I don't do bad reviews. Not my bag. But, in this case, I need to share my experience from Saturday, maybe in search of some corroboration, or direction on whether to go back?
Good stuff first - Spinach & artichoke dip app was great. The pita chips, really freshly fried full-on pita wedges, slightly crispy on the outside & warm on the inside, were fantastic. Mac & cheese was also no slouch, mainly because they are generous w/ the cheese.
Unfortunately, the bad stuff is related to the 2 things I thought this place was known for: BBQ and beer.
Beer first. The menu had a few glaring errors, spelling or ABV-related, but that's OK, I'm used to it and can forgive easily. So I ordered a Big Eye IPA. I know, and love, this beer well. At $5.75/pint, it's right in line w/ other places in Charleston that put it on tap, no problem there. The problem was the beer was gross. Through some confluence of really old (not rotated) beer, and maybe a dirty line, they managed to turn one of my favorite IPAs into something barely drinkable. With 41 taps and a full room with only a handful of craft drinkers, you can't expect fast enough rotation to keep every pour fresh. That said, for almost $6, I want my Big Eye to taste like Big Eye, not like 6-month old Harpoon.
BBQ. Well, I just don't get it. My pulled pork was dry. Teeth-stickingly dry. Like the consistency of an overcooked turkey dry. I fully understand the "naked" concept, but good lord man, that doesn't mean you have to overcook the sh!t out of the pork, does it? That's OK, the sauce will save it, right? Every sauce, save the vinegar-pepper (a bottle of vinegar w/ one pepper in it), looked and tasted like it was 75% high fructose corn syrup. Cloyingly sweet, from the mustard base to the chef's red to the chiptole to the unlabelled one. This much sugar is not necessary in BBQ sauce, and it made them all taste basically the same. I did not sign up for pork-kindling with flavored syrups, but that's basically what I got.
I wanted to love this place. I'd been caught in the rainstorm on Folly. I was chilly, I was tired, and I was ravenously hungry. I wanted killer BBQ, and I wanted to gush about it afterwards. Alas, it was not to be.
Did I order the wrong thing? Is there another dish they have I should try? I'm open to suggestions. Barring that, looks like my visits will continue to be limited to their beer fests (which are great, btw).
$8 for a pint of DIPA is not that outrageous these days. $4, on the other hand, is insanely low. I'd question you finding a pint of Boy King for $4 anywhere, ever. The same could be said for whatever DFH or New Belgium beer you had, it depends entirely on which one it was.
At $5/pint for run-of-the mill stuff like Somersault or Hop Sun or whatnot, as well as 32/50 and HopArt, they are spot on. At $8 for BT Blackbeerd or Boy King, they are still spot on, IMO. Craft ain't cheap.
Point of fact, the beer prices are 100% in line with like-establishments in the Charleston area.
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