Name: 521 BBQ and Grill
Address: 1135 Stonecrest Blvd, Suite 101, Tega Cay, SC 29708
Order: Pork and rib barbecue combo plate (link to menu)
Last time I tried to use a Livingsocial coupon for 521 BBQ and Grill, Speedy and I ended up at the wrong location mostly – ok, completely – due to my lack of reading the small print. Well, on the day of expiration Mrs. Monk, the Monkette, and I made a trip back out to Fort Mill specifically to try the other, slightly closer location.
Of the two locations, I think I liked this building slightly more. What it lacks in traditional barbecue shack-iness – though the original is located at the end of a strip mall it looks the part of a shack (this one is also located in a strip mall but has more of a sports bar vibe) – it makes up for in beer and flat screen tv’s with sports (though I didn’t partake of any beer on this particular day).
And as it turns out, the other thing I liked slightly more at this location was the food. The pork had more smoke and some nice bark mixed in (
again, for a gasser Update: they use a FEC 150 wood pellet smoker). It also wasn’t as dry as the other location, while still being a tad on the drier end of the spectrum. Similar to the other location, I added the vinegar-based sauce and that greatly helped its cause. I didn’t order the ribs last time around but did on this trip. I found that I mostly agreed with Speedy’s take on them – they were meaty and I liked the sauce, though I could take or leave the finishing of them on the grill.
The sides were more or less the same as the other location, with the scratch-made hush puppies again being the highlight. The crinkle cut fries were standard but solid, the beans seemed a little bit like an afterthought and may have been straight out of a can, and the red slaw still had too much ketchup that made it more sweet than tangy.
I didn’t mention it last time, but the combo plate gives you a ton of food, enough for a to-go box and a second meal the next day. So you definitely get a lot of food for the price.
At the Tega Cay location of 521 BBQ and Grill, the food is decent and the service was friendly but I don’t know if I would consider it worth the drive from NoDa. Though for options in Fort Mill, you could probably do a lot worse.