For this installment of Weekday Therapy, the Gardener Guides team decided to travel Northeast, to Little Pigs Barbecue on Alpine Road. We arrived at the perfect time; the lunch rush seemed to be over with. As most of us hadn’t been to the restaurant before, we were trying to behave like regulars, by following the rules that were posted around the entryway and buffet. Little Pigs Barbecue has learned a lot in its over 50 years in business! The signs are both an effort to maintain crowd control during peak hours, and to remind you to avoid overfilling your plate and wasting food. This is helpful, because your first instinct at the buffet is to try organizing your plate to accommodate some of everything! This is impossible, and you’re better off going back often instead of trying to pile it on in one fell swoop. Besides, it can’t hurt to get a little exercise in between servings!
A collection of pigs, porcelain and otherwise, that are displayed throughout the restaurant, give the place a homey feel while showing reverence for its main ingredient source. The buffet is full of mouth-watering mains and sides, both hot and cold. Meats include barbecue (tomato-based, mustard-based, vinegar-pepper), pork chops, brisket, fried whiting, fried chicken, BBQ chicken, chicken wings, and ribs – a point of pride since Little Pigs is Columbia’s only BBQ buffet that features ribs. Sides include green beans, collards, beans, white rice, dirty rice, mashed potatoes, hash gravy, cole slaw, potato salad, candied yams, macaroni & cheese, corn on the cob, tomato pie, fried okra, rolls, waffle chips, and hush puppies. Across from the buffet, a smaller sideboard housed the banana pudding and chocolate delight desserts, while another station contained a huge cut of meat, but we were too focused on the main buffet to explore much else. Sarah said that as soon as she got home she regretted that, when her husband asked, “So, what did you think of the shoulder?” What shoulder? She said his eyes then grew big and he looked at her incredulously, shaming her for overlooking the pull-your-own smoked pork shoulder that Little Pigs is famous for! She had to promise to try it the next time.
In addition to the extraordinary dine-in buffet, Little Pigs offers a few take-out options as well. You can get a BBQ sandwich or a Meat-and-Three to go, or, if you’re feeding a crowd, The Little Pigs Bulk Menu features favorites from the buffet in larger quantities. Their outstanding catering services can customize a menu with you for any occasion.
The food and the atmosphere at Little Pigs is southern comfort at its best and we can’t wait to return!
Address: 4927 Alpine Road, Columbia
Phone Number: 803.788.8238
Wednesday: 11am – 2pm
Thursday: 11am – 8:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 11am – 9pm
Sunday: 11am – 3pm