Food in Orangeburg largely begins and ends with
Duke’s Barbecue, the legacy of the legendary Earl Duke. There are two locations, one uptown (789 Chestnut St., 803/534-9418, $8) and one downtown (1298 Whitman St., 803/534-2916, $8). Connoisseurs of ’cue clearly prefer the original, more Spartan spot on Whitman Street downtown, commonly referred to around town as “the one by the Pepsi plant.”
In both cases you get freshly cooked pulled pork, served all-you-can-eat buffet-style with a local version of the indigenous mustard-based sauce, plenty of sweet tea, and loaves of Sunbeam white bread on the tables. Both locations serve what could be the finest examples of the traditional South Carolina “hash” side, a pork-based stew. It’s best to call ahead for hours.
In the South Carolina equivalent of the intrigues of the Italian Renaissance, an “upstart” ’cue spot, Antley’s (1370 Sims St., 803/531-0444, $8), has split off from the Duke barbecue dynasty, taking some longtime Duke’s customers with them.