Monday, July 16, 2007

Belly’s Southern Pride - belly up to some good barbecue

This weekend, the Bridges Family decided to follow up on a tip regarding a barbecue joint out in the Town of Lexington. We loaded up the wagon and headed out to the home of the Wildcats, Lexington High School, where Gervais' Ma and Pa once matriculated. Caddy-cornered from LHS, across Augusta Highway, is Belly’s Southern Pride Bar-B-Q.

Belly’s is predominantly a carry-out place, but with a nice wooden picnic table right out front if you just can’t wait ‘till you get home. And there’s a good chance you won’t be able to. We sure couldn’t, so we stopped at a Corley Street Park near downtown Lexington and proceeded to chow down.

Belly’s offers up some pretty good pulled pork, and you get to choose from mustard-based, vinegar & pepper based, and tomato-based. If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know Gervais likes his t-shirt stains yellow, so I ordered up the mustard-based barbecue sandwich, plus a couple sides. One bite and you’ll see why Belly’s is among the top barbecue restaurants in the state, according to the South Carolina Barbeque Association.

The hash and rice is allegedly the same recipe once used by the famous Oak Grove Barbecue, before that restaurant burned to the ground. But maybe that’s just Lexington Barbecue Lore. I didn’t ask. It was good hash, but the kind that’s easier on the mouth than the nose if you know what I’m saying.

Semi-relevant factoid: Disastrous fires in 1894 and 1916 on Main Street in Lexington resulted in the construction of brick buildings, many of which are standing today.

Anyway, the cole slaw at Belly’s is definitely different from that of other barbecue joints. It had tomatoes and banana peppers and bell peppers and cucumbers. Sounds like a mess, I know, but it was good, and still mixed well with the hash & rice in case you’re a mixer like me...

The kid’s plate (pictured) is affordable and could really feed a full-grown adult.

Belly’s also offers ribs, barbecue chicken, fries, potato salad and mac & cheese, and has an even more extensive catering menu. Gervais says, next time your belly’s achin’ for some down-home barbecue, try Belly’s Southern Pride -- it’s worth the short ride.

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