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Jul 5, 2011 07:58 AM

Columbia SC BBQ

Will be in Columbia this weekend. Looking for some good Central SC Style Mustard Q.

Little Pigs, Hudson's or Big T's? (Looks like True BBQ is closed the entire week so that's out)


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  1. John D. Hite and Sons on Dreher Rd. In West Columbia serves top notch barbecue and hash. Take out only.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Hushpuppy

      Thanks but I was looking for a sit down place since I'm traveling from out of town.

      1. re: ohso

        I've got to admit - I'm not a big fan of Hite's. Too dry, not enough flavor. I'm pretty sure that they had run out of fresh and had pulled some out of the freezer.

        Also, Hudson's isn't quite the true SC flavor - a bit more midwest than they'd like you to think. Their buffet is quite good, however.

        The best bbq in the Columbia area (now that Dukes out by the airport is closed) is Palmetto Pig, near downtown Columbia: Their mustard sauce is very good, and their hot vinegar sauce is amazing!

        I've lived in Columbia for 7 years and have tried nearly all of the bbq joints in town.

        1. re: archovist

          What about Little Pigs and Maurice's.

          Little Pigs BBQ @ 4927 Alpine Rd., Columbia, SC. 803 - 788 - 8238.

          Maurice's Gourmet Barbecue @ 800 Elmwood Avenue, Columbia, SC. 803 - 256 - 4377.
          Maurice's Gourmet Barbecue @ 2450 Augusta Road, West Columbia, SC 803 - 796 - 4777.

          1. re: archovist

            I strongly disagree with archovist on J.D. Hite and Sons. I love their Q. It's not dry, it's just minimally sauced. However, archovist is 100% correct about Hudson's: the Q is not so good, but the other buffet items are pretty good. IMO Palmetto Pig is nothing special, but not bad. Maurice's is equal parts awful, terrible, and horrendous.

            Of the three choices mentioned by ohso, Little Pig's is definitely the way to go. Remember, ohso, this is a week when lots of BBQ joints are closed, so call ahead!

            Little Pigs
            115 Bountyland Rd, Seneca, SC 29672

            1. re: UrDaddy

              I definitely agree - Maurice's is the worst.

              My problem with Little Pig's is that I live on the opposite side of town and don't make it out there very often. Also, my wife prefers Palmetto Pig :-)

              Another alternative for if you are downtown is Doc's - their bbq is quite good when smothered in the pickle slices at the end of the buffet.

              Perhaps I shall have to give Hite's a second try.

              Little Pigs
              115 Bountyland Rd, Seneca, SC 29672

              1. re: UrDaddy

                Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Looks like I will go with Little Pigs- from what I understand they do smoke their q- it doesn't appear that Docs or Palmetto Pigs does from what I gather. I've been to Sweatman's in Holly Hill- that's my benchmark for good South Carolina Q so I'll report back with my opinion when I return.

                1. re: ohso

                  ohso, you are oh so right - Sweatman's ribs ARE the benchmark for SC BBQ. Seriously smokey and the mustard sauce is wonderful. (I generally dislike mustard sauce.)

                  I'm a North Carolina gal - love western NC red sauce and Lexington #1 BBQ as well as Eastern NC's vinegar and red pepper... Ahhh. Red slaw. Brunswick stew. Corn sticks!

                  Back to Columbia... Palmetto Pig is just roast pork; save your money. I do not give Maurice my money either, but for different reasons. Doc's has fabulous chicken. Little Pigs at Alpine - I have not been since they reopened post-fire a while back - had a smoked shoulder next to their buffet. It was delicious.

                  Little Pigs
                  115 Bountyland Rd, Seneca, SC 29672

                  1. re: EllenColatown

                    to bad its all over but the crying for Sweatmans...

                    1. re: LaLa

                      I've been twice since the changeover. Still great.

                2. re: UrDaddy

                  Ah, Maurice's. Come for the barbecue, stay for the racist iconography!

                  1. re: Naco

                    When I went to Maurice's, a black female friend of mine happily went with me. There were black folks both eating and working there. The food was decent, not the best, but I wouldn't call it horrible either. I've definitely had worse at many NC joints.

                    1. re: Leadmine

                      I speak only for myself. I'm a proud Southerner, and I think the place is a goddamn embarrassment. While I wouldn't be caught dead sporting a Confederate flag myself, I'm not the kind to get the vapors if I see one. But tell me that you don't feel a twinge of shame when you look at this:


                      1. re: Naco

                        Flags don't bother me. American Indians aren't big fans of Old Glory as it was under that flag that millions of them were slaughtered immediately after the War Between the States in the westward expansion.

                        I'm a proud Southerner too, but I have no love of the Southern aristocracy, AKA the Blue Bloods. They enslaved both blacks and whites, and for many of us our ancestry is of this slave stock - mine certainly was.

                        1. re: Leadmine

                          Yeah, but it's not just the flag. Apparently if you host a banquet there they pass out pro-slavery literature. If I went to a restaurant honoring Andrew Jackson and they passed out literature glorifying the Trail of Tears, that would make me equally squeamish.

                          I also get offended by mustard-based bbq, but that's another story altogether!

                3. re: archovist

                  You've got to know the secret on how to order from Hites on Dreher Rd. #1 you can't get the good stuff by walking in. You call in the morning and ask for them to save you a lb or however much you want of "the rib cut". They will then ask do you want the side. You say yes. This is the worst part of the pig for you. It is full of fat and a heart attack waiting to happen but oh so good. You just eat it in moderation. You don't have to order anything else in advance just the rib cut. Their "side" rib cut is that stuff that is between the ribs and the skin, it will have a lot of skin on it too a be a little fatty. If you don't get the side rib cut you end up with big chunks of white meet that is dry and tasteless and a few ribs. Be sure to check out their onion sausage while you are there, get a lb to take home and cook for breakfast. It is one of the best onion sausages I have ever had. Right up there with Four Oaks out on #1 highway.

            2. Thanks everyone for your suggestions, I ended up staying in Charlotte the entire weekend with friends so I didn't get to Columbia at all, I'm hoping to return later in the fall.

              1. Well, when you do make it back this way, I recommend finding out where the Bone-In Artisan BBQ truck is parked. The bbq isn't as traditional as what you seem to be looking for, but it's the best BBQ that I've had in Columbia. Seriously delicious food. Plus, if you catch them on a Wednesday night, you'll have an opportunity to check out our All-Local Farmer's Market as well.