Rick’s Smokin Pig, Gainesville, Georgia

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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! 

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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.

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If you’re in the area and need some ‘cue, the Dillon Smokin Pig is worth a stop.

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Anna’s BBQ, Kirkwood

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Sprayberry’s Barbecue

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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.


Ribs ready to eat

A great spring weekend is about to come to a close with some tasty memphis style ribs.

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First spring ribs on the smoker

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Dreamland Atlanta burns

Dreamland BBQ in Gwinnett Co. / Peachtree Corners burns to the ground. Not a great loss as the one time we went there the food was terrible, the server admitted they used frozen Stouffer’s mac-n-cheese, and my wife got food poisoning from the crappy food.


No. 68 Melvin’s Legendary Bar-B-Q since 1939

A few weeks back we were down on the coast and while in Charleston, SC for a day, sought to find good low country BBQ. We ended up at the James Island location of Melvin’s Ribs and Que.

Melvin's Ribs & Que

Apparently the family history of this joint dates back to the 1930s and the secret sauce has been in the family since the beginning. There is another restaurant nearby called Bessinger’s Bar-Be-Que which is also related. Reading some of the history written on both places web sites, it sounds like there were a variety of restaurants over the years including a small chain of Piggie Parks, which are also a family spin-off and seemed to exist in great quantity around Columbia, SC. Also in reading about Melvin’s I see Melvin passed away in October of this year, just a few weeks before we visited.

Melvin's chicken with collards and limas

Melvin’s chicken with collards and limas

Melvin' pork plate with collards and sweet potato souffle

Melvin’ pork plate with collards and sweet potato souffle

So how was it? Good eats, the sides were standouts. All of the sides that we tried were good, the sweet potato souffle was like candy. Good collards, lima beans, mac-n-cheese, cornbread, really it was all good. I had my obligatory pulled pork plate and some ribs. The pork is hickory smoked and before they serve it, they pour on and mix in the secret sauce, which is a very good mustard vinegar low country sauce. They also had on the tables a Southern Red Sauce, which didn’t show me much. It seemed to be just some ketchup stirred into the regular yellow sauce. Stick with the classic. They also sell their sauces by the bottle or the gallon (or maybe it was half gallon; it was a big glass jug!) A couple other varieties of sauce were available by the bottle as well.

Melvin's Sauces

Southern Red and Classic Yellow bbq sauces at Melvin’s

I really enjoyed the pork, it was tender, hard not to be soaked in sauce, and flavorful. My wife had the smoked chicken and spoke highly of it, as I recall I didn’t get a bite!  When ordering I wanted ribs too, but not a $19 combo plate. When I asked the kid behind the register if I could just get a single rib sampler he recommended I get the kids rib meal, which worked perfectly – my 3 yr old could eat sides and I got my 3 rib sampler. The ribs had good flavor, but were a bot dry, probably the only part of the meal that was a bummer.

Melvin's Ribs

If you eat in at Melvin’s they have a pickle bar with whole jalpenos, banana peppers, cherry peppers, and a spicy garden mix. Good stuff to much on while waiting for and with your bbq.

Melvin's pickle bar

Melvin’s pickle bar

I recommend Melvin’s if you are in Charleston. Good for the whole family.