Columbia SC

Restaurant Review: Big Bulls Bang’n BBQ &Southern Comfort Food in Columbia, SC

While on the way to a girls weekend in Savannah, we stopped in Columbia SC for lunch and gas.  We pulled up yelp and using the tool to tell us what was nearby, we chose this place for lunch.  Now, without this app on my phone I would have never known about this out of the way spot and probably prejudged it because of its humble appearance.  That would have been a huge mistake.  This, folks, is the real deal.  And I’ve been telling everyone I know.

I got the vibe from the owners that they knew their food was good and they weren’t putting up with any crap.  Order, sit down and be patient.  Our food came out in record time, but there are signs alluding to the fact that this food is home cooked and that takes time.  It is worth it, no matter how long it takes them.  This is some of the best home cooking I’ve ever had in a restaurant.  And if anyone knows restaurants…

There were so many delicious choices on the menu I just couldn’t pick.  I took a cue from food celebs and asked one of the diners. And it was the best choice, even though it was WAY too much food.

I got the pork chop plate, which came with TWO pork chops, two sides and bread.  They said I could have one of each style of pork chop, so I chose one smothered in gravy over rice and one fried.  I love gravy and rice, and that pork chop that was simmered in it was fall apart tender and was so delicious with the fluffy white rice. The gravy had whole slices of green pepper and onions, adding another layer of flavor.  The fried pork chop was simpler, but I think it was my favorite.  So often when people fry things, they forget to season when it comes out of the fryer so the food is bland.  You will NOT experience this here.  Their food is a flavor bomb.  For my sides I chose macaroni and cheese and lima beans.  The macaroni and cheese reminded me of my great grandmother’s, and I almost teared up.  My childhood came flooding back over me with just one taste!  The lima beans were seasoned with smoked ham chunks and seriously could have made me full with just a bowl of these and this amazing cornbread they serve.  It was so dense and sweet, almost like cake.


Jennifer chose the beef brisket and it was another amazing choice.  The beef was smoked perfectly and so tender, you could cut it with a plastic fork. The sides that she chose were collard greens and cornbread stuffing.  The collards were some of the best I’ve ever had, again seasoned perfectly and cooked well.  The cornbread stuffing was different than I’d had before, a little sweeter and a smoky flair, but delicious nonetheless.

This place is a real diamond in the rough and deserves a ton of foot traffic.  It is off the beaten path, and there is some construction on that road (at the time of our visit) but persevere!  You may just have one of the best home cooked meals of your life!

Find them online here:

 

 

 

 

Charlotte · Restaurants

Midwood Smokehouse in Charlotte

midwood sigh

My husband and I visited the Midwood Smokehouse today and we were so so so happy.  So happy.  This is huge.  Because I’m not crazy about barbecue.  I was trying to be nice when I agreed to go.  But lord-have-mercy…it was good.

Inside is pretty hip.  Lots of metal pig memorabilia, waitresses wearing “Bacon” socks and general “characters” waiting tables and eating here.  I loved just sitting in the booth and looking around.  All while smelling that delicious smoky smell.

We started off our meal with a watermelon margarita and a beer.  Normally I skip cocktails, but the waiter changed my mind by telling me this one was made with real watermelon (not some mix!).  Sure enough, it tasted very refreshing, and not to sweet at all despite the sugar on the rim of the glass.

midtown smoke 4

The Cuban sandwich was the menu item that immediately drew my attention.  In fact, once I saw it, I stopped looking.  The pressed sandwich is chock full of sliced ham, barbecued pork, Swiss cheese and topped with mustard, lettuce and tomato.  I had never had a Cuban with the lettuce and tomato, and next time I’ll leave those off.  The bread got so flat and crispy in the pressing, and the barbecue pork taking the place of a sliced pork cutlet lent a smokiness to the sandwich.  I chose macaroni and cheese as my side and it was creamy  and cheesy topped with a crusty coating of baked cheese.  It was the best macaroni and cheese I’d ever had at a restaurant.  How about that?

midtown smoke 2

The hubs got the beef brisket plate, mixed.  That means it was half lean meat and half fatty meat.  I can appreciate that fat is needed to make meat tender, juicy and flavorful, but I’m no fan of fatty meat.  That said, he left me have a bite of his lean brisket and it was so tender, so juicy and flavorful…I was thankful for the fatty pieces lying around it.  The barbecue sauce is tangy and tomato-y.  I also detected a bit of beer in it?  He chose the baked beans as his side and they were baked with the same barbecue sauce that came on the plate for dipping.  A few candied bits of meat  had made their way into the beans, too.  Seriously, perfection.

midtown smoke brisket

Really love this place.  And did you notice the china this meal is served on?  Funky, punky décor, cool waiters and staff, and then grandma’s china.  I’m in love.  Go.

Midwood Smokehouse on Urbanspoon