Greater Good BBQ is Good

We made a lunch stop at the relatively new Greater Good BBQ in the Oakhurst / East Lake neighborhoods today.  I do believe this is the 2nd outpost of GGBBQ that started over in Tucker. We were very pleasantly and genuinely greeted when we arrived.  The restaurant is bright and happy, with a big patio that will be nice on summer nights. Though you walk right in to the counter and cash register, the restaurant is full table service.

We tried the pulled pork, ribs, collards, baked beans, and mac n cheese. All was very good, the meat was moist, tender, with a nice balance of smoke and bar; good without sauce and well complimented with any of the 4 sauces. I favored the Carolina sauce and the Hot. The hot seemed to have a good kick of cumin, whatever it was, I liked it.


The mac n chesse was good and clearly baked, where as the baked beans are not baked. There is also an overly earthiness to the beans. I think it might be an over abundance of celery seed, maybe even some green pepper helping to pump the savory taste. I’ve run into this flavor in the beans at other places. I’m not a huge fan, I like sweeter baked beans as opposed to the more savory stewed beans. You get some white bread with a meat plate, but it’s not just a slice, it is a delicious, lightly grilled piece of TX toast. 

We’ll definitely be back.  The prices are good and more importantly the food is really good, and the service was great. 

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Old Brick Pit Bar-B-Q, since 1976

I paid a visit to the Old Brick Pit Bar-B-Q on Peachtree Road nestles in between Chamblee and Brookhaven in the near-in suburbs of Atlanta. If you read about the restaurant it was started nearly 40 years ago and changed hands about 10 years ago. Reading some of the online reviews, some folks say nothing has changed including the decor of the inside of the restaurant. I will say it seems to me they are holding strong to the original BBQ recipes, but they have definitely put some effort into updating the building, or at least it appears so to me. Evidence of change is visible.

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I will say this place is very much the classic Georgia style of barbecue, chopped pork (hams) and brunswick stew are the center of attention. All in all I thought the food was solid. The restaurant was empty besides one other visitor when I stopped on a Friday evening after 6, but a few folks came in and out to get some to go. I suppose they do more of their business during lunch, at least I hope so considering the loneliness of the place on Friday evening. So back to the food. I tried the combo plate which got me 2 ribs, some chopped pork, slaw, stew and 2 slices of white bread.

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The pork comes covered in their vinegar based sauce and a warm sidecar of it as well. I liked the sauce – they keep it simple, no issues here with 6 different sauces on the table and trying to figure out which one you like, aside from a bottle of red pepper sauce and some more of the vinegar sauce on the table, it’s this or nothing, and this was pretty good. The chopped pork had flavor on it’s own and was not soggy, nor greasy. The ribs on the other hand didn’t show me much; pretty dull aside from the slather of sauce (which was not the vinegar sauce). The slaw is a creamy slaw, and they hit it with a little dill, but it was very mildly dill flavored. Stew was tangy and mild, lots of pork, corn, and tomatoes. I ate it all, and would go back for more. No ground meat in it, which is in my opinion a good thing.

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This place has been around a long time, and frankly if they keep making good pork and stew they should stick around, so go give it a try and go back again and again. It really is an old brick pit, you can see it right behind the counter as soon as you walk in the door. Some folks have said online that if you go you will smell like the pit the rest of the day. That did not happen to me, but you could smell the smoke outside – always a good thing.

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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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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.


No. 66 Thatcher’s Barbeque and Grill

Mmmmm pork

If you are in northwest Georgia, and find your way to the town of Trenton, you might as well make a stop at Thatcher’s and have some tasty ‘que. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Cloudland Canyon State Park a number of times in recent years, but this is the first time we descend the west side of the mountain and visited Trenton. I am glad we did because I did not leave disappointed.

Thatcher's Barbeque & Grill

Thatcher’s is half walk-up, half sit-down. I didn’t go in, but there was what appeared to be a small indoor dining room off to the side of the walk-up window and beyond that a cozy screened porch with a good number of tables and what looked to be old BW3s booths reclaimed for the porch. We got our orders from the walk-up window and took a seat at picnic tables in the shade.

Thatcher's mighty menu

The menu is expansive. All of your typical bbq goodies, and the sandwiches, and burgers, and wings, but none of it feels like it doesn’t belong. They have a variety of nachos which they call shovels, and a variety of buckets which are tots or fries, all of which are topped with any number of mouthwatering toppings. Take for instance the Porky Bucket full of tots topped with melted cheddar cheese, pork and bbq sauce. Then there is the spud patch, at least 9 different baked potato options, again all stuffed with a variety of deliciousness. I need to tried the Chick N’ Green spud that is topped with grilled chicken, mozzarella, fried broccoli cheese bites, butter, and sour cream. Others include the Cowboy Pork Spud, the Bacon Spud and the Philly Spud. Thatcher’s seasonally serves brunswick stew and chili (October thru March).

pork okra, mac-n-cheese, slaw

I had the pulled and chopped pork plate with okra, mac-n-cheese, slaw, and a piece of Texas toast. The pork was smokey, tender, and flavorful. It came with a side of thick deep red tangy sauce that was a good compliment to the meat. The mac-n-cheese, man talk about cheesy, it was ooey-gooey, awesomely cheesy. That’s the kind of macaroni and cheese I want to arrive when I order from a bbq joint. They used a big tube pasta, penne. I think some of the best I’ve had over the years have been penne and rigatoni pastas loaded with cheese and baked to perfection. The okra was delicious, light batter and fried right.  Slaw was good too, a creamy style, but not overly so.

holy mac and cheesy batman!

Recommended

Good Hours: Monday through Saturday 11-9

Take credit cards


No. 65 The Lunch Box

I’ve debated writing about The Lunchbox in McDonough, GA for a couple of weeks now, mainly because it just didn’t live up to the basic standards of BBQ. They purport to be a barbeque restaurant, but I have to say, I was unfortunately not impressed. Unless they could walk me to, and show me a smoker, there is no way in the world I believe they smoked a single piece of meat. The pork was dry, the chicken came out of a plastic bag…I saw it from my view into the kitchen, maybe they smoked it off site and bagged it in to the kitchen; I don’t know, but I do know it was less than appetizing. My pork plate came with slaw, brunswick stew, toast, and I ordered a side of beans too. The stew was not memorable, the slaw had that dull outer layer – a clear sign it had been scooped into the little bowl hours, if not a day earlier. They had two versions of the same sauce, one slightly hotter than the other.

So enough about the food, I can’t leave without mentioning the service. Let’s just say when I asked the young woman taking our order if it was her first day, I was astounded when she said “no”.  I could keep going on, but I won’t.

Not recommended.

cute, and just off the square

might look OK, but was disappointing


No.64 Whistling Pig Cafe

I visited Pine Mountain, Georgia and Franklin Delano Roosevelt State Park today and while in town had the chance to get some ‘que. We went to the Whistling Pig Cafe on Main Street. The cafe has a full bbq menu, but also serves a number of other menu items including some very good looking cakes. I am still kicking myself for not grabbing a piece of the electric green key lime cake! I did have the large chopped pork bbq sandwich, two sides (fried okra and their sweet and spicy beans), and a sweet tea which was all of $10 with a tip. It was good stuff. The meat was very tender and moist, served on a large bun topped with a couple of pickles and a sweet dark red sauce. The fried okra was hot crisp and tasty – pretty sure it was just prebreaded frozen stuff, but whatever, it’s good eats. The sweet and spicy beans are their version of baked beans/pork and beans. they had good flavor, not as spicy as one might have expected, but good nonetheless – I used my last piece of okra to sweep the last drips of bean sauce from the cup.

One of my dining companions got the burger, and insisted it was a valid choice over BBQ because they make a good burger. I’ll take his word for, especially since he’s been there a few times. Another at our table got the q-tater, a nice fat baked potato stuffed full of chopped pork – it sounds popular since he raved about it and the server told us they can go through 40 or 50 a day!

Sauces – there were two on the table, one a bit brighter red with a tinge of heat and another that was deep, dark, brown-red in color – must have been packed full of molasses. Both were very tasty. Overall I was quite content with my lunch today and certainly a lot of others like the place – for a Wed. afternoon the line certainly kept growing while we were there. I recommend a visit if you are in town visiting FDR State Park, the Little White House or Callaway Gardens. There is another bbq joint up the street called 3 Little Pigs – I’ll have to try that one next time I am in town.