(***Feb 2012 update*** Hello My Name is BBQ is getting ready to open a sit down restaurant on Meeting Street in downtown Charleston. The new restaurant will be at the base of the Ravenel Bridge and is expected to open late Feb or early March 2012!!!!)
March 24th, 2011
by Scott Wink of CharlestonFoodBloggers.com
Charleston, SC – People in South Carolina have been enjoying good Bar-B-Que since childhood. Everyone here seems to have a favorite type of sauce or way to eat BBQ. I myself have Home Team, Melvins/Bessingers, and Jim ‘N Nick’s as some of my local favorites. Several years ago I even had Melvins cater my wedding rehearsal dinner. I have also eaten BBQ in many of the self proclaimed “BBQ capitals of the US” such as Owensboro, KY Memphis, TN and ….anywhere in Texas. I know that not all BBQ is equal. So when Charleston food truck “Hello, my name is BBQ” opened in West Ashley on HWY 17 (in the Avondale area by next to Triangle Char and Bar and Lowcountry Scooters) last September I was a little skeptical. I initially held off running up to the mysterious new food truck. I wish I wouldn’t have waited. What I found was a BBQ gold mine!!!! (Open Monday-Friday 11AM-3PM)
Cody and Ryner Burg are the secret ingredients behind “Hello, my name is BBQ”. They own, cook, and serve the food coming out of their truck. Do you know what that means???? QUALITY CONTROL! They don’t have high school kids messing up your orders in the kitchen or cashiers giving you attitude. You get their heart and soul every day and that makes a difference. Here are the other things that make “Hello” stand out from the crowd:
The bun: It is a brioche that is toasted very nicely.
The meat: It is braised……and in beer! They change the beer with the season. They are using Holy City Brewing right now and plan on doing some bacon stout or pecan flavored beers soon. (Vegetarian options too)
The sides: Jalapeno Mac and Cheese, hoppin’ johns with bacon that was cooked in the BBQ sauce crumbled on top etc, etc.
The quality: All of the food and sauces are home-made with little changes everyday to keep the menu exciting and constantly improving.
I have to tell you a funny story that happened as I waited in line to order. The owner of “Hello” recognizes the man ordering in front of me and says, “Hey are you still working for Home Team BBQ?” The man was caught a little off guard and hesitantly admitted that he was but that he liked “Hello'”s BBQ better! Now that got me excited.
Let’s talk about the secret ingredients for a little longer. Cody is originally from Columbia and had done real estate until the recent slow down. Ryner is from Charleston and has been doing food and beverage for quite a while. She is the one behind a majority of the recipes. They have lived in NC and Hawaii. We got to talk a little about some of the food trucks we both knew in Oahu. Food trucks are really big on the islands. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, Zippy’s, the malsadas truck on the North Shore, and Hawaiian shave ice are their favorites. I said it correctly….shave ice not shaved ice.
I asked them what they liked about living in Charleston and Cody quick-wittedly said, “Because this is where all my stuff is.” After another second to think it over they added that the art, music, and food scene in Charleston is really something special. They work together with other local food trucks are planning several food truck rodeos with Diggity Doughnuts, Little Highrise, Roots Ice Cream, Geechee Island, and Happy Camper SnoBalls. Doug also says he enjoys surfing out on Folly Beach.
Since they spend so much time in their vehicle we asked what they listen to while driving. They said their mp3 playlist has a lot of classic rock and country like AC/DC and Johnny Cash. They also listed a lot of their favorite local bands like Cary Ann Hearst, and the Garage Cuban Band.
They said there were a few things they would like people to know about “Hello”. One is that there are rather restrictive laws for food trucks in Charleston county. They had a visit very soon after opening from some local officials trying to shut them down. After showing the officials the permits and licenses the officials were a little shocked that anyone in the county had permits……..not a good sign for a food lovers community. They hope that the community will help push our officials to allow food trucks to park freely around the county like in most other food loving communities. Cody said they also painted the truck themselves and perform many parody videos posted on YouTube or their Facebook page. I really like the old style look to the videos. It reminds me of the opening credits to the 80’s TV show The Wonder Years. I hope they film another one and use that old style footage for the entire thing. Those fun clips like the skateboard scene and wearing the Christmas hats are great. Keep up that fun energy. I heard a few songs just waiting for a “Hello” parady……Eminem’s “My Name Is” and The Doors “Hello, I Love You”.
It is obvious after talking with Cody and Ryner, tasting their food, and seeing those videos that they love what they do and do it well. They didn’t open a BBQ food truck to be trendy they opened it to compete toe to toe in taste with the big boys in BBQ…..and they came out swinging!
-Scott, Charleston Food Bloggers