The best Bar-B-Que in the County!” “Or maybe the State.” “Or maybe the whole South!” That’s what folks said about the barbecue Lucille Buchanan grew up eating in her Grandma’s lunch shack, a tiny little nothing of a place on a back road in a small town way outside of Greenville. But Lucille didn’t know any different. She hadn’t traveled more than about 30 miles in any direction. It was just Granny’s cooking.
As soon as Lucille was tall enough to clear tables, Granny put her to work during summers and on weekends. She shared her secrets with Lucille on how to make the best Bar-B-Que…special spice rubs and savory wet ‘mops’ and sauces Lucille had to swear she’d never share with a soul.
Most of all, she showed Lucille how to cook Bar-B-Que nice and slow, for hours on end in the gentle smoke of hickory wood, until the meat became sweet and succulent and so tender it would fall off the bone if you so much as looked at it.
When Lucille married Joe before World War II and followed him out to the naval yards in Long Beach, California, she discovered that the folks back home were right: Granny’s Bar-B-Que was the best. She and Joe couldn’t find anything like it anywhere from San Diego to Santa Barbara and beyond.
So she found herself a place in Long Beach and started cooking Bar-B-Que just like she used to eat at home – with Granny’s permission, of course! Naturally, Lucille added some of her own special touches, like buttermilk biscuits and peach cobbler.
After the war, Joe joined her in the restaurant. When they had children, and later grandchildren, they helped out, too.