1600 Charleston Hwy, West Columbia, SC | Directions 2916933.970721 -81.077596
Neighborhoods: West Metro
Great example of SC, Mustard-based bbq – After spending a few days in Florida I was driving back north on what I think was highway 85 when I saw a billboard touting the "World's Best Bar-B-Q". I had only once before eaten the much-talked-about (and very popular in SC) bbq with a mustard-based sauce, so I thought "definite pit stop". Puzzled, I pulled into what I thought must have been a used car lot then I realized that there was no car lot here, just tons of people feasting on bbq at 3pm on a Monday (granted it was Labor Day)...I thought "Good choice RJ" and I went inside. Let me first say this, remember that this restaurant is in the "deep south" so if confederate flags, memorials to confederate soldiers and generals, and political (conservative) literature being displayed in a restaurant make you uncomfortable then this is not the place for you...there is tons of the stuff littered throughout the deceptively large interior. (Rest assured, however, that the staff is exceptionally friendly and attentive). If, however, you won't let decorations deter you from a good meal, then you are in for a real treat at this SC hotspot. The portions here (like in many restaurants I've visited in the south) are quite generous and the flavor here is explosive. All of the "Signature Dinners" are served with Hushpuppies, a dinner roll, cole slaw and hash over rice. Let me digress and say that hash over rice was a new flavor and texture experience for me and boy am I glad that I had it, thanks to a sample provided by the friendly and effective waitress, Sherry. It's made with ham (the ham gives it an unconventionally smoky flavor; typically hash is made with beef), potatoes, and spices among other ingredients. To experience this creative, though not totally surprising, take on a normally boring and underwhelming dish alone makes Maurice's worth the trip. The pork bbq was cooked perfectly - moist and well-seasoned. It was served already sauced (a little too much so for my tastes), so I'd have prefered to add the sauce myself, but interestingly, it didn't take away too much from the meat. The coleslaw and hushpuppies were great accompaniments (the puppies had refreshingly crunchy crust with a soft, well-seasoned crumb...did I notice corn in there?) I didn't try the half chicken but it did not look to be as saucy as the pork. Maurice's sauces are superb - balancing well the sweetness of what I assume is honey and the sharpness of the mustard (even if you are not a fan of mustard you may want to visit Maurice's as his sauces don't have the mustard "bite" that others sauces of this sort tend to). I recommend stopping by and grabbing a few dishes at this SC treasure - they won't disappoint. 4.5 Stars
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