Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

521 B-B-Q & Grill

7580 Charlotte Highway, Indian Land, SC - (803) 548-7675
Posted By Tom Lewis on 11/2/2011 4:24:00 PM
I was skeptical as I pulled into the parking lot at the 521 B-B-Q & Grill. As a seasoned BBQ cook and lover, the joint just looked out of place among the neat shops, and it's located at the corner of a strip mall. As I exited my vehicle the smells of BBQ and smoke were in the air. The restaurant was very busy and both rooms were pretty full.

I ordered the BBQ’d rib platter. When it arrived, I was amazed at the quality and quantity of the food. The ribs had a nice smoked flavor and were very meaty with little fat. They were coated with a sweet sauce, and had char marks from being finished on a grill. Several of the ribs were almost like eating thick, bone-in pork chops. They were cooked just enough to allow the meat to pull off the bones cleanly, yet they were not dry.

The plate consisted of eight huge back ribs that were more than an inch thick, four extraordinary hush puppies, French fries, baked beans, and white slaw (they also gave me a sample of potato salad). The hush puppies were probably the best I’ve ever eaten: crisp outside and moist on the inside with little bits of minced onion, and slightly sweet. I enjoyed the mahogany-colored baked beans very much because they appeared to be slow-cooked. They contained some diced onion, bacon, and an appropriate level of sweetness.

The two standout sauces, one sweet and one a vinegary mixture with a sludge of mixed peppers, were excellent. I mixed the two and produced a heat-laden piquant sweet sauce that was wonderful. I would have loved to have had a couple of slices of spongy white bread to sop the sauce.

Each table had a supply of sauces, paper towels, and wet wipes for your hands. The ladies waiting on the tables were great and checked on all tables often. They circulated the room with pitchers of tea, soft drinks, and water. You’ll never eat in a cleaner good BBQ joint. The tables are sponged down with aseptic cleaner wipes and the cushioned benches are wiped when necessary.

Note: their chili dogs seem to have a very strong following. Most tables have at least one person with a couple on their plate. The chopped pork BBQ plates also enjoy great popularity, making me wish that I had asked for a combo (ribs/chopped pork) plate.

In short, very good BBQ with exceptional quality and value.

4 out of 4 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

No Yes

Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Hushpuppies
Rib Plate
Rate this place

Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

There are no words to describe how tender these ribs are, nor how flavorful. When the meat slides off the bone, you practically can hear the piggy juices ooze inside the caramelized-sauce coat that encloses the meat.
"There are no words to describe how tender these ribs are, nor how flavorful. When the meat slides off the bone, you practically can hear the piggy juices ooze inside the caramelized-sauce coat that encloses the meat."
Michael Stern





A plate gets you one more item than a tray, in this case the baked beans at the upper left (plus a cup of slaw). They are wonderful beans, their sweetness tempered by the tang of barbecue sauce.
"A plate gets you one more item than a tray, in this case the baked beans at the upper left (plus a cup of slaw). They are wonderful beans, their sweetness tempered by the tang of barbecue sauce."
Michael Stern


The chopped tray: lean BBQ, crinkle-cut fries, and 521's unparalleled hushpuppies.
"The chopped tray: lean BBQ, crinkle-cut fries, and 521's unparalleled hushpuppies."
Chris & Amy Ayers


We would never suggest ordering a fried bologna sandwich in lieu of 521's superlative barbecue, but it's nice to know that it's available if needed. An application of house mustard sauce did wonders for the thick slab of oinky pork.
"We would never suggest ordering a fried bologna sandwich in lieu of 521's superlative barbecue, but it's nice to know that it's available if needed. An application of house mustard sauce did wonders for the thick slab of oinky pork."
Michael Stern


The pork you get on a plate of barbecue is very gentle-tempered and as subtly delicious as food can be. To spice it up, there is a thick sweet/tangy sauce and a thin pepper-vinegar sauce that is quite hot. This is a close view of the Q after an application of the hot stuff.
"The pork you get on a plate of barbecue is very gentle-tempered and as subtly delicious as food can be. To spice it up, there is a thick sweet/tangy sauce and a thin pepper-vinegar sauce that is quite hot. This is a close view of the Q after an application of the hot stuff."
Michael Stern


Tangy vinegar and red BBQ sauces.
"Tangy vinegar and red BBQ sauces."
Tom Lewis


A plate of rib goodness.
"A plate of rib goodness."
Tom Lewis


A BBQ tray doused with colorful pepper flecks from 521's house-made vinegar sauce.
"A BBQ tray doused with colorful pepper flecks from 521's house-made vinegar sauce."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Generous pork topped with tangy barbeque slaw on a soft, steamed bun.
"Generous pork topped with tangy barbeque slaw on a soft, steamed bun."
Chris & Amy Ayers


I knew I'd like this place the moment I entered: the lined-up tables with worn checked cloths, the roll of paper towels on every table and, best of all (but not shown here), a staff of extremely friendly, sassy and entertaining waitresses added up to perfect BBQ-eating ambience.
"I knew I'd like this place the moment I entered: the lined-up tables with worn checked cloths, the roll of paper towels on every table and, best of all (but not shown here), a staff of extremely friendly, sassy and entertaining waitresses added up to perfect BBQ-eating ambience."
Michael Stern


521's porcine mascot greets customers with his hoof-up approval.
"521's porcine mascot greets customers with his hoof-up approval."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Located in an unpreposessing strip mall, 521 isn't going to win any beauty contests. That's fine; you can't eat beauty, but you CAN eat some of the best barbecue anywhere when you step inside.
"Located in an unpreposessing strip mall, 521 isn't going to win any beauty contests. That's fine; you can't eat beauty, but you CAN eat some of the best barbecue anywhere when you step inside."
Michael Stern



What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com