Upington has a new best restaurant. Bubbas, a Tennessee-style steak house, opened two months ago by SJ and Virginia Botha. Not for vegetarians and vegans, the place is authentic, inspiring and great fun. Raw peanuts on the self-made table, shells on the floor. Latter-day bushman murals on the wall from the silver pen of Doempies in die Dorp. A Boere Banksy.
Born in Alldays, Schalk-Jacobus spent nine years in Nashville making granite tops. Married to Tennessee native Virginia (who already speaks idiomatic Afrikaans), the couple decided they wanted a small town upbringing for their son and daughter. So they put a couple of names in a hat: Ellisras, Namibia, Maun, … and picked out Upington. Nashville’s loss is Upington’s gain and a boon to meat lovers. Try the “pile of steak” – SJ gets local butchers to cut Brazilian-style picanye, which he braais sprinkled with cayenne pepper. Or the 1/4 pound of pulled pork. Fantastic. A million times better than Spur next to the Protea Hotel in the town.