Moe’s Original Barbecue

12827 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island, SC, • (843) 235-8008

Welcome to the other Moe’s! This is a chain franchise, but not the Moe’s that slings burritos and yells at you when you walk in the door. This new-ish entry – it opened in August 2014 – to the Litchfield/Pawleys Island  dining scene was born out of Alabama, but curiously started in Colorado? Huh?

Anyway, all you need to know is there’s lots of ‘Bama about this place, with some concessions to USC Gamecocks, Clemson Tigers and Tennessee Volunteers fans. Consistent with nearby beach-y architecture, Moe’s is a white and light grey shack/hut type of free-standing building, with a wrap-around climate-controlled porch, and a nearby outdoor firepit/cornhole pit lounging area. But it’s a new shack, with lots of unfinished and unstained wood. And the metal, ruffled roofing sheets were ingeniously used to wrap the lower portion of the bar.

The decor follows the random shack-esque aura with framed concert posters (Widespread Panic at Tipitina’s in New Orleans), a Moe’s surfboard, football helmets, etc. It is a laid-back vibe, but it’s a clean and brightly lit space – so it’s not a dim, dank dive. Quite the contrary. And speaking of the bar, it’s immediately to the right of the counter from where you order, upon entering the relatively small dining room, which contains two high-top tables and five low-tops. There’s much more space and seating on the porch, which is adorned with the type of dark-hued matching patio furniture you’d find at Costco. But enough of that, we’re here for the food.

Moe’s tagline is: “A Southern Soul Food Revival!” And the basic menu is simple – you choose from sandwich meals or platters, with a supporting cast of side options. All of the meats are smoked on-site. The sandwich meal options ($9.95) are: Pulled Pork, Smoked Chicken, Smoked Turkey Breast, Mahi Mahi, Fried Shrimp Moe Boy and Southern Fried Catfish. This includes two side items of your choice, including mac and cheese, potato salad, baked beans, slaw, chips, and a rotating special side of the day.

You also choose your barbecue sauce – which will probably stir up some debate among ‘cue enthusiasts as Moe’s serves a red, vinegary sauce along with a white, mayonnaise and vinegar-based sauce (it tastes similar to the cream-colored sauce served at local Japanese hibachi restaurants). Extra squirt bottles of the sauces are kept in a small crock pot on a shelf in the dining room. Platters ($10.75) include pulled pork, smoked turkey, and a half-smoked chicken, and of course, ribs for slightly more at $11.75 for small portion and $13.75 for large.

There are a few flat-panel TVs tuned to sports behind the bar and on the porch and Moe’s also schedules live entertainment featuring local singer-songwriter types, and events such as oyster roasts. Bonus points: Pabst Blue Ribbon is $2 per can all day, every day. Moe’s is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.