Address: 604 W Bobo Newsom Hwy, Hartsville, SC 29550
Phone: (843) 332-7142
Hours of operation: Mon - Sat11:00 am - 9:00 pm, Sun11:00 am - 2:00 pm
I didn't expect too much from Westwood BBQ since no one has ever mentioned this restaurant to me but as I pulled up around 3:15 I noticed that the parking lot was crowded with cars. That's always a good sign. It was in an unassuming brown building that harkens back to the plain cinderblock building of the past so that was a good sign too.
Actually I was just going in to get some barbeque to take home but one look at the buffet made me grab a plate and head for the line. There were several people in front of me so I had a moment to look over the fare. There were two barbeques one labeled "mustard" and the other "vinegar and pepper." There were also two hashes next to the rice but they were not labeled so I asked the lady in front of me if she ate there often (she did) so I asked her which of the two hashes she liked. It turns out she liked the one that didn't have any liver in it. "That one is the only one I ever get," she said pointing to the darker one on the left but since I was going to try everything I could I helped myself to both. She was missing a treat, it turns out, since the one she was getting was the hash without liver. That Westwood liver hash was as good as any I have had. Maybe the best I have had. In the Pee Dee region liver hash is a staple whereas in the German areas of South Carolina liver hash is seldom found today. It was good to get one and to get a very good one was a real delight.
But the hash wasn't the only hit on the buffet. They also had ribs and they were not the drenched-in-sauce kind that one gets in faux barbeque houses. They had been rubbed with a dry rub and then grilled. They were firm enough to enjoy and tender enough to pass the bite test. The two barbeques were both good with my choice going to the mustard barbeque by a slim margin. I also liked the mustard sauce that was on the table a bit better than the reddish vinegar and pepper (light tomato) sauce that was also on the table.
The items on the buffet all pretty much looked homemade to me so I dove in. The slaw was fresh made, course chopped and very good. The sweet potatoes were (drum roll, please) the best I've had in the Pee Dee and the Pee Dee is the home of the best sweet potatoes in the nation. They are not to be missed.
There is also fried chicken and that was a winner but the chicken livers and chicken gizzards were even better than the fried chicken, maybe as good as any I've had anywhere including Shealy's in Batesburg, which is famous for their chicken gizzards and livers. Plus, speaking of chicken, they had barbequed chicken and I liked that even better.
The mac and cheese was very cheesy and while it was good I actually wished for a cheese on top that was just a little sharper but I understand that the general public likes milder foods than I do so I can recommend it for all to try. The other vegetables were all good and the only dessert I had (there were several to choose from) was the banana pudding and with the real cream on top I would have had some more if I wasn't watching my waistline.
The price was right, the service was friendly and attentive and, as I said, what a pleasant surprise Westwood was. That area of the Pee Dee is not known for its good barbeque so any reasonably good barbeque restaurant would be a real addition, but Westwood could hold its own anywhere and I recommend it to everyone in the area. It's certainly worth the trip.