Saturday, March 06, 2010

Restaurant Review: Maurice's Gourmet Barbecue

The Rock Hill location of Maurice's Gourmet Barbecue is in a strip mall in front of a Wal-Mart not far from the Galleria Mall. Sara and I wanted to try some South Carolina barbecue places, since we have not eaten any in SC to speak of (one just across the state line near the Catawba River doesn't really count).

Here's what the outside of the restaurant looks like:

The interior walls are painted a mustard yellow, probably as a tribute to Maurice's mustard-based barbecue sauce, which is quite popular. It used to be sold in Harris Teeter grocery stores here in Charlotte until there was a racial fuss kicked up about it, since apparently the original Maurice's location flies a Confederate flag as part of the restaurant's dècor.

Since the sign on the window announced that the brisket was the "best in town," I decided to give that a try. Sara bought a pork sandwich.

Here's mine:

And here's Sara's:

My dinner included "hash" on a bed of rice; the hash is made up of barbecued pork mixed finely with the mustard-based sauce, probably with other ingredients, as well. It was pretty good. The macaroni and cheese was home-made in an oven, as the burned pieces showing in the cups attest. They should have not included those in the cup, as far as I'm concerned. The hush puppies were the usual dry cornmeal, not particularly sweet or tasty. The brisket was disappointing, showing no smoke ring and was rather tough, indicating that it was undercooked in the smoker (if it was cooked in a smoker to begin with). It actually tasted more like steak than like barbecued brisket. The dinner roll was cold, right out of a pre-packaged bag of rolls.

Sara's sandwich was good, but not as good as a similar sandwich available at our local favorite, Q Shack, she said. It was tasty pork with mustard-based sauce mixed in (Sara let me taste a bite). French fries were...well, ordinary fries. They were cooked properly.

Sara had the feeling that the barbecue was prepared off-premises and trucked into the restaurant; I didn't see any smokers in the place, and there was certainly no pit operating in the strip-mall.

The restaurant was clean, as were the bathrooms. We were the only customers eating inside, a couple of people came in to pick up 'cue to go (this was in the 1 o'clock hour, which should have been busy on a Saturday).

I'm going to have to give the place a 2/5 on my ratings scale, due to the burned pieces in the macaroni and the cold roll: 2 out of 5: edible, but no effort to impress; staff/management going through motions.

The good point about Maurice's is the tangy yellow mustard-based sauce, but a lot of groceries in the Charlotte area sell mustard-based BBQ sauces that are nearly as good.

Maurice's Gourmet Barbecue website is here.


Anonymous said...

I live just north of Seattle. I have pretty much given up on finding decent Barbeque. There was a place called Armadillo BBQ that had pretty good food. Inconsistant, though. One day it would be great, the next it tasted like boiled beef tallow. We have a Tony Roma's nearby, but it's what I call a 2-knife BBQ Joint. I hold my knife to your throat while you eat, then you hold yours to mine while I eat. There was a place out on US 2, just the other side of Monroe that had BBQ. I knew it was BBQ 'cause the sign out front said so.

So, I don't even try any more, it's just too much hassle. As many people who claim to like BBQ, you'd think it would be easier to come by.

Gerry N.

wally said...

I hate to sound like I disagree with you on everything, but I love the burnt edges on macaroni and cheese!