A childhood friend came to town for a work trip recently. When she got done with the conference on Friday, we decided to check out a new spot in town. She is always down for a good time. My husband had to work so he missed out.
I’ve heard good things about Lewis Barbecue, a Charleston-based barbecue joint. The owners took over the space formally inhabited by beloved favorite Tommy’s Country Ham House. Tommy’s was a popular gathering spot for locals for decades and many famous celebrities and politicians graced its doors. Tommy retired and the Lewis Barbecue team bought the building.
When we pull up to the restaurant, I was amazed at the extensive renovation work that had taken place. The building was always cavernous but the new owner added a huge outdoor patio and a faux green space. The parking lot was smaller but there was additional parking across the street.
The line was literally out of the door but we had mentally prepared ourselves for the wait. We were able to go online and check out menus so we knew what we wanted by the time we got to the front about 25 minutes later.
When we reached the front, the cook asked if we wanted a sample of meat and promptly plopped it into our outstretched hands. I was not ready for that but the meat was very flavorful and juicy. (Napkins were nearby.)
I went with the brisket sandwich with collard greens and fries. My friend had ribs and collards. She inspected the macaroni and cheese but thought it looked suspect. To be fair, Black people are serious about baked mac and cheese and the restaurant version rarely makes the grade.
After selecting our meat, we were funneled down to the sides and then to the payment kiosk. I have to say the Lewis it’s pretty pricey, especially when compared to local favorite Henry’s Smokehouse.
The Main Event
The food was served on butcher paper and the sides were in shallow cardboard containers. It felt very reminiscent of my husband and I’s trip to Texas a few years ago.
I tried the sweet tea and was disappointed. I ended up switching to soda.
We both liked our meals. The meat was smoky and flavorful. The collard greens did have a lot of stems and were more on the vinegary side but not overly so. I would order them again. The fries were decent.
It’s good they offered wet napkins because I definitely needed them after that buttered toasted bun.
Overall, I like the decor kind of a modern take on a barbecue joint. It was very clean, minimalist and tastefully done.
There is a huge dining room both inside and outside and because of the way that the ordering works never felt too crowded.
It was good and I will definitely go back but I think SBH Barbecue over near Top Golf is still my favorite barbecue spot in Greenville.
Lewis Barbecue is definitely a serious barbecue joint (i.e. it’s not like Home Team Barbecue) but the price is a little steep for what you get.