Most students know about 4 Rivers Smokehouse and its abundance of barbecue. But about 5 miles north of campus in Oviedo is a small, one-room building where Cora Mae White has been cooking barbecue for 10 years.
C&W Bar-B-Que, located off Geneva Drive, was started by White's ex-husband. When he didn't want to run the business anymore, White took over. Unlike 4 Rivers Smokehouse and other popular barbecue restaurants, C&W Bar-B-Que is usually only run by White, who sometimes receives help from her children or siblings who live in the area. The meals can be eaten at a few picnic tables under a tree or taken home, because there is no indoor seating.
The eatery is only open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and White only accepts cash and checks. She makes food from scratch, seasoning her meat with family recipes and growing her own collard greens when the weather permits.
"My favorite [thing to cook] is my greens because it seems to me like people love it more, and that makes me feel really good," White said. "My greens is a recipe my mama gave me. It's something I've always kept with me."
On an average day, White cooks a case of ribs — which is about nine slabs — and almost 20 pounds of chicken and pulled pork. She cooks her food over a fire pit and said the most challenging part of her day is getting the fire started in the morning.
The menu at C&W Bar-B-Que includes pulled pork, rib and chicken dinners — which come with two sides — and sandwiches. For sides there is potato salad, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and sweet potato pie.
"My favorite thing about it about C & W is the fact that's it's the true essence of a mom and pop establishment," said Dominic Persampiere, the Oviedo mayor. "Ms. Cora cooks that food just like you're going to your grandma's house. That's what makes it so special."
The affordable prices at C&W Bar-B-Que may appeal to students. A rib dinner is $8.50, a pulled-pork dinner is $8, a chicken dinner is $6.50, pulled-pork and rib sandwiches are $6.50, a chicken sandwich is $5.50 and sides are $1.25 each.
"I encourage [students] to come because I feel that I'm staying on the cheap side of fixing my food. You see, I have been here 10 years and I've never raised my prices," White said. "And they can get a home-cooked meal."
White said that she loves having students as customers and even had a few regularly visiting students in the past.
When White was a teenager, she moved from Pineview, Georgia to Oviedo with her parents and 11 siblings. As the second-oldest child, White began cooking for her siblings at a young age.
"We had to cook when we were young," White said. "We had to get up in the morning to cook. We were maybe 9 and 10 and we had to get up and do breakfast for the rest. So I've been cooking all my life."