s something to comfort every soul. After all, “if you love fresh southern cuisine, this is unequivocally the place to eat!”

What Folks are Saying

Google Review

Among the many Google Reviews, Local Guide Kim Hudson saw the light on her visit to Country Side BBQ:

Don’t let the outside of this no-frills joint fool you. Inside, the all-you-can-eat buffet of southern cuisine is absolutely delicious!

You pay when you enter, the line for the buffet forming on the right. The buffet includes hash & rice, mashed potatoes, assorted vegetables & casseroles seasoned to perfection, tender ribs, crispy fried chicken, pulled pork, etc.

Fried chicken with three sides on a plate

They have a salad bar that is top notch too. Try the ambrosia!

Staff is friendly and efficient, every bit of the place was spotless. I didn’t ask but I believe they may even have some type of takeout, pickup system as a heard a bell ring occasionally while there.

This place was pure sunshine on a cloudy day. Glad to have found it!

Yelp Review

Over on Yelp, Dee M visited Country Side and knew the search was over:

One of the most successful Google searches ever!

Absolutely delicious and the people – employees and customers alike – could not have been more welcoming to the strangers in town.

The buffet had an incredible selection of scratch-made meats, sides, and desserts. I wanted to try it all and almost did. And they even fry up a fresh batch of fresh-cut okra if you want a basket for the table.

BBQ, rib, green beans, sweet potatoes, and hushpuppies on a plate

It was just delightful, and I had not had such a true South Carolina BBQ Sunday lunch that made me feel like I was home since I left SC 6 years ago.

It is worth the drive to Swansea. Take your friends and family and enjoy!

SC BBQ Association

Sure, folks on review sites often have great things to say about a place, but what about the folks who really know SC BBQ better than anyone? What about the folks who actually train the judges for SC BBQ competitions?

What do they think of this place?

The SC BBQ Association has named this place one of the Top 100 BBQ houses in the state. Here’s an excerpt from their review:

Country Side may not be very well known outside of the local area but it should be.  The locals have kept it busy for over three decades.

Even though Country Side is in the lower part of Lexington County the sauce style is more akin to an Orangeburg Sweet sauce. 

That is, it’s mustard, but it’s sweeter than the standard mustard sauce that is found at Maurice’s or Hite’s or many of the others who serve in the German tradition.  Since Swansea is on the road to Orangeburg (if one is going there from Columbia), it’s a bit of a transitional style barbeque sauce in a transitional barbeque area.

When vegetables are in season the country buffet is always fresh cooked.  That, plus real homemade bread pudding and great hushpuppies, make for a great outing. 

Top flight barbeque, home-cooked fresh vegetables, and sides made with extra loving care.  Country Side is worth the little trouble it takes to find it.

BBQ, hash, Mac n cheese, green beans and hushpuppies on a styrofoam plate

Menu for Country Side BBQ

Note: Menu prices and options are subject to change over time. Contact the restaurant for the most up-to-date information.

Location, Hours, Contact Info, and More

Exterior street view shot of Country Side BBQ in Swansea



Get Google Map directions

Contact Country Side BBQ

706 St. Matthews Road
Swansea, SC 29160

Hours of Operation

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