The Top 5 Places for Barbecue in Myrtle Beach … However You Like It

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To many of our friends from the North, barbecue is a verb that means “to cook outdoors” (as in “Let's barbecue some burgers and hot dogs”). It’s a noun here in the Carolinas, where barbecue means “meat (usually pork) slow-cooked over hickory smoke then pulled or chopped and piled high on a bun that is slapped with cole slaw and doused in your favorite sauce.”

But even the Grand Strand has some disagreements over the sauce. On the North Carolina side of the Strand, it's vinegar-based; on the South Carolina side, it's a mustard-based sauce. But both slap slaw on a sandwich. Both styles are available in abundance in the Myrtle Beach area, along with virtually every other regional twist on BBQ – Memphis-style ribs, Texas-style beef brisket and even Brazilian-style churrasco (yes, yet another way of saying barbecue).

Guests at The Strand Resort don't have to travel very far to find some of the best barbecue in town. No matter how you slice it (or pull it, or chop it, or smoke it, or sauce it), there are plenty of places to find lip-smacking, mouthwatering barbecue in Myrtle Beach – an area best known for seafood. Here’s a list of great barbecue joints where you can feed your BBQ fix:

* Damon's Grill: Memphis-style ribs with an ocean view sounds like a dream come true for folks who prefer baby backs to the fattier spare ribs. Located on the south end of Ocean Boulevard, Damon's serves award-winning ribs, along with an extensive menu for parties with mixed taste buds. Grab a seat on the porch overlooking the beach, strap on a bib, and prepare to pig out.

* Dickey's Barbecue Pit: This national chain from deep in the heart of Texas comes to the rescue of BBQ lovers from the other side of the Mississippi River. That means sliced beef brisket, house-made sausage and beef spare ribs smoked so slow they fall off the bone. Dickey's is also famous for its sides, like fried okra, mac and cheese, and potato salad.

* Little Pigs BBQ: This hole-in-the-wall is tucked away in a small strip mall off the Highway 17 Bypass, but you can almost follow your nose to this place from The Strand. Although located on the South Carolina side of the border, this place serves authentic North Carolina-style barbecue -pork shoulder slow-smoked for nearly 24 hours and chopped into sandwiches. The sweet tea, hot hushpuppies and scratch-made desserts add to the charm.

* Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse: Imagine a place where they bring the buffet to you. No need to travel to Brazil to find this churrascaria style of dining, because Rioz is located just over a mile away from The Strand at Broadway at the Beach. Costumed “gauchos” roam the dining room and carve off slices of flame-grilled beef, pork, lamb, poultry and more directly onto your plate. Be sure to use the green-and-red sign to signal whether you want mas or no mas.

* Simply Southern Smokehouse: You can have your barbecue your way at this all-you-can-eat buffet. Although billed as a country-cooking establishment that serves fried chicken, homestyle veggies and other comfort-food classics, this restaurant brings folks out for the BBQ, which guests can slather in their choice of sauces – vinegar-, tomato- or mustard-based. The singing busboys are a nice bonus.

After feasting on some great barbecue, it’s time for a nice nap back at The Strand. Kick back on the beach or by the oceanfront pool, or enjoy a nightcap at The Strand Bar or on your private balcony. No matter how you like your barbecue, everyone can agree that it’s a perfect way to fuel a vacation day in Myrtle Beach.

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