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South Carolina Food Quest- BBQ, The Argument, The Bandwagon, And Why I Jumped On

Daddy Joe's Gaffney SC plate

Tasty Tuesday- Daddy Joe’s  Beach House BBQ & Grill, Gaffney, Cherokee Co., S.C.

What Up?

Last week, I wrote about my first experience at one of the Best Restaurant in Each South Carolina County, for 2016, as named by Charleston Bloggers [1] In short, I am calling my quest to visit all of the “SC 46 Best.”   I have 45 more to check out.

This first S.C. 46 Best blog was about my visit to Cherokee County and the famous Sunny’s Donuts, a small Mom and Pop Donut Shop located in the city of Gaffney.   Sunny’s was also voted as The Best Donuts in South Carolina and yes, they were that perfect.

In the meanwhile,  I have my own S.C. MEGaquest to search for 100 Dishes to Eat In South Carolina While Alive or Before You Die; Whichever Comes First.  This MEGastop was not on the “46 Best List, but I was feeling it.

Claim To Fame

 Daddy Joe’s Beach House BBQ & Grill is one of my picks for a restaurant stop in Cherokee County. If you live nearby Gaffney or maybe you are someone who cruises up and down the well-traveled I-85, you stop to take a photo of that famous huge Beach aka “The Peachoid, The Moon Over Gaffney, or Mr. Peach,” (the one that has been in House of Cards and The Cartoon Network.)  Or maybe you have shopped til you dropped at The Outlet Shops, and now find yourself hungry. This is the place where I, Meg, without hesitation, would send you to grab a bite of food.

From the billboards located on the Interstate, I had noticed that Daddy Joe’s had a nod from Southern Living Magazine and the restaurant was a top favorite of their Associate Travel Editor. It was also included in picks for an article entitled Barbecue In The Carolinas.  In The Southern Living magazine article, an editor famously wrote, “You’ll want to kiss the pig after trying the ribs at this joint.”

The Joint


Daddy Joe’s Beach House BBQ & Grill Gaffney, Cherokee Co., S.C.

Even though Daddy Joe’s is located in what is called The Upstate area of South Carolina, it is not located on the ocean that hits S.C. A destination where so many families have spent magical vacations on “the beach.”  Daddy’s has a beach vibe.

Daddy Joe's porch

Daddy Joes’s is not at the beach but will remind of that family trip!

An outdoor dining area and I note that on certain evenings, they set up live blues music in this area-Right on!

Daddy Joe's porch

Daddy Joe’s has comfortable outdoor seating, dogs are welcome, and blues music happens here!

Indoors, the beach vibe continues with a refreshing, clean, and comfortable seating area.


Daddy Joe’s dining area

Like to savor a rack of ribs with some draft brew, you are in luck! Want to hang out and watch your favorite game?  Daddy’s menu has an array of appetizers to share in the bar area.  Usual? Yes, but nope, they also include fried pickles, cheddar & jalapeno hushpuppies, fried zucchini.  Not to worry, they have beer on draft.


Daddy Joe’s serves draft brews. Don’t want to miss your favorite game, they have you covered.

The Food

Daddy Joe’s has a rather large menu that offers something for everyone. From daily homemade soups to creative salads, seafood to prime rib. It would be a stretch for me to imagine a visitor leaving hungry.

As introduced by Daddy Joe’s logo with a pig wearing shades and a beach shirt, their specialty is bbq pork, slow smoked in their cooker each night; topped with their own Lexington style bbq sauce.   [2]


Daddy Joe’s is always “smoking” Gaffney, SC

 Daddy’s has Smoked and Seasoned Kielbasa that is “chargrilled to perfection.”  After visiting a gazillion BBQ joints across the South, I greatly enjoyed trying something other than pulled pork.

What else did I love about this plate?  The pork, as you can see, Daddy’s serves chopped pork.  There is not a sign of an imperfect mouthful, and because it served with a light amount of Daddy Joe’s housemade sauce, the smoky flavor still comes through.  Not to worry, there are extra sauces with more heat on each table.   From the ample side choice menu, the wedge fries are above average and the BBQ Coleslaw is darn good.  Although it’s not my thing, my friends really loved it. If you are a hushpuppies fan, you will enjoy Daddy’s.

Daddy Joe's Gaffney SC plate

Daddy Joe’s Kielbasa and chopped pork, hushpuppies, fries, and BBQ Slaw

The ribs are started out with a dry rub, smoked, and chargrilled. As you can see, they are cooked perfectly. I don’t know about you, but I really abhor when my ribs come out too cooked-without meat on them, and/or that smoke flavor doesn’t come through.    The baked beans were equally tasty.

Daddy Joe’s Ribs, Kielbasa, Baked Beans, fries, and hushpuppies.


Light Fare

So here is where I go all wimpy on you. Because I zoom around chowing down without the metabolism of a teenager, I do have to watch my sodium intake and overall caloric intake. I LOVE that Daddy Joe’s has a Skinny Menu that shows the caloric, fat, and protein counts. Plus, aside from the usual grilled chicken, there is also blackened chicken, pulled chicken, and rotisserie turkey available. From there, one can choose no bread, ½ sandwiches and so on. That rates high in my book.

If you have followed my blog, you know that I dig when I can find turkey in a BBQ place.


One of Daddy Joe’s “Skinny Plates” with 1/2 smoked turkey sandwich, my choice of a roasted tomato and grilled zucchini.

More Meat, Daddy’s also has grilled prime rib.


Daddy Joe’s Prime Rib as a take-out with hush puppies and wedge fries.

This Prime Rib Sandwich is my  MEGapick for lunch.  I Love it!


Daddy Joe’s Take-out Prime Rib Sandwich with Potato salad and special sauce


Now for The Arguments:

  • For every grumble that I read on a BBQ blog, there are equal bloggers who loved the place. MEGAresponse– In fact, I note that Trip Advisor as of this writing has 477 reviews with 4.5+ stars.
  • Bloggers get hung up on the beach décor. They fuss about why in the “Uplands” is there beach décor? MEGAresponse– Shut Up. It is like living in Alabama and visiting say Wentzell’s Oyster, found inland Alabama, a place that began at “the beach” and is reminiscent of many family trips. Or, why a Chicago pizza place can decorate with pics of the Windy City in the Dirty South.
  • It Looks like a chain i.e. went all big time in the small town. MEGAresponse– It is not. In fact a chain. Daddy Joe’s is locally owned and started from the ground up. After a few years of research, the owner reportedly felt this BBQ style was perfect for the area. From the blues nights to support for social causes, the restaurant has remained about community while maintaining excellent quality control in lieu of their recipes. Kudos!

MEGastars 4****  The three thing that pushed me to rate from a 3 to a 4 star is first, the Kielbasa. Second, I really love that Prime Rib sandwich with horseradish style sauce.  And third,  I love that Daddy Joe’s offers a light plate.  Although I didn’t die and go to heaven, I can’t find anything that I do not like about Daddy Joe’s. If I had any complaint, it is my usual personal complaint about the overuse of salt.   With every visit, I have had 100% perfection with my experience.  South Carolina pride.

MEGapicks– The Kielbasa, Prime Rib Sandwich, Ribs, BBQ pork, Pulled Chicken, and any of the light platters with the zucchini and tomatoes.

MEGatips – 

  1. The link to Daddy Joe’s will provide location, hours, menu, and catering information.  Daddy Joe’s in Gaffney, S.C.
  2. If you live in this area, DO use their catering service.  I can personally recommend.
  3. Don’t live in this area, I feel completely comfortable suggesting this restaurant.  Located about 1 mile from I-85, it’s an easy on-off and beats the usual food places.
  4. As always, I find the food to be high in salt. I suggest requesting no added salt.
  5. Take a photo of that peach!
  6. Cherokee County has the best peaches in the country, Strawberry Hill has a shop near the outlet mall and many fantastic South Carolina foods may be purchased there.
  7. A Nestle’s/Stouffer’s Frozen Food Outlet is located in Gaffney.
  8. Have your pooch along for the roadtrip? No sweat, there is a pet friendly area on the outdoor porch.

[1] *See below

[2] Lexington style BBQ Wikipedia definition- Lexington styleLexington style barbecue (occasionally referred to as Piedmont or Western style) uses a “red” sauce/dip that is seasoned with ketchup, vinegar, and pepper, along with other spices that vary from recipe to recipe. It is most common in the Piedmont (central) and western areas of the state.


This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each South Carolina Tasty Tuesday post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes South Carolina escapade, this may be helpful information.

Follow along on “Tasty Tuesday’s” as I make my way like Miss Pacman in yet another state that I call home. A culinary trip across scenic and historical South Carolina. *I select stops based on convenience of location and they are in no particular order.  I am loosely following the list of “The best restaurants in each South Carolina county for 2016.”  [1]

Maybe the food from these chosen restaurants will make it on my list, and maybe they won’t. I often refer to this list as “46BestSC”  and may be located under the South Carolina Heading on the home page.

Unlike my “Alabama 100 “quest where I followed a formal list from Alabama Tourism,  and to my knowledge, there is not a formal South Carolina “100 list.” I am making my own list the Meg way and have some food fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.

I have been visiting places that vary from the Mom and Pop diners to the white cloth James Beard recipient eateries. A quest to find tasty dishes, unusual settings, and great foods that highlight folks who are dedicated to local food with pride and a whole bunch of South Carolina style.

I use a 5 MEGastar system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience.   I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the foodservice industry.  I am not a *schooled food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience.  I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or,  the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in South Carolina.   This has happened to me a few times and is always a difficult write for me.
  • ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place was not “ok” or vice versa.
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique.
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Meg. Local food and/or truly highlights South Carolina Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.



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