I have professed my love for BBQ ad nauseum. I am aware of that, but like my hero Lewis Grizzard: “I can’t go a week without BBQ before I start sweating”.
@tripreed (of A Trip Down South fame) and I met for lunch at Old South BBQ – a little hole-in-the-wall BBQ place in Smyrna, GA. I hadn’t heard much about it – could be that it isn’t that good, or that there are so many choices in the Atlanta metro area. Thankfully it is the latter.
For those familiar with Smyrna, Old South is just east of the intersection of Windy Hill Road and South Cobb Drive. You can smell it at the stop light. Oh – everyone gets a welcoming hug from the head waitress/hostess/friendliest lady you’ve ever met before you sit down. It’s not weird – it’s part of the experience. She may give you a hug before you leave, too.
The menu is extensive. They offer beef, pork, and chicken in many different varieties. Included are all the usual sides, as well as some sandwiches, burgers, and even a salad for those that aren’t BBQ fans (…shame…). The place has a very authentic BBQ joint feeling – the staff is very nice, the place is clean, and the decor is eclectic and very ‘pig-oriented’. Authentic would be a great word to describe it.
@tripreed as well as another guy in our party had eaten at Old South, and they acted as our guide. It’s always nice to have someone that’s done it before. Their instructions: ‘whatever you do, make sure you get the sweet sauce and the Brunswick Stew’. Done and done. My order was for the Rib Sandwich, which was three ribs between two pieces of toast (rather than the full half-rack order), with fried okra and the recommended Brunswick Stew. The ribs were delicious – the sweet sauce added a great flavor. The meat was very tender; but not ‘flimsy’. It’s hard to mess up fried okra, but I forgot to order it extra crispy.
You know how almost every BBQ place has that one thing you brag about? Well – the Brunswick Stew at Old South has made that list. It’s not like any Brunswick Stew that I can remember eating – and I’ve eaten a lot of stew. It’s thick – you can almost eat it with a fork. It’s a little spicy, too – but not ‘hot’-spicy, more of a ground pepper spicy. I added what was left of my sweet sauce, which was a nice touch. Honestly, I couldn’t get enough of it. So much so – I called on the way home and asked if they sold it in bulk (foreshadowing NYE…). Of couse they do…
There are quite a few BBQ choices in the Atlanta area, but I can’t say enough about my experience at Old South. Great folks, great service, and Brunswick Stew that is out of this world – it’s worth the visit.