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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I ended up at Rick’s Smokin Pig in Gainesville, Georgia recently. It’s been a couple weeks since I was there so my memory of our is a little fuzzy, or it just wasn’t that memorable. I know I cleaned my plate so it wasn’t bad!
I recall the pork was prey good, definitely had some nice pieces of the “bark”on my bun. The meat comes dry on a bun, I went crazy used two sauces side by side; the Sweet and Spicy and the Original, both were good and tangy, I couldn’t decide which I liked better. The third was pig vinegar, obviously a vinegar base. I thought it tasted a bit earthy, but it wasn’t bad, might have been nice on some collards.
I had for sides as you can see, okra and mac-n-cheese. The okra, I would be shocked if it weren’t store bought frozen okra. He’ll I but it sometimes too, but the best joints bread it themselves. The mac was ok, again I ate it, but it didn’t stand out among the best I’ve had our made.
If you’re in the area and need some ‘cue, the Dillon Smokin Pig is worth a stop.
I made my first visit to Anna’s BBQ in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta this weekend, and I have to say it was quite good, definitely work a visit.
Anna’s is clearly a family run joint with family photos on the wall and mama in the kitchen cooking up some good ‘cue and sides. I had the ribs combo with pulled pork, Mac-n-cheese and collards. The ribs had a great smoke ring and were almost falling off the bone…some bbq judge might think they released the bone to easily, but I was the judge Saturday and I judge them delicious.
The pulled pork was tender, but with some great crispy bites from the outside of the butt. They put sauce on the pork and ribs, and there’s only one bbq sauce on the table, aside from a bottle of hot sauce. If you want to control your sauce, make sure to ask for the meat dry. However, the sauce, simple as it was too choose from one, was good; A little sweet, a little tangy, and nothin’ to shake a stick at. It was a good compliment to the meat.
Sides were good too, the Mac-n-cheese was a tad bland for my liking, but still good. I hit it with a dash of salt and was good to go. It’s real baked Mac, not some of the Velveeta slop some places try to pass off as macaroni and cheese. The collards were meaty, and a dash of pepper vinegar from the table bottle made them even better. My big old plate of food came with just one small cornbread muffin, I wish I had three it was so good, this is my kind of cornbread, reminded me of the muffins Weaver D makes over in Athens.
All-in-all, my first impression of Anna’s is that it’s a solid bbq joint where you will leave with a full belly and satisfied taste buds. The menu is fairly broad with ribs, pork, chicken, rib tips, wings, and I think brisket. A sign on the wall said they have a fried chicken special on Fridays, 3 full wings fried, and some sides. I want to go back for the fried wings!
Was down Newnan-way this week and stopped at Sprayberry’s for lunch…the one out by the interstate. It doesn’t have the same charm as the location in town but it has the bbq and really that’s all that matters. I had a chopped pork sandwich, slaw, and mac-n-cheese. It was all pretty good. I think next time I should try the sliced pork or even the whole fried catfish. The mac was homemade, but not the best, needed some salt and was kind of greasy or wet. The slaw is sliced cabbage, some green bell pepper, vinegar and sugar. I dislike green bell pepper so I could only taste the tannic nip of the pepper – not my style. I like a bit more complex slaw than these simple kinds…I’ve made the simple vinegar slaw myself too, it just needs a little more seasoning and color to be really good.They sauce the pork on the sandwich a little and then bring a dish to the table with extra for spooning on. It’s, as you can see bright, rich red thin and tangy; pretty good stuff. All-in-all Sprayberry’s is ok based on the couple of times I’ve been there. I’d stop again, but I’ve had much better ‘que elsewhere.
I went to our local “farmer’s market” this weekend, which is really a giant warehouse of awesomeness called Your DeKalb County Farmer’s Market, over on the east side of Decatur, GA. I love this place, as do lots and lots of other people because it is always the busiest place on earth. We have the busiest airport and the busiest farmer’s market right here in Atlanta!
So I was shopping hungry, always a bad idea, and in doing so started grabbing things to buy that probably could have waited until another trip. I came home with three bottles of BBQ sauce. One is McCutcheon’s Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce. I love apple butter, I love bbq sauce; sounds good to me. Ingredients include apples, sugar ketchup, apple juice, vinegar, mustard, ground horseradish, molasses, celery seed, chili, onion, and garlic powders. We get McCutcheon’s jams, jellies, and preserves on a regular basis and have always liked them so I am sure this will not disappoint. McCutcheon’s is from Historic Frederick, MD; been there since 1938.
Also picked up two from Tai Hua Food of Singapore. I got the straight-up Barbecue Sauce which the label says is “a perfect sauce for any meat such as chicken wing, beef or mutton ribs.” Mmm, mutton…not sure that’s tops on my list to cook. The other is the Satay BBQ Sauce. The Barbecue sauce is a tomato base with sugar, fermented soy bean, garlic, chili, rice vinegar and a few other ingredients. The Satay sauce is a peanut base with chili, garlic, soy bean oil, ginger, lemon grass, and a few other ingredients.
I hope to report back that all three are tasty!