Here in Hotlanta, we go hog wild for barbecue. And nothing pleases little piggies more than the winning combo of pulled pork, texas toast, mac-and-cheese and banana pudding. In honor of May as National Barbecue Month, here are the hottest spots to pig out around town.
Swallow at the Hollow
Worth the drive to Roswell, this barbecue joint will set the bar high for their understanding of quality ‘cue. In a cabin with indoor picnic tables, a canoe over the door, and vinyl records on the wall, they also offer up a killer pork sandwich.
Insider Info: There’s no doubt that the barbecue being served-up at Swallow at the Hollow is good; just know before you go that they serve wet ribs, not dry, and their mustard-based sauce hails from the Carolinas as opposed to Memphis.
Details: The Swallow at the Hollow, 1072 Green Street, Roswell, 678-352-1975
Picking a favorite barbecue joint is a lot like taking medicine: the drug has to work, first, but you really decide which one you’re going to stick with based on the side effect profile. Community Q is good medicine. The barbecue is reliable and delicious, but you’ll make this your favorite spot because of the sides (mac and cheese in particular).
Insider Info: The owner, David Roberts, was part of the Same and Dave’s BBQ team in Marietta before heading in-town to open up Community Q.
Details: Community Q BBQ, 1361 Clairmont Road, Decatur, 404-633-2080
Fox Bros. Barbecue
Take the kiddos to Fox Bros. for a taste of Texas style brisket, but don’t distress! They also offer up a killer pulled pork sandwich, fried pickles and a crowd-pleasing mac-and-cheese.
Insider Info: Sneak in some veggies by ordering the fried okra, which is fried fresh instead of frozen. They’ll think you’ve just discovered a new genre of french fry!
Details: Fox Bros Bar-B-Q, 1238 DeKalb Avenue NE, 404-577-4030
In Marietta, follow your nose to Dave Poe’s for some of Atlanta’s best pulled pork and killer sides. Located inconspicuously in a strip mall, this spot won’t evoke the cabin-y, folksy feeling of some of the other BBQ options in Atlanta, but your kids won’t care because they’ll be so busy chowing down on the amazing mac-and-cheese.
Insider Info: Be sure to save room for dessert as their banana pudding is slap-your-mama good.
Details: Dave Poe’s, 660 Whitlock Avenue, Marietta, 770-792-2272
Jim n Nicks
While this is a chain, it did originate in Birmingham where they’re rumored to know a thing or two about barbecue. Don’t expect any weird pork “fusion” dishes. They know what they know and that is some darn good barbecue. They also have a full kids menu that includes both a spare ribs plate, a barbecue slider plate, and other options for those who’ve yet to develop a palate for pork.
Insider Info: Moms, if you’re looking for something a bit more ladylike, the Pig in the Garden salad (pork or chicken) is killer.
Details: Jim n Nicks, multiple locations
Date nights used to mean an expensive restaurant, heels, and maybe even a blow-out. But now that we’ve got kids, date nights are usually at the mercy of schedules, showering availability, and are driven by whether or not someone remembered to make a reservation (unlikely). Why not head out for a low-key barbecue date night at one of the following places? Leave your little piggies at home though, because these spots may be esteemed for their pork, but they don’t cater to the small set.
Heirloom Market BBQ: This spot just ITP is being lauded as Atlanta’s best BBQ, and the marriage of Korean spices with Georgia pork know-how is turning all who try it into believers. Heirloom Market BBQ, 2243 Akers Mill Rd. Atlanta, Georgia 30339
Daddy D’z: Head here to check out the scene and don’t forget to try the “que wraps,” which are what happens when a corn dog marries a barbecue sandwich and then starts a family. Daddy D’z BBQ Joynt, 264 Memorial Drive, Atlanta, Georgia, 30312
Ms. Betty’s House of Ribs: Chicken or ribs, baked beans or mac and cheese: whatever you please, you’ll find it in this double-wide parked next to a smoke shed. This is a trip to make for the real BBQ aficionados out there, who know that any pork worth its sauce is smoked outside, and can be smelled well before you walk into the restaurant, dining trailer, what have you. 1281 Bouldercrest Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 404-243-8484
Where do you like to go for “que” in Atlanta? Share with us in the comments section below!