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Moose's BBQ - Moncks Corner, South Carolina

JayL Feb 26, 2009 09:18 PM

Well, it's been a tad over a week since we've eaten bbq. My better half has been made sick by bad bbq here in South Carolina. I can't say that I've been happy by our experiences, but at least I've kept my stomach down. She can't say as much.

In reading reviews (yet again) on the internet of local places I read about one down the road in Moncks Corner called Moose's BBQ. I had read about it before, but haven't thought about heading that way until earlier this week. Not one review I read (on several sites) was negative.

On our way out to Moncks Corner I was afraid that we were making a mistake as Moose's is a buffet joint and we were going to get there just before 4 in the afternoon. I've run buffets in the past and know the worst thing you can do for a buffet is to not be busy. A stale buffet is a bad buffet. I was fearful that my Sweetie was going to really be mad at me again for carrying her to yet another bad bbq joint.

We arrived at Moose's BBQ at 3:45pm and believe it or not there were about 5 or 6 other cars in the parking lot. To fast forward...we left about thirty minutes later and the cars on the lot had easily doubled. A good sign!

When you enter Moose's you walk straight for the buffet, pay, grab your food, and then head for a table. There was alot to choose from on this smallish buffet with hash & rice, several vegetable & casserole choices, and the MEAT. Of course the meat is what you go to a bbq joint for. Choices included chopped bbq pork, smoked sausage, chicken, brisket, and pork loin.

The hash was as good as I've had here in South Carolina. Not one complaint here. We both liked it alot. We weren't thoroughly impressed by the chopped pork. It didn't have a ton of flavor and was just a bit on the dry side. It wasn't bad, and I'd put it up against much of the pork I've had elsewhere around the greater Charleston area. The smoked sausage was nothing more than cut links from a Hilshire Farm-like kielbasa. Again, not bad. Anyone who's thrown one of these store bought links on the smoker for an hour or two knows how good they are. The chicken wasn't overly seasoned and the smoke was perfect in every way. They only offered dark meat...legs and thighs. Moose's serves brisket...sliced. That may not be very special in other areas of the country, but in SC it's a rare find. It's hard to find brisket at all, and when you do much of the time it's chopped. The brisket is sliced right there for you when you go through the buffet line. There isn't alot of seasoning to the brisket...highlighted by black pepper it's fairly standard Texas-style brisket. Probably the best meat they offer...no, not probably...the brisket IS the best item on Moose's menu. The pork loin is kept whole, and like the brisket, it's sliced for you on request. Not heavily seasoned, but pretty tasty.

None of the meat is sauced which is fine by me. I like naked bbq as long as it can stand on it's own...and at Moose's it can. There are however three sauces to choose from to use as condiments. One is labled as "hot". This was a strange little sauce that seemed to be more oil than anything. A strange flavor was picked up in this sauce...anise, allspice, something. It wasn't my favorite. Another option was a mustard sauce. This sauce was labeled "mustard". LOL This was a very smooth mustard sauce that didn't have much in the way of visible spice. You couldn't really see anything in it, but the flavor wasn't offensive at all. The third option was a red sauce labeled "sweet". This was my favorite sauce and was thin, sweet, and had a subtle cinnamon undertone. My better half actually liked double dipping from the "sweet" into the "hot". I didn't like the combo, but she did.

I was about to bust after two trips through the buffet, but felt that the desserts were a necessity if I was to write a decent review of the place. We tried small portions of a chocolate cake, peach cobbler, and banana pudding. The chocolate cake was extremely moist and drizzled with a powdered sugar glaze. It was enjoyable. The peach cobbler was standard cobbler you see at many restaurants and it was good. The banana pudding was canned banana pudding with a few vanilla wafers thrown in and lightly topped with wafers that were crushed in a processor. The pudding wasn't bad, but faux banana pudding doesn't impress me. At least they don't have to deal with banana slices turning brown in the pudding...that's one plus.

I have to say, everything at Moose's BBQ was done well. I can not believe I'm saying this! We've had such bad experiences around this area that it was hard to understand what we had stumbled upon. My better half has refused to eat any more bbq (I was a bit scared to even ask her today if she minded bbq for lunch). In the middle of our meal today she spoke up (I think she had just eaten another piece of brisket) and said, "You can bring me here anytime." To me, THAT was the greatest thing anyone can ever say about Moose's. This girl has been really turned off by bad bbq joints, and Moose's brought her back!!!

The price for Moose's buffet is reasonable. We paid a bit over $9 which included our beverage. In this area that's not a bad price. I've seen buffets as much as $12+ by the time you get a drink. Moose's was a relative bargain in comparison.

I would recommend this place to anyone.

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  1. SISC RE: JayL Mar 2, 2009 07:01 AM

    Nice review JayL. It sounds as if you salvaged your wife's relationship with 'Que. Well done.

    13 Replies
    1. re: SISC
      JayL RE: SISC Mar 2, 2009 09:44 AM

      There's just so much bad...I shouldn't say bad...there's just so much bbq that could be better around here. She really got sick and tired of less than mediocre bbq that she threatened mutiny on the relationship. I'm glad we found Moose's.

      1. re: JayL
        Low Country Jon RE: JayL Mar 2, 2009 07:29 PM

        Jay, have you tried the Hickory Hawg on John's Island? Very nice hickory-smoked pulled pork shoulder with a terrific Lexington-style sauce. It's the most consistently good 'cue I've had in the immediate Charleston area. Their ribs and hush puppies are pretty great, too, and their "hash" is actually a respectable brunswick stew.

        They have opened up a buffet line since last I visited, which worries me a little bit, but hopefully they have kept the quality up.

        1. re: Low Country Jon
          JayL RE: Low Country Jon Mar 3, 2009 05:57 AM

          You know, I've not been to the Hickory Hawg, or JB's Smokeshack for that matter. Both those places have mixed reviews online. Moose's reviews had nothing but good ones so I felt safe carrying the Misses. We might have to visit Moose's again before I take her to another "new" place for us to try.

          1. re: JayL
            g
            GrillMaster RE: JayL Mar 5, 2009 11:29 AM

            I went out of my way a while back to eat at the hickory hog and was pleasantly surprised. I'd put is up against any other Q in Chucktown any day. Now once you get in the countryside where true BBQ lives that's a different story.

            1. re: GrillMaster
              b
              By the Sea RE: GrillMaster Mar 9, 2009 02:38 PM

              Okay, Q fans, I have a question, What are you're favorite BBQ joints in a 40 minute radius of Charleston? Can't wait to try Moose's next time I get up to Monck's Corner.

              1. re: By the Sea
                JayL RE: By the Sea Mar 9, 2009 07:28 PM

                I'd say Moose's, Moose's, & Moose's.

                None of the rest are that great (to me...a North Carolina boy who was spoiled with good bbq in rural Eastern NC). Many will say, "Be sure to go to Bessinger's BBQ" simply because it's been there a long time and has a popular family name. I've been and might even go back, but I live here and don't plan on making a special trip myself.

                For decent and consistent bbq you can stop by one of the Sticky Fingers chain stores. I'd choose SF over most other bbq in the direct Charleston area.

                But for sure give Moose's a try. It's not classic South Carolina, but it's darn good.

                1. re: By the Sea
                  g
                  GrillMaster RE: By the Sea Mar 11, 2009 01:44 PM

                  McCabe's in Manning. A little over an hour to get there but worth it.

                  480 N. Brooks St., Manning

                  1. re: GrillMaster
                    Low Country Jon RE: GrillMaster Mar 11, 2009 03:58 PM

                    GrillMaster, have you tried Scott's Variety in Hemingway? I was wondering how it compares to McCabe's. I haven't tried either yet, but hope to sometime soon. If I'm ambitious, I'm thinking I could have lunch at McCabe's, then grab some takeout from Scott's to have later.

                    1. re: Low Country Jon
                      g
                      GrillMaster RE: Low Country Jon Mar 13, 2009 09:37 AM

                      I have not but if often comes up in discussions about good BBQ. Unfortunately for me, Hemingway isn't on the way anywhere and I have never in all my years had a need to actually GO TO Hemingway. I'll get there one day though.

                  2. re: By the Sea
                    exposur3 RE: By the Sea Mar 17, 2009 07:23 AM

                    I'd have to say Sweatman's in Holly Hill has been the best that I've tried so far, although I've heard McCabe's being recommended over and over. I like that they keep it simple - pulled pork and ribs, mustard-based sauce, slaw, amazing hash, and banana pudding. It's a bit of a drive, but I'd highly recommend it if you're on your way to/from Columbia.

                    1. re: exposur3
                      JayL RE: exposur3 Mar 17, 2009 11:09 AM

                      Not to highjack my own thread, but I'd also recommend Sweatman's if you're passing by (or within 20-30 minutes of) the area.

                      I didn't have a problem with Sweatman's the time I was there. I don't think I'll ever make the drive from Charleston (Mt. Pleasant) for the sole purpose of going there ever again, but I'd stop and make a detour if I were on the highway.

                      Sweatman's was good, but not euphoric...not to me anyway. I don't, and won't, compare Sweatman's and Moose's as they aren't the same type of bbq joints...they cook differently. I will, however, compare Sweatman's to the traditional bbq joints I grew up with in eastern NC as they DO cook in the same manner. In my book, Sweatman's is good, but doesn't stack up with the likes of some of the better NC joints.

                      I will say it's some of the better I've had in SC. The hash is outstanding.

                2. re: JayL
                  exposur3 RE: JayL Mar 17, 2009 07:12 AM

                  I found this excellent review while searching for info on Moose's -- thought that I'd say hi and introduce a new local website/group called Lowcountry BBQ (http://www.lowcountrybbq.org).

                  The initial idea was to map out some of the recommended BBQ joints around Charleston, and has since grew into irregular "meatups" which, as you probably guessed, is just an excuse to get together, be social, and eat some great BBQ.

                  We're on our 5th meatup, which will be at Moose's next Thursday if you'd like to join us. Previously, we've met at Bessinger's on Savannah Hwy, Mamma Brown's in Mount Pleasant, Sweatman's in Holly Hill, and JB's Smokeshack. I'd like to think another benefit, besides getting out to all of the different BBQ joints, is to help out the restaurants in these crap economic times.

                  We also have a calendar (http://www.lowcountrybbq.org/cal.htm) going with all of the meatups and South Carolina BBQ-related events -- this weekend alone is Palmetto BBQ & Brew Festival on Edisto Island and Smoke on the Beach on Hilton Head.

                  Let me know what you think and hope you come out and join us!

                  Chrys

                  1. re: exposur3
                    t
                    tennreb RE: exposur3 Mar 17, 2009 09:21 AM

                    Thanks for the link. I joined your facebook group.

          2. b
            bor RE: JayL Jun 7, 2009 08:41 AM

            Moose's is excellent, it also returned my wife to the BBQ table. We were planning on going again today, which is how I came across this board while searching for their phone number online.

            Smoke Signals was a great place too, as was The Hog Doctor in Bonneau but both are now gone unfortunately.

            Home Team's not bad either, but Mooses is definitely the best around here IMHO

            Bessingers? is just Bessingers, no matter which relative's name is on the front of the building this week...

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