I work in Ballantyne and eat BBQ at least once a week.
It's about time someone updated this report on South Carlotte BBQ. Let's get a few housekeeping items out of the way. If you are staying in the Ballantyne area:
1. Lexington is 90 minutes away.
Dickeys and 521 have the best beef brisket, but 521 only offers it on Tuesdays. They all do good pulled pork bbq (not chopped). Brisket is good chopped, but Pork needs to be pulled. Pulled pork has a much better texture than chopped. All offer a ribs and chicken too.
All 5 have several sauces to choose from. Sticky Fingers has the most sauce selections.
Dickey's best side is their Fried Okra. 521 has good hushpuppies. Sticky Fingers and Elwoods will give you cornbread upon request. Elwoods will allow you to get their beef brisket chili as a "side" item instead of say, fries. The best slaw is likely Sticky Fingers (sliced, not chopped into little bits like KFC).