Do you have a car? Buy one. Or make a friend who does, because what you’re about to know requires that you make a drive. Or ten.
The. Absolute. Best. Barbecue. In. Savannah can be found at The Pit Stop BBQ at 2107 W US Highway 80 in Garden City. This is no small claim. Proprietors Lonnie and Mary Anne Oglesby have been slinging smoked pork, beef and chicken in Savannah for over a decade, at their current location for three years and their experience shows.
I first visited the Oglesbys during the summer with my friend Andrew who was working on a black and white photo series on the restaurant for his large-format photography class. He drove me out on Highway 80 and as we passed the ghastliest bits of real estate he assured me, “it’ll be worth it.”
The Pit Stop is situated opposite Trinity Church of God just outside Garden City down a bank underneath a very unassuming “BBQ” sign. The door to the front porch is made of vinyl strips like in a manufacturing warehouse and the porch is filled with mismatched tables and chairs. Beyond the porch, through a yellow, wooden door is the dining room/service counter, behind which you can find Pastor Lonnie, easily the most congenial business owner in the Lowcountry area.
As I followed Andrew into the dining room, all I noticed were the hundreds of books that invaded the two eating counters in the restaurant, overflowing two large bookshelves. From “Gone With the Wind” to a textbook from the 80s on interchangeable lenses, there was a piece of literature to suit every taste. But books were not the reason I was there. After Lonnie’s more than warm greeting, Andrew and I filled two of the six stools in the dining room and studied the menu.
We decided to share a combo plate with pulled pork, barbecue ribs, Brunswick stew and collard greens. Let me begin by saying that I don’t even like collard greens, but I was made a believer that day.
The Brunswick stew was made with celery, corn, green beans and pork and it was so good that I still keep reserve amounts in my fridge at all times. And the ribs. Oh the ribs! The smoked pork, literally falling off the bone, tasted truly homemade.
And finally, the pulled pork, slow smoked over a series of hours and lightly covered in Lonnie’s award winning “Sho ‘Nuff” sauce is what sealed the deal. The pork, reminiscent of my father’s homemade barbecue, is the reason I can unabashedly claim The Pit Stop as the best barbecue in town.
The barbecue is good anywhere: in the stew, on a sandwich or simply on a plate. While Blowin’ Smoke, Wall’s and Angel’s are excellent, they simply can’t contend with Pastor Lonnie’s pork. His barbecue can be enjoyed sauceless. To me that’s the mark of good barbecue.
Suddenly I failed to notice the cluttered dining room, mismatched chairs and seeming lack of order. All I cared about was the incredible food and company to be found at The Pit Stop BBQ Express and I’ve been back just about every week since.
Contact Greg Sims