Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Divine Swine BBQ
There are a number of good barbecue places in Hattiesburg, moreso than you would generally expect for a town this size. Another interesting aspect of barbecue in the Hub City is that there are influences from just about every regional variation.
I could do an entire series of blog posts on how under appreciated Mississippi barbecue really is on a regional and national level.
For lunch I stopped in at one of my favorites Divine Swine BBQ. Located on Hardy Street just off the USM campus, is consider by more than a few to be Hattiesburg's best barbecue. Divine Swine shares it's store front with the Jr. Food Mart and it's easy to miss if you're not paying attention.
I've pretty much sampled everything on their menu and haven't found much of anything that I don't consider to be quality. Today I ordered the large rib plate. It consists of six large smoked pork ribs with two sides, I selected baked beans and mac & cheese. The plate comes with a roll and a side of their signature sauce.
Divine swine blends two different styles of barbecue into a taste that is pretty unique. They begin with a Memphis style dry rub of herbs and spices that crust the outside of the meats when they're being smoked out back on the big smoker that's fed with pecan and hickory. They serve pork ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket and chicken at Divine Swine covering pretty much every regional favorite as far as the meats go...All of them get a nice coating of the dry rub before going into the smoker.
The second part is an Eastern Carolina style dipping sauce with a Southern drawl. I don't believe there is any tomato in the sauce at all. They guard their recipe but it seems to be a vinegar based sauce that starts out sweet and finishes with a spicy kick. It's sweeter than a traditional Eastern Carolina sauce, which is why I say it has a Southern drawl. It's got to have a sweetener like honey blended with spices including an ample amount of red pepper flakes that you can see in the sauce.
The ribs I had today were nice sized pork ribs, fall off the bone tender and the dry rub was crusted perfectly bringing out the flavor of the meat. The dipping sauce was a perfect compliment to the dry rub and they blend together for a unique barbecue experience.
The sides were fresh and hot, the mac & cheese is a house made favorite that will bring back a lot of memories, but you didn't get mac & cheese like this out of a box when you were a kid. The beans are better than average.
The dining area is pretty simple a few gold picnic tables, some USM posters on the walls and one TV usually turned to a ball game. It's simple and clean. They could use more parking but, being land locked as they are I suppose they're doing the best they can with that.
In the end the unique blend of the Memphis dry rub with the Eastern Carolina style sauce is just about barbecue perfection for me. Divine Swine is my pick for the Best Barbecue in Hattiesburg, and that's saying a lot because the Hub City is a Barbecue Town and there's a number of really good barbecue joints here.
Online Coupons for Divine Swine
Print them here