Food Dude Picks Top BBQ Restaurants in Myrtle Beach Based on Style
The 7th Annual Beach Boogie and BBQ Festival gets under way this weekend at Market Common, featuring dozens of the top championship barbecue teams from all over the nation battling for $13,000 in cash and new customers.
It's not just pulled pork BBQ making all that smoke at Grand Park. It's also Southern-style BBQ, Kansas City style BBQ, ribs, wings and even an "anything goes" category that includes any dish you can cook on the grill.
It got the Food Dude to drooling, uh, thinking: Why bring all these folks in from all over the country when the Grand Strand has its own award-winning items from all these categories. Here are the local winners in my book:
Southern-style BBQ: Forgive me if I repeat myself from previous articles, but Little Pigs BBQ in Myrtle Beach makes the best Lexington, N.C.-style barbecue on the Strand, and they have the trophies to back it up.
Using dry-rubbed pork shoulders slow-smoked over hickory coals, Mr. Pit can pack in BBQ lovers by smell alone. But the taste is in the chopped barbecue topped with its own special sauces and piled high on a bun.
There are others in the area that cook barbecue the old-fashioned way, but many of the South Carolina-style establishments commit the cardinal sin of putting mustard in the sauce. It ought to be against the slaw.
Kansas City-style: It's hard to find real Kansas City BBQ on this side of the Mississippi, probably because we know how to make it better on this side of the country, but Damon's Grill is the closest I've found locally.
Damon's has been serving up its own secret recipe for baby back ribs for 30 years, and they are fall-off-the-bone tender. But it's the sweet and tangy sauce that makes them similar to ones that made KC famous.
Served with fries and slaw, the rib platter at Damon's is a must try for folks wanting a true taste of baby backs. The oceanview and a full menu of chargrilled favorites make it a great place to eat for any taste buds.
Ribs: Damon's may make the best KC-style ribs on the Strand, but Sticky Fingers gets the nod among mouths from the South. Also serving grilled, tender baby backs, Sticky Fingers also knows how to slather on the sauce.
The Charleston-born chain offers five different varieties of sauces, and all are Southern inspired - the Memphis Original is cooked in a sweet sauce with a kick, or order them dry-rubbed only and dip them yourself.
The Carolina Sweet and Tennessee Whisky are my favorites, but I'm partial since they hail from my two home states, and Habanero Hot is for those with Texas taste buds only. Be sure to pick up a jar of your favorite.
Wings: The Grand Strand is up to its elbows in wing joints, but almost everyone prepares theirs' one of two ways - in a deep-fat fryer for a crispier crunch or baked in the oven for a healthier but mushier texture.
But among the few that do cook them on the grill, none I've tasted can touch the ones at Logan's Roadhouse. The drumsticks soak up the smoke all the way down to the bone and they are melt-in-your-mouth tender and juicy.
The Smokin' Hot Grilled Wings are prepared on skewers for a tasty version of chicken on a stick and are smothered in Logan's own smoky Chipotle sauce and flavored with Tabasco. Be sure to order a cold beer.
Anything Goes: The category says "anything" and Longbeard's Bar & Grill is known for grilling anything - elk, quail, alligator, buffalo, etc. You name it, shoot it or hit it with your car, Longbeard's probably grills it.
But of all the critters to grace Longbeard's grill, my favorite is the "KC" Wild Boar Wings. Not chicken wings, but boar wings. Of course, pigs can't fly, but these bone-in "wild" pork shanks are straight out of hog heaven.
Smothered in a smoky, Midwestern-style barbecue sauce, this appetizer could easily be a meal. For those after bigger game, Longbeard's also makes a mean steak and other traditional cuts, but these are perfect for pigging out.
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