If Hog Heaven, just south of Pawleys Island proper as you head down U.S. 17 to Georgetown, was simply an old school barbecue joint, it’d be worth checking out. And with an interior makeover, the digs aren’t even unintentionally retro anymore, but the menu still harkens back to simpler times with a down-home country cooking flair. And if you venture out the back door, a whole new world awaits.
That’s where you’ll find the raw bar/deck nestled underneath a canopy of trees, replete with oyster shucking tables, covered seating, picnic tables, atmospheric lighting and a performance stage. The tan cinder block building with a dark red roof resembles a large, elongated house, and once inside you’ll find a spacious foyer where you can place your to-go orders and peruse Hog Heaven merchandise, such as signature T-shirts, packages of buns, and various containers of the establishment’s barbecue sauce. Past the foyer is the seating/dining area, including a bar and porch, and the centerpiece is the buffet.
But let’s be honest, you’re not here for the decor - you’re here to load up on fantastic Southern delicacies. Although the amenities have been upgraded with flat panel TVs hanging at strategic spots, the food is the star at Hog Heaven, and akin to the layout, the restaurant has a sort of split personality when it comes to cuisine as well.
The place is named after our porcine friends, so you’ll want to belly up to the all-you-can-eat pork barbecue buffet, or order portions to go, such as a pound of pulled pork for $9, or a full slab of St. Louis-style ribs for $16. The buffet also includes barbecue chicken and fried chicken and various nap-inducing home-cooking side dishes, including slaw, squash, baked beans, mac-and-cheese and banana pudding.
Dishes are available on a rotating basis. If you’re not a landlubber, Hog Heaven has you covered as well with an array of steamed and fried seafood - from crab legs to flounder and sampler platters. All-you-can-eat oyster specials ($17.95) also run when the mollusks are in season.
As for the indoor bar, it serves what is labeled as “Regular Beer,” listed as Budweiser, Bud Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Miller Light, Miller High Life and the like. “Premium Beer” includes Heineken, Newcastle, Guinness, Samuel Adams, Dos Equis and curiously, Yuengling. The bar also serves wine and mixed drinks are available.
The al fresco portion of Hog Heaven can be rented out for events, such as weddings, parties and meetings. Hog Heaven is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.