Friday, January 2, 2009

Fat Matt's

Fat Matt's, on Peidmont Road, is good, and probably won't make you sick. I had what I always do, the Chopped Pork Sandwich for 3.95 and a side on Rum Baked Beans and a glass, which turns into three, of lemonade. It is important to notify the kidneys before drinking three glasses lemonade from Fat Matt's; they hate suprises.

The Sandwich is served on some sort of roll. As for the sauce it is vinegar based and just spicy enough (though too spicy for some, especially if you lack a gall bladder) and it has enough a sweet kick to confuse the taste buds.

The portions are decent, and the meat is good, not low quality. And sometimes they give you free pie.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on NC Barbecue

I'm not quite sure why the AJC is making such a big deal about NC barbecue, since I generally think people who whine about how barbecue in NC (or Texas, or Kansas City) is SO much better than our local barbecue are immensely annoying, it is an interesting read:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

BBQ Shack - Athens

Let me start off by noting that a shack is a most excellent venue for a barbeque restaurant, perhaps second only to a shanty. Unfortunately, the BBQ Shack is a veritable palace when compared to some other Athens-area barbeque joints, such as Jot 'em Down or Fresh Air (westside). It does score some style points for having a gravel parking lot, however. When you first arrive at the BBQ Shack, you will notice that it is closed. You will have to come back some time between Thursday and Saturday. When you do come back, you will be treated to a sparse interior featuring bench-style seats and those red and white checkered vinyl tablecloths. It's like having an indoor picnic, which I'm all for. There is usually a pitcher of sweet tea already on your table, something that every restaurant should do. I don't mean every bbq restaurant, I mean every restaurant. The bbq at the Shack is pretty tasty despite the absence of a lot of fat. Very good, but not great. A little bit dry for my tastes, and I wish the chopping/pulling of the meat wasn't so fine. The sauce selection is well above average with at least 4 choices, including mild, hot, extra hot, and hot and sour. None of the sauces trend too heavily toward their base flavor, save for perhaps the hot and sour (vinegar obviously). The mild sauce is notable for actually being good, a rarity in mild sauces. The sides, unfortunately, are below average. The stew isn't on par with what I would expect from a Georgia barbeque restaurant. The slaw is good, but nothing special. If I have a gripe about the BBQ Shack (other than the stew...) it is the portions. Your meal is served on a sectional plate, as it should be, but the bbq itself is not in the large section, it is in one of the smaller two sections. Instead, there is a lake of brunswick stew - which I've already noted isn't that good - in the large section. Don't get me wrong, it's still an appropriate amount of bbq, but sometimes I want more. I tried to remedy this problem by ordering a large pork plate, but found the portion of bbq to be about the same. There was more stew, of course, which I wasn't going to eat anyway. I have somehow made this mistake twice. In summary, the BBQ Shack succeeds in the two most important areas of barbequedom - the actual bbq and the sauces. The lackluster nature of the stew is a problem, but it doesn't stop the BBQ Shack from being a fine choice for bbq on the eastside of Athens. If it's open.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Quick Post: Jomax Barbecue on I-16

I had to travel to Twin City yesterday (slightly northwest of Statesboro), and I found a good BBQ restaurant just off I-16 in Metter. It's called Jomax Barbecue, and it's no more than a quarter mile off the Interstate. The pork was above average, and the service was quick. All in all, this place was better than just about anything else that you'll find on that long stretch of I-16.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Has Anyone in Douglas Ever Heard of Barbecue?

Last Friday, I was in Douglas, GA (against my will). For those of you who have not been there before, you haven't missed anything. While there, I wound up with about an hour and a half to find some lunch. Since I had plenty of time, I drove looking for a barbecue restaurant. After searching for half an hour, I didn't find a single one. Actually, I did find one (called Woody's), but it was closed. I ultimately gave up and went to Zaxby's. (Douglas is so starved for restaurants that there were actually newspaper clippings on the walls about the opening of the Zaxby's. One of them even had a picture of the mayor at the grand opening.)

I'll likely have to make a return trip to Douglas in the near future. Does anyone know if a barbecue restaurant is even open in that town?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Purvis Barbecue (Louisville, Ga.)

For classic Southern barbecue this place is hard to beat. You don't want to miss it if you are visiting this corner of East Georgia. You order at the counter (pork only, of course) and get a big plate full of delicious pork, slaw, and some great stew. The meat is well-smoked, and extremely tasty, although it is lightly saturated with a mild sauce, which some might not appreciate. But it works for me. The stew is not the best in the world but well above average and perfectly spiced. The slaw is mayo based, and excellent. They also serve plain white bread with their plates, and plenty of it, just as God intended.

I like taking a single piece of bread, cover half of it with meat, then some stew, then some slaw, topping it off with some of the hot vinegar sauce, then folding it over to eat sort of like a hot dog (only much better). The flavors blend perfectly.

Purvis Barbecue
514 US Highway 1 Bypass
Louisville, GA 30434
Phone: (478) 625-8148

A quick post on Brunswick Stew: Dusty's (Atlanta/Decatur/Emory)

I'll post a thorough review in the future, but I did want to point out that while my general impression of Dusty's BBQ is that is is pretty average, they have really good stew. Much better than most local places. And the Q itself may have improved, but it's been a few years since I've actually eaten the pork, as I've taken a liking to their chopped chicken sandwich.

I'll follow up with a full review soon, but just wanted to point out that they have some of the best stew around.

Slopes Barbecue (Roswell)

After having driven past it hundreds of times without stopping, I recently found myself in Roswell and stopped in at Slopes. It is part of a small local "chain" but if the Roswell location is representative of the rest it definitely does not have a chain feel, except for the somewhat Sonnys-like exterior. But once inside, the atmosphere is that of a classic family-run barbecue restaurant.

You order at a counter, and then find your way to a table to wait for the food to be brought out. Normally I order a plate with pork and two sides but today I decided on a jumbo sandwich with two sides and tea. The total came to less than $6.00, which is a bargain since I was more than full by the time I left.

(Link to the menu)

The meat was good. Not great, definitely not as good as Swallow at the Hollow or Pig n' Chik, but good. The stew was just average. Nothing special. The sauces were unmemorable. I really liked the slaw - it was the type where the vegetables are diced up or shredded very finely, and I'm not usually a fan of this type, but it worked. Mayonnaise based, but not too much.

Although I found the food to be generally average, it is definitely a classic southern barbecue place, and I would not hesitate to return. You will enjoy it, even if its not the best in town.

Also - after writing this, I checked the AJC/AccessAtlanta review, and I was pretty much in agreement. They found the meat to be a little better than I did, and to be fair that can vary from visit to visit.

34 Crossville Road
Roswell, Georgia 30076
Tel. 770.518.7000
11am to 9pm Monday through Thursday
11am to 9:30pm Friday and Saturday
Closed on Sundays

In Macon against your will?

Whenever I go to prison, I like to stop off and get barbeque. Those two things go together for me like hypocrites and church. Since I was heading down to Macon to visit a client in the hoosegow (or if you prefer, the house with many doors), I stopped off at Fincher's for out of this world BBQ. On the wall were clippings reporting on astronauts eating Fincher's BBQ on the Space Shuttle. Off the wall was my 79 year old server whose name was either Delilah or Betty.

I had a "Pig" Sandwich. And then I had another. They were $2 dollars. If I wasn't in a hurry to get back home and take a nap I would have had 7. The Barbeque was good, and if value is a measure, great. Not sweet, but tangy, not drowning and not dry. Cole slaw was good and didn't suffer from the mayonnaise-first theory that some do. I'd go again today if it weren't in Macon.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

In Swainsboro Against Your will?

I have to meet a client in Swainsboro tomorrow, and I can either come down from 20 or up from 16. My route will be determined by y'alls BBQ suggestions. Whatcha got?

Southern Soul (St. Simons)

If any of you are ever in my neck of the woods, there's a good new BBQ restaurant on St. Simons. It's called Southern Soul, and you can check it out at (Frankly, I'm not sure that I even like the idea of a barbecue restaurant having a website, but it's a good site nonetheless.) Although it may not be the best tasting barbecue around here (that honor would go to Mack's Barbecue Place), it's definitely the biggest portions, best atmosphere, and most fun. It's all outdoor seating with live music on weekend nights, and it's situated just a few hundred yards from the St. Simons pier. Also, they have a rotating selection of good microbrews on tap. Honestly, I've been there just to go drinking more times than I've been there to eat.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

K.C. Pit Barbecue (Atlanta/Sandy Springs)

Bottom Line: overall, average.

The meat (pork) was moist and covered in sauce. It had a decent smokey taste, but the smokiness tasted a little fake. But it also had far too much fat. I found myself picking out chuncks of fat. It tasted ok, but the fat content was annoying.

The sides were ok as well. Baked beans were excellent, and the stew was above average.

Sauces were average, overly sweet for my taste, similar to Swallow at the Hollow.

The place seemed very much like a chain restaurant in its ambiance. They played jazz music (which I love, but not in a BBQ joint) and served upscale martini related drinks. Definitely not the typical environment we're used to for barbecue in Georgia.

Still, it was good food, and definitely worth a try.

Swallow at the Hollow (Atlanta/Roswell)

Long story short: best barbecue I've had in Atlanta.

I've heard that people love the sides at the Swallow, but that the meat didn't quite live up to the reputation. My impression was the opposite. The meat was incredible. It was smokey without having a fake liquid smoke taste like some places, and was moist without being fatty.

The sides were only average, or maybe even a little below. The slaw, which I sampled but didn't order, was probably the best. I ended up ordering the stew and baked beans. She stew had a good taste and nice consistency, but was far too salty. The beans had an odd taste that I couldn't quite make out. I might try the stew again, but probably not the beans.

The sauces were average. There was a mustard sauce, a vinegar sauce with a bit of tomato base, and a sweet sauce. All of them were too sweet. Overall not bad, just average.

Despite the shortcomings in in the sides and sauces, the meat made up for it. The Swallow has replaced "Pig n' Chik" as my favorite barbecue restaurant in Georgia.

The Swallow at the Hollow
1072 Green Street
Roswell, Georgia 30075
Serving the Greater Metro Atlanta, Georgia Area
Hours of Operation:Lunch: Wednesday-Sunday 11:00 am-2:30 pmDinner: Wednesday-Saturday 5-10 pm, Sunday 5-9 pmClosed Monday and Tuesday

BBQ is Dead!

At least for me since Hodge's closed.

In Snellville against your will?

Ain't no other possibility cept not being in Snellville at all. I passed up on this place today in favor of Ground Round (formerly Woody's BBQ). I will post a review when I return.

In Southwest Georgia against your will?

You have got to go to White's Old Fashioned BBQ. The food is so good, your companions may steal it from your plate if you go to the bathroom. It happened to me last time I was there. So once you get your food, don't take a break till you're done.

Barbecue event this weekend: New Q

Reposting a comment from "Stefan":

Barbecue fans — and who isn't — will want to check out New Q: A Twist on Old School BBQ Saturday. The event brings together top-shelf chefs who will put their spin on an old-fashioned favorite. From 1 to 5 p.m., the Studioplex at 659 Auburn Ave. will be a Q-lover's paradise with dishes prepared by Gerry Klaskala of Aria, Joe Truex of Repast, Shaun Doty of Shaun's, Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and others. Sweetwater brews and wines from local vineyards will be paired. Tickets are $25; proceeds benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank. For tickets, call 1-800-364-0644.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Guide

Last night Georgia Public Television broadcast a program on barbecue restaurants in the Atlanta area. I thought it appropriate to start a blog on Georgia barbecue since so many people claim to be experts on the subject, and to give folks a medium to post their thoughts on this delicacy. I have several qualified contributors already, but if you have anything to add, please send me a message.