Archive for the ‘Eats – South Carolina Reviews’ Category

Lone Star BBQ and Merchantile, Santee South Carolina

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
lone star

Lone Star BBQ and Merchantile

Well this one got me! There are three restaurants in Santee South Carolina and I already ate at one of them on my last trip so that left me with a choice from two. I went online to read reviews of both places in hopes that I could make my choice a little easier.

This place got good reviews on about 90% of the posts I found and even today, four day later I can’t fathom why.  A lady from New Jersey, my home and a great place to find BBQ,  even loved it. And what about that Tomato Pie did she really like. That’s not even in the same food group as the Tomato Pies from Jersey. I don’t know what that was. It looked like baked custard with a slice of tomato on top. Really???

Sorry, I digress. After driving some 11 hours, I had a hankering for some southern BBQ and was really looking forward to comfort food but what I found was a buffet of southern mush.

Really, everything except the fried chicken was soft including the green beans. They were so overcooked and unrecognizable I had to ask what they were. The rest of the buffet included BBQ pork hash( pureed pork and potatoes in sauce) and shredded BBQ pork (without the BBQ and so so very dry) as entree’s and I believe there were black eyed peas, baked mac and cheese, mashed sweet potatoes, hush puppies, rice, and a few unrecognizable items( see tomato pie above). There were some desserts which were also unrecognizable other than seeing something with peaches and something drowned in cool whip. There wasn’t an item I would try. Lone Star also states on their website that they serve salad bar items, which other than some cut tomatoes and cucumbers swimming in a liquid, I didn’t see anything that resembled salad bar items.

I ate three pieces of fried chicken, ( of which I could only locate two breasts) two hush puppies and I have to say some very tasty sweet potatoes. Oh and I did try the cole slaw which was pretty good too. The mac and cheese could have been better if it was creamier although I liked the crispy edges so I was okay with the sampling.  When I asked if there were more breasts of chicken the server said she didn’t see any in the kitchen. Really??

The atmosphere is pretty cool and a throw back to the 60’s- 70’s. The tables and clothes reminded me of my grandmothers kitchen table from back then. The decor is all over the place from toys, tin signs, candy, and old cigar store Indian and other food stuff for purchase. It’s like the storefront in the Cracker Barrel food chain on crack.

It was very disappointing to say the least because the reviews spoke the opposite and the atmosphere was pretty cool, but I have experienced better BBQ in New Jersey than here, where it should be better hands down. How can you have dry pulled pork and then worse no BBQ sauces at the very least, to drown it in on your plate. It just looked so unappetizing  just sitting in a pan on the buffet. To be honest there were two sauces on the buffet. Both were ice cold and tasted like mayonnaise based dressings. I just didn’t get it.

The chef boasts of his background in Culinary and that he attended Hyde Parks Culinary Institute but I would never have known and actually was shocked at how terrible the food was. Being a graduate myself of a Culinary school and having worked in the field for over 40 years, I would have thought at least the presentation would have been outstanding.

Regular Guy rating

* *  (for the atmosphere and fried chicken)