BBQ in Atlanta ?
It is possible. Not as good as Memphis or Lockhart, but good BBQ does exist...
#1: Fox Brothers, when they are on, they are easily the best
#2: Sam and Dave's BBQ #1 and #2
#3: Pig N Chik
In the mediocre camp, I'd put Rolling Bones, Harold's, Swallow at the Hollow (some swear by it), Daddy D'z.
I wouldn't bother with Fatt Matt's, Old Brick Pit, Dusty's, etc...
There are a few others out there that I've not been to.
The AJC Accessatlanta site has an online vote-by-comment poll for best of Atlanta Q. Lots of opinions there. Hopefully the dimwits who selected Fat Matt's last year won't prevail.
I pretty much echo what biskuit said. I'd just add that I think folks like Swallow at the Hollow for the full experience (good setting, good sides, music), even if they're meat can be hit or miss.
I saw it noted on the AJC comments that Hodges on Candler Rd has reopened and that The Boss burned down and has relocated.
And it might be worth a road trip to Jasper to try Bub-A-Que. Bubba's on the competition circuit and gets rave reviews from that crowd.
Having lived in eastern NC for a few years, this mid-Ga native knows why NC bbq is all they talk about! However, since a six hour drive for pork can be a bit much on a weekday....what places have you ruled out as "good"?
I'll concede they don't have the out and out best meat in the world, but imho, you could go to Harold's and get a bowl of stew w/ crackin cornbread, and a cup of dirt out ot the parking lot with a side of slaw and it'd still beat most places.
Opinions vary when it comes to bbq. We all know that. So, here's my list. Some of it duplicates other posts - some does not.
Sam & Dave's BBQ, Lower Roswell Road, Marietta
Swallow at the Hollow, Green Street, Roswell
The Rib Ranch, Canton Hwy, Marietta
Slope's BBQ, Alpharetta, Roswell & Sandy Springs
Rolling Bones, Edgewood Ave, downtown Atlanta
KC Pit BBQ, Roswell Road, Sandy Springs
There are other worthy candidates around metro Atlanta, but these are the ones I like the best.
Although it doesn't get asmuch mention anymore from the AJC or this board once Kessler retired as food critic and they moved out of their weekend travel trailer, Hometown BBQ in Lawrencville is some of the best BBQ and Ribs in the area. In fact, the best ribs that I've ever had. Neither the ribs or the pork need sauce, which for me is the pinnacle of good Q. It's worth a look.
Fatt Matt's....... NO. Yuppie destination for soccer moms looking to go to a place in a "seedy" neighborood for a good "ethnic" BBQ Joint... Fatt Matts is neither.
Daddy D''s........ Yes. What Yuppie Soccer Moms think Fatt Matts is.
Harold's............ Yes. Only real BBQ experience in Atlanta. The Q is not better than Daddy D's, however, the whole experience is the best in Georgia.
Fox Bros........... Yes. Good solid BBQ. A bit sterile on the BBQ Joint side but still a good meal.