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ATL--any good BBQ ITP?

I live in Decatur, and love the variety of food and especially ethnic restaurants in ATL, but occasionally I just want a good ole BBQ sandwich (I'm originally from TN, so "good ole BBQ" in my book is defined as hickory smoked, pulled pork, not soaking in sauce, with maybe some slaw on top). I've tried Maddy's and it's passable, but are there other recommendations inside I-285? Any close by that are not too far outside I-285?


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  1. ATL foodie.....I grew up in E. N.C. and probably grew up eating the same type of BBQ you did. The ONLY place in Atl that I would ever eat BBQ is at Dusty's on Briarcliff Rd at Clifton. Get their chopped pork sandwich. They'll add slaw if you like. Their sauces are not of the "ketchupy" type that most folks seem to associate with BBQ. The original owner...."Dusty" grew up about 20 miles from me in N.C, I miss having them close by. When I was in Atl, I ate there several times a month. Give it a shot!

    1. Deepster's recommending eastern NC style BBQ (finely pulled drenched w/ vinegar/chile sauce). Personally, I don't think Dusty's is very good. I'd go to Fox Bros. or Pig n Chik over Dusty's. I haven't been in forever, but The Local on Ponce used to do a decent sandwich, offered with a six-pack of sauces.

      If you're feeling really adventurous, you could get takeout from The Boss on Glenwood. The first time I went, it was amazing. Maybe not as much the second time. It's kinda scary inside.

      All are ITP. Here's some year-old intel on metro Q (my website has been down for a while, so the pix won't come up):


        1. I like Dusty's and Pig n Chick, but I really like Spiced Right, they have two locations, not inside the perimeter, but, that's how good they are.

          1. in no particular order:
            Daddy Dz on Memorial
            Rolling Bones on Edgewood
            Harold's on McDonough

            never been to Dusty's, i've heard it's good for eastern nc style?
            There's also a bbq place in West End where you can supposedly get a pig ear sandwich, (which is a bit too authentic for me, but if they serve that, they GOTTA have good food!)...I can't think of the name of it, though.

            1 Reply
            1. re: wabbitslayer

              Never been to Rolling Bones.

              DaddyDz -- it's been a while since I've been there, but when I've gone on the Friday/Saturday, it's very good.

              Harold's is also excellent -- but I believe excellent throughout the whole week.

              I don't know what wood they use to smoke it.

            2. I'm not sure about the BBQ there but one of my favorite sauces ever is made near there.. It's called TAS Hot Q sauce (Yummy) The TAS grilling sauce is great too..

              1. Daddy Dz on Memorial
                Fat Matt's Rib Shack on Piedmont
                Harold's Barbecue on McDonough Blvd.

                1. I haven't been to a lot of BBQ places ITP but I do really enjoy Dustys.

                  1. Another one of our favorites is Old Brick Pit BBQ on Peachtree Industrial (near where Clairmont runs into Peachtree - if you take Clairmont, go left on Peachtree, and you will see the big BBQ sign on your left). It's been around forever and is really tasty with a nice vinegar-based sauce (not the ktechupy kind) and they are light on the sauce - really good homemade slaw to go with it. (Ribs are good too!). Hope you make it up to give it a try!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: atlantachowhound

                      Very good catch ACH Old Brick is still very good.

                      1. re: Katj

                        I drive by there occasionally and have always wondered. Near the Lowe's, right?

                        1. re: Katj

                          Agh. I gotta disagree on Old Brick. Pig n Chik is dramatically, significantly, overwhelmingly better, and just down the street. Do a taste off - I guarantee a win for Pig n Chik.

                          Other best place ITP is far and away Fox Brothers. They're primarily Texas style, and very good.

                          (I'm a certified bbq snob from Memphis, so I take this stuff seriously!)

                          1. re: biskuit

                            Depends on what style you are looking for in your 'que. Pig N Chick is larger pieces of nicely charred pork with tender insides, but I've been turned off by some really fatty pieces sometime. Pig N Chick also delivers, which is a HUGE advantage! Old Brick Pit is the exact same every single time - been that way for the last 15 years (or longer - that's just how long I've been going there). Plus, when I was pregnant with my daughter, that's the only thing that tasted good to me - she's now a Jr. BBQ Chowhound now!!

                      2. Good BBQ not too far? You have to drive to Melear's in Fayetteville if you love pulled pork sandwiches. I went down there a few weeks ago to pick-up a trailer on state route 85. On the way back to Atlanta during lunch hour, I stopped at a Chik-fil-a. A mile or two down the road I saw the Melear's sign out of the corner of my eye and nearly got whiplash turning around. There was a Melear's bbq in Joneboro when I was growing up in the 60s/70s and it was the highlight of my bbq dreams back then - I had to stop.

                        Turns out this place in Fayetteville is run by the brother of the same Melear in Jonesboro (long gone now). Well, I wasn't hungry but I went in anyway :) ... that was a good, gluttonous decision. There were a few ole boys huddled around a couple of tables enjoying their lunches in their overalls ... I thought: "That's a good sign." It was.

                        The pork was incredible - perfect smoke, perfectly tender on a perfectly toasted white bread. How good would it taste if I hadn't already thrown back a Chik-fil-a? I chatted with the lady at the counter and it turned out she drove a school bus at my old high school and actually went to the same elementary school.

                        So if you are craving "old school" pulled pork or brunswick stew, I'd say it's worth the drive from Decatur down to Fayetteville to find Melear's smoking meat right by the roadside and the right way. I checked and was shocked and pleased that they have a website at: http://www.melearspitcookedbarbecue.com/


                        1. . Don't forget swallow in the hallow. Great atmosphere and yummy bbq

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jshogh

                            How could I have forgotten about that one - great homemade pickles too (and other great veggies in season). And they've got the best live music playing on the weekend. How cool of a place that has a large canoe behind the bar, storing all of the longnecks on ice??