Southside Smokehouse and Grille
726 S Howard Ave, Landrum, SC 29356
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 AM-9 PM, Friday/Saturday 11 AM-10 PM, Closed Sunday
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Perfect for: Casual Meal, Out with Friends, Date Night, Getting Your Drink On
Menu: Refined Southern-style American
Bar/Drinks: Over 85 bourbons, 30 tequilas, and a full bar on top of that!
Good to Know: The bar is stacked! SO many options! Relatively small dining room, but there is a patio for outdoor seating; Kids are welcome; outdoor seating
Parking: Parking lot with plenty of space
Bathroom: It’s a bathroom, what more do you expect?
Tribe Recommendations: Fried Green Tomato (FGT) & Pimento Cheese Burger- *Chefs Special (Get it with the fried okra!)
A giant pink pig made out of a full-sized bale of hay ushers you Southside Smokehouse and Grille in Landrum like a very friendly hostess. But really, how can you say no to a face like that? Let me tell you, you can’t.
Texas Roadhouse meets your favorite family-run restaurant. That was my first thought as I passed through the doors and looked around me. Looking up to the rafters of the barn style building, and noticing the many NFL and college banners hanging from them, Oh, and they are sports fans. Yeah, I’m going to like this place.
Let me explain further. The lower half of the walls are covered with galvanized steel, to add to the overall rustic appeal. The upper portions are painted red, while the décor on the walls harkened back to your local mom-and-pop place. That, and the red vinyl booths lined up around the seating area. Several tables are scattered up in the middle of the seating area. My co-workers and I were seated next to the front window, giving me a lovely view of the bar.
And such a beautiful bar it is. Dozens upon dozens of bottles neatly stand in rows of shelving behind the bar, over 85 different types of bourbon and over 30 types of tequila, we had learned in our pre-taste research. I’m not a big drinker by any stretch of the means—like, I hardly drink at all, honestly—but even I know how impressive these numbers are. And there they all sat, little members of a force, waiting their turn to prove themselves to your taste buds.
Just beyond the bar, I caught a glimpse of the entrance to the outdoor patio space. We had passed on the patio seating since we visited SS&G in the middle of the afternoon. But it is quite adorable. Think perfect setting for a first dinner date in August.
Two menus were placed in front of me. The first is a full-size menu with all the regular food on it. The second is printed on a simple piece of white paper—the daily chef specials. Oh my goodness, so many choices. Like, really, really good choices. Whoever chose the restaurant name to include both smokehouse and grille was spot-on. I would call it high-class southern food. I’m talking steak, pulled pork, chicken prepared half a dozen ways, fish tacos, and so very much more. Sides listed included homestyle, mac n’ cheese and fried okra, and grilled options, including green beans and squash, just to name a few of each.
I ordered one of the smokehouse platters choosing to try the pulled pork with sides of mac n’ cheese and fried okra and hush puppies (because “everything in moderation” includes fried foods, I think). One co-worker decided on the fish tacos with Mexican street corn; the other co-worker opted for the fried green tomato burger, also with fried okra. From everything that was listed on the menu and the difficulty we all had selecting our meals, my expectations were set pretty darn high.
The back of the menu articulates their goal to make as much as they can from scratch, thus effectively notifying all patrons of a potentially longer-than-usual wait for food. While we did wait quite a while for our food to arrive tableside, we were effectively warned. Plus, the longer wait helped build the anticipation and expectations.
My hopes were beyond satisfied when the plates made it to the table. Exactly as I had hoped, presented before me was southern food, without compromising any of the taste, but displayed in the way a downtown steakhouse would prepare it.
My smokehouse platter was overflowing with mouth-watering food. The fried green tomato burger was stacked higher than I believed to be possible. The fish tacos had their own stand to keep them upright and beautiful.
One bite. That’s all it took. I was practically in heaven. So few words were exchanged across the table over the next 10 minutes since food was being practically shoveled into all three mouths present. The only words heard were, “Here, you just have to try a bite of this,” “Oh, that is so good,” and “One last bite, anyone?” Food gone—except mine because there was just waaaaay too much of it, in a good way—we sat there, content with bellies full.
And after a moment of quiet discussion, we called our waitress over. There was no way we were going to leave Southside Smokehouse and Grille without trying one of the things they are most famous for…bourbon. All in the name of research, right? We bombarded our poor waitress with questions and opinions until she suggested speaking to the bartender.
Huge shout-out to Robbie, resident bourbon aficionado, who came over to our table, sat down, and explained the basics of bourbon. He then created a small flight of three different bourbons, went over the differences of each, and left us to our own devices. About 3 or 4 minutes later, we were all feeling a bit warmer and very happy.
Overall, Southside Smokehouse and Grill is well worth the drive toward Landrum. The food is excellent, especially if you are in touch with your Southern side. The bonus is the bourbon and local expert, Robbie, that fill the shelves of this hidden treasure.
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