I'm here, safe and sound. Had expected to meet up with the jeffvandermeers tonight, but they are running rather late. On the other hand, I'm three hours out of my native time zone, so what do I care? Got jet lag?
I passed a likely looking bbq restaurant on my way in to the hotel, so after checking in to both my room and the festival, I betook my rental car (courtesy of the Hertz random upgrade program, a spanking new Mercury Mariner) back to Maurice's BBQ, specifically the Lexington location.
The place is very blue collar. Not that faux blue collar that's popular in the post-fern bar world of semihip restaurants, but the real thing. The interior is a monument to Southern culture, right down to the church basement furniture and the extensive display of Civil War posters, commemoratives and letters. I have a number of relatives who died in the War of Northern Aggression (did you know I am a sixth generation Texan?) so I think I'm on safe ground to observe that celebrating your ancestors' crushing defeat in an unjust war a century and a half ago is a heck of a basis for a regional culture.
However, this same regional culture produces awesome brisket. This being South Carolina, it was lathered with mustard-based bbq sauce, which I am ok with. With some Texas style vinegar-based sauce the brisket would have been heavenly. Decent hush puppies and mediocre fries came with, along with good cole slaw. I'm going to see if I can drag the jeffvandermeers out there some time this weekend. Among other things, the fresh made onion rings appeal.
Maybe I'll take my camera that time.