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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