GoodLands BBQ Restaurant
Review by: Michael Stern
Memorable | One of the Best
Located in a former gas station, GoodLands BBQ opened in 2002, but closed 10 years later. For a while it was an Amish-accented home-cooking cafe called Our Country Table. To the delight of its many fans, GoodLands BBQ reopened in August, 2017 with its original kitchen staff and a menu of time-honored Palmetto State fare.
The very good news is that you don’t have to choose between fried chicken and BBQ pork. Service is buffet-style, meaning you can take some of each. The problem is strategic: how to fit the pork, the chicken, hushpuppies, hash on rice, and all the buffet’s good vegetables onto a single plate. In fact, you can come back for seconds, and even thirds if you determine that this is some of the tastiest fried chicken you’ve had in years. Its enthusiastically-seasoned golden crust envelops meat that is unconscionably moist. If GoodLands served only chicken, I’d be back tomorrow.
But chicken is only a sideline. BBQ matters more. It is pork, of course, slow cooked over oak and hickory coals then hacked into a variegated pile of flavor with many pieces that are even bigger than bite-size. The pork is presented unsauced. Customers are free to add their own South Carolina style mustard sauce, which is only a little spicy; but this meat is so succulent that only minimal sauce is wanted. On the side you do want hash, which is tangy-sweet with a jot of pepper. To round out the marvelous oinkfest, GoodLands offers big flaps of wickedly crunchy pig skin.
The buffet also offers heavy-duty spherical hushpuppies and such vegetables as corn niblets, butter beans, string beans, and sweet peas — all of which are just fine — and the #1 must-eat essential southern vegetable: macaroni and cheese. The serving pan of mac ‘n’ cheese features a buttery soft center, a chewy-sticky top, and edges that are blackened and crunchy. Have it your way. It’s all good.
For the record, I am confused by the name of this restaurant. Why there is a capital L in the middle, I don’t know. Nor do I know if its proper name is GoodLand, GoodLands, or GoodLand’s. It is written all ways throughout the restaurant.
Note that GoodLands BBQ is open for lunch only Thursday through Sunday, and for dinner only Friday and Saturday. The Sunday menu tends to be an expanded one. Succulent, fried-crisp pork chops are a highlight.
Directions & Hours
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||No|