Stanton’s Barbecue & Fish Camp – Ed McConnell – Bennettsville, SC

Stanton’s Barbecue & Fish Camp

2828 Stantons Rd
Bennettsville, SC 29512
(843) 265-4855


First a little background on what I call BBQ so you’ll know where I’m coming from.  Then I’ll describe everything I can remember about Stanton’s because it’s been about 18 years since I’ve eaten there, but my memories are as vivid as the day I first walked in.
I’m a purist in the Eastern Carolinas sense.  I like pulled pork, dry rubbed overnight, cooked slow, hickory flavor (mild smoke ring) and mopped with cider vinegar/pepper as you cook.  Nothing fancy.  I’m also a purist on the sides – cole slaw (vinegar style), hush puppies, fries, sweet tea.  I drink booze after I eat (and before).  I like it how I like it – no judgment one way or another, but I’m sure my blogs will lend more favor to the pure Carolina style.
Now let’s talk Stanton’s.  First let me say that it is my all time favorite BBQ joint and every time I’ve eaten BBQ in my life, it is sized up against Stanton’s.
Stanton’s is a cinder-block rectangle building in the middle of croplands in rural NE South Carolina, just south of the NC border.  The fact that it is in business in the middle of nowhere likely means it’s good – but I’m telling you it’s great.  My dad and I only discovered its existence from years of dove hunting in this part of SC probably 20+ years ago.  Every Saturday during dove season meant 2 things: dove hunting and Stanton’s.  Also a cool side note:  there is a grass runway across the farm road from Stanton’s that the crop dusters use but from what I hear, folks fly in just to eat at Stanton’s, which is branded on the roof of the place so the pilots can find it.
I’ve never ordered anything but the pulled pork plate so I can’t speak to the catfish or chicken, etc.  You have a few choices with the sides but I always ordered my favorite sides as previously mentioned – slaw, puppies, and fries.  It’s hard to definitely say what makes Stanton’s so great – I guess if I knew the secret, I’d open my own restaurant.  But it is perfectly cooked, moist but not fatty or slimy; absolutely no fat on your plate, just nice hand pulled strings of meat – not chunky/chopped or ground to death just perfectly pulled.  They lightly pre-apply the standard east Carolina sauce, which they also sell and provide at the table – but it’s better than anything I’ve tried to replicate – spicy and peppery, of course cider vinegar, but it seems it must have plenty of other spices since it is so dark – maybe just a ton of black and red pepper.  No other sauces available as far as I know.  Decent outside crunch but not charred, burnt or tough.  And of course the flavor – not overwhelmingly smoked but good hickory flavor – not sure if other hardwoods are added.  For me, there is no better meat in the world.
Atmosphere is about as pure as the pork.  Wide open – one room, wood floors.  I haven’t been in a long time but I doubt it’s changed much.  I’m getting hungry and just made a decision: I’m going to Marlboro County this fall to eat at Stanton’s – and to dove hunt.  This place isn’t probably “on the way” to anything, maybe for folks headed to the beach, but I promise that if Stanton’s is your only reason to drive several hours just to eat – you’ll be pleased.
PS:  Buy some sauce and a few pounds of meat before you leave.


Have you been to Stanton’s Fly in BBQ?

2 Responses to “Stanton’s Barbecue & Fish Camp – Ed McConnell – Bennettsville, SC”

  1. on 17 Jun 2010 at 8:30 pm Lisa

    Will be eating there this weekend. We’re driving down to see family and will make out stop for some good ole fish and/or slaw!

  2. on 17 Jun 2010 at 8:31 pm Lisa

    Will be eating there this weekend. We’re driving down to see family and will make a stop for some good fish and/or slaw!

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