A return visit to Big D’s BBQ

Wow, it’s been 3+ years since I first visited Big D’s BBQ in Dawsonville, GA. They are still going strong, and I have to say are doing something few other southern bbq joints ever attempt, they are open on Sunday! We were in after 1 and the line was out the door and all the tables were full. Something else they are doing that most bbq places aren’t (this is the first I can recall seeing) is serving a substantial breakfast.

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My son wanted to try the ribs this time but they were temporarily out, and we weren’t waiting another hour; judging by how busy they were, I wasn’t surprised. I got the pork plate, hush puppies and slaw. Pork was still fine, but they save all the bark for their special sandwich (mentioned in my earlier post), which they were serving still that afternoon, and I now wish I had ordered it. Hush puppies were good, and the slaw was a spittin’ image of The Colonels at KFC. It tasted exactly like KFC slaw, down to the same size chop.

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I also got to taste the pulled chicken and okra, both were solid, nothing to rave about, but no complaints. We did order the pickles again, still quite good, hot and crispy, and that’s what’s important with a good fried pickle; got to be crisp on the outside.

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My son was enamored with the various stock car body panels hung inside the dining room; the place has a good ‘cue joint atmosphere, and the staff is very nice. Might be hit or miss at times, but they certainly have a local fan base, safe to say, try Big D’s for yourself if you are in the area, especially on a Sunday!

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Good Smoke BBQ, East Rochester, NY

Ok, so it’s been way too long since I have posted anything new, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been eating some bbq from time to time!

The latest visit was to Good Smoke BBQ in East Rochester, NY. They prominently display over 100 trophies and awards for competitions and best-ofs, and most appeared to be from just the last few years or so.

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We started with the Pig Candy, basically a big pile of bacon tossed in their rib glaze sauce. The bacon was pretty crisp and the sauce added a bit of sweetness, for the candy effect. My only complaint was that the bacon wasn’t hot. We were there just after they opened, I would hope this was made fresh, but it was surprisingly cool, to lukewarm at best. I think hot bacon would have caramelized the glaze, and frankly I just like hot bacon.

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Sauces, they have six, all pretty good in my opinion. I liked the vinegar sauce the best. It was a little darker, so not as much like a typical North Carolina vinegar sauce. I swear I tasted Coca-Cola in it, maybe they let the Coke go flat and add it to the sauce…I don’t know, I may experiment with that myself.

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All in all the food was good, too better. Certainly better than a lot of the typical Georgia style that I am regularly subjected to. I would put them close the being in the class with some of the standout joints in Georgia. Ribs were tender, seasoned, and cooked right. Mac-n-Cheese was good, but could have used a little flavor boost, salt or sharper cheese, our some hot sauce. I had the pulled pork sandwich, it seems they dip or soak their pulled pork in a sauce, otherwise I just don’t know how it had the color it did. It was good, but once all the food was delivered, I felt like I didn’t really have use for the 6 bottles of sauce on the table…Maybe had I just gotten a meat plate and not the sandwich they would not pre-sauce it. Cornbread squares are sweet and cakey, not my preference, but still tasty. I still think Weaver D’s in Athens, GA makes the best corn muffins.

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I definitely recommend Good Smoke BBQ. I wish they would pump in some smoke scents into the restaurant, it was noticeably void of they delicious smell of smoking meat. The smokers are outside, and I was able to catch a whiff before we left, to know it was real, but yeah, the missing scent in the air was a noticeable void in the ambiance. I will also say they have a lot, but not too much on the menu so you can get a burger, or grilled chicken or fried bologna, or Cuban sandwich and take dining companions that may want more choices that pulled pork or ribs.

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