in Columbia for BBQ try Little Pigs They just reopened after rebuilding following a fire. Close to 1-77 too Wonderful traditional buffet with several sauces to choose from. Hudsons is WAY out of the way. Also, a new restaurant in Blythewood called Smoke. Haven't been there yet, but heard some great things about it. 378 headed out of town there is Big T's too.
try Mac N Bobs in Salem On 81, exit right after the Roanoke exit at the 2nd Salem exit. Right off the interstate on Main St. Big menu, locally owned and a Salem tradition. Not super quick like Panera, but would be worth it to stop there as it is a great local/non-chain place.
Also right up the road is Macados, but I would recommend Bobs first.