Sheila and Joseph Evans serve up barbecue with a smile at their new, indoor location.
Photo by Milton Morris
Joseph Evans, the owner and head chef at True BBQ in Myrtle Beach, has been working in restaurants since the age of 13, but nothing in his long experience prepared him for what happened when he and his wife, Sheila, opened their roadside stand on Socastee Boulevard in 2013.
Lured by the intoxicating smell of the hickory, oak and applewood smoke Evans uses to flavor his slow-cooked meats—and captivated by the authentic charm of a colorful stand with four outdoor picnic tables for a dining area—customers lined up eagerly to devour every morsel of moist pulled pork, tender beef brisket, meaty ribs and flavorful smoked chicken the family could make.
“We were so stunned when we first opened,” Sheila says. “There were so many people even the first week.”
With that kind of success, the family began looking for a roomier venue to grow the business. In September 2015, they opened a second True BBQ on Robert M. Grissom Parkway—this one in a traditional restaurant building with a large kitchen and 235 indoor seats.
The indoor location has a more extensive menu with barbecue nachos, smoked wings, spicy rib tips, rib sandwiches, combo meals and meat by the pound. The classic barbecue side dishes like hash and rice, macaroni salad, slaw, macaroni and cheese, fries and baked beans are all made from recipes that were passed down from both sides of the Evans family.
Joseph says both locations are thriving because he still cooks his meats the old-fashioned way, and he doesn’t cut corners.
“You cannot rush a good brisket,” Joseph says. “You just can’t. We cook our food long and slow with lots and lots of love.”
The new location has an enormous bar in the main dining room, but True BBQ remains alcohol-free.
“We’re turning it into a sweet bar with cake, pies and coffee,” Joseph says. “Ladies can sit up there and have cake and coffee, relax and have a conversation and not feel rushed to be out.”
“It’s a fun place, with good food and good hospitality,” Sheila says. “That’s what we try to create.”
True BBQ macaroni salad
1 pound uncooked elbow
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sweet relish
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook macaroni according to package directions and drain. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, relish, vinegar, salt and pepper. Fold in cooked macaroni until well incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Cover and chill at least one hour before serving, but overnight is better.
Roadside stand: 4002 Socastee Blvd., Myrtle Beach | (843) 267-1787
Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Restaurant: 364 Robert M. Grissom Parkway, Myrtle Beach | (843) 945-4111
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Operating hours at both locations may be extended during the summer, but they’ll always be closed on Sundays. For more information, visit truebbqmb.com.