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BBQ in Atlanta

eller Jan 1, 2009 11:21 AM

Hi All,

I will be traveling to Atlanta in early February and given my Canadian origin, I absolutely must seek out some southern BBQ during my stay. I don't care if it's served out of a side-of-the-road type stand, a small takeout joint or five star upscale establishment but I do care about it being good. No wait, I want the best.

I will be staying between Centennial Olympic Park and the Peachtree Centre. I will be attending a conference and won't be renting a vehicle but am not adverse to walking or taking transit to receive my meal.

Is there anything nearby that you all could recommend to this brave little hoser who is dying to try authentic Southern BBQ for the first time?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. k
    Katj RE: eller Jan 1, 2009 01:13 PM

    My favorite BBQ place in Atlanta has to be Fox Bros Barbeque. It would be a cab ride away from you. Here's the link http://www.foxbrosbbq.com/
    I am not sure there is any barbeque closer. But this is absolutely the best. I hope you get there and enjoy!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Katj
      Spreadhead RE: Katj Jan 1, 2009 04:41 PM

      I second Fox Bros.!!!!

      1. re: Katj
        eller RE: Katj Jan 2, 2009 08:35 AM

        Mmmmm, that looks absolutely perfect!

        Thanks again!

        1. re: Katj
          Reignking RE: Katj Jan 23, 2009 09:54 AM

          I just went there for lunch, and it was quite good. I'd recommend it. It is more of a Texas BBQ, but there are things from different regions (pulled pork, Brunswick stew). Also, a deeper menu than I am used to for BBQ.

          1. re: Katj
            gan911 RE: Katj Jan 24, 2009 07:26 AM

            another vote for fox bros

          2. d
            ddub RE: eller Jan 2, 2009 07:21 PM

            Fox Brothers, Daddy D's or Harold's.
            Fox Brothers is real quality BBQ without the "authentic" ambiance.
            Daddy D's is also quality BBQ WITH the authentic ambiance. Its safe, but seedy.
            Harold's is not the best BBQ in Atlanta, but is still very good, and the most authentic BBQ experience still in Atlanta. 60 plus years in the same building.

            All will require transportation...

            email me at marchthird at hotmail dot com maybe Ill drive.. you buy lunch...

            1 Reply
            1. re: ddub
              Davwud RE: ddub Jan 21, 2009 09:00 AM

              We loved Daddy D'z. The Q was excellent and the seediness just added to it all. When we first saw it, Mrs. Sippi said, "If they're open for lunch tomorrow, we're going" and that was just by driving by the outside.


            2. m
              Milt RE: eller Jan 4, 2009 05:22 AM

              The closest good bbq is at Rolling Bones BBQ, 377 Edgewood Ave. It is much more convenient for you. They are in a former service station building and are busy during prime mid-day dining times.

              We all argue about who has the VERY best bbq. I feel that Sam & Dave's BBQ 1 on Lower Roswell Road in Marietta is the absolute best. It is far from convenient - but they do a superb job on brisket, and only excellent work when you try their pulled pork, ribs, chicken, etc. Their sides are made in house - which cannot be said of all bbq establishments. My only complaint is that their sweet tea is too sweet for my taste.

              1. d
                doc1969 RE: eller Jan 8, 2009 01:54 PM

                Fox Bros. is good, Rolling Bones is alright....but I think Daddy Dz is what you're looking for as a first experience in a southern BBQ Joynt.
                You really cannot go wrong with any of them, but I visit Daddy Dz on a weekly basis; and between the food, the smells, the music and the divey nature of it...it warms me inside. Enjoy.

                Also, getting to Daddy Dz or Fox Bros on MARTA (the rapid transit rail system) is easy from Centennial Park.
                Daddy Dz:
                Get on MARTA at the Dome/CNN Center stop (W1).
                Head East to the King Memorial stop (E2).
                Walk South on Grant St. for two blocks to MLK Drive.
                Walk West on MLK for two block to Hill St.
                Daddy Dz is on the corner of Hill/MLK.

                Fox Bros:
                Same deal but get off on the Inman Park Stop (E3).
                Walk East along Dekalb Ave for about a mile.
                Fox Bros on left.

                1 Reply
                1. re: doc1969
                  gashrink RE: doc1969 Jan 16, 2009 07:22 AM

                  So I walk into Daddy Dz just before Christmas at 6 PM and ask "How are your ribs?" (My wife works at the Capitol so she goes there all the time but I just drove in from Athens) The Atmosphere is great, clippings and picures cover the walls, folks are friendly and the smell is terrific.
                  So the manager just says "You have to try one." and lays down a whole rib dripping in sweet and tangy sauce on a sheet of wax paper in front of me on the house. Great ribs! Tender, greasy, smoky and meaty. After the first, I ordered a plate of 4 more with sides and a sweet tea (of course). My wife had the pulled pork which was also good. Great moist cornbread, good slaw and fine BBQ beans. A totally satisfying BBQ experience.

                2. j
                  JHLI RE: eller Jan 10, 2009 12:36 PM

                  From what I have heard and have tried, I think the other poster's advise is right on. But if you ever come to Atlanta and have more freedom to travel consider Sam and Dave's. Their restaurant just west of downtown Marietta (BBQ2), has the same food as BBQ1 on Lower Roswell Rd., but instead of two tables and a small outside deck they have good inside table accomodations. I was a pork only BBQ guy until I tried their beef brisket. http://www.lostmountainbbq.com/
                  Fox Bros supposedly does beef well also, but pork is king in the southeast. Daddy D's is known for ribs and blues bands on the weekend.

                  1. w
                    wabbitslayer RE: eller Jan 11, 2009 04:07 AM

                    Everybody has their idea of authentic, here's mine:

                    Harold's on McDonough St near the Federal Pen....
                    Pork, cracklin cornbread, stew and slaw.

                    Although these other places have some fancy appetizers, sides and music and whatnot....and don't get me wrong, they have really good food. You won't have a bad meal at any of the places mentioned here. But....Harold's is more likely to be something you've never seen anything like.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: wabbitslayer
                      KyMikey RE: wabbitslayer Jan 11, 2009 06:04 AM

                      I would second what wabbitslayer said about Harold's. Because they cook over a real wood fire (rare because it violates moden building codes) this establishment apparently was grandfathered in as long as the (old) original building stands. Since the original owner Harold died recently, who knows how long that will be? So you might want to see it while you can (during the daytime and get a ride to the door.)

                      1. re: wabbitslayer
                        samlev RE: wabbitslayer Jan 11, 2009 09:42 AM

                        I second this opinion as well. For me, Harold's is the best BBQ in Atlanta. I live near Fox Bros. and was recently turned off to it by awful brisket and poor sides. After having many good and sometimes great meals there, they have recently been subpar. I will try them again in a couple of months but I have been disappointed the last 2 times there.


                      2. c
                        cholihan RE: eller Jan 17, 2009 06:09 AM

                        Fox Bros. gets my vote. You have to try the smoked chicken wings. Avoid the brisket there though. If you crave brisket, Rolling Bones is the place to go.

                        I used to live right next to Daddy D'z and I cannot recommend it for the food.

                        Sadly, I have never been to Harold's but I have heard good things about it.

                        All of these joints are near your hotel's location.

                        If you do feel like traveling, Sam and Dave's BBQ 2 (limited seating though) and the Swallow at the Hollow are worth the travel. The Swallow offers live country music on Friday and Saturday so you may want to get there early so you can get a seat.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cholihan
                          JHLI RE: cholihan Jan 19, 2009 05:44 PM

                          For the Record: Some don't know about it, but Sam & Dave's BB2 near downtown Marietta has plenty of seating - unlike their BBQ1, but still a 30 min. drive from Atlanta. They do the competition BBQ circuit in addition to their restaurants. See http://www.lostmountainbbq.com/ if you are interested. I've tried them all except Daddy D's (and I want to go there for the ribs) and I've enjoyed them all. Crackl'in Cornbread at Harold's is a unique find. What I would like to find is some good (not sweet) dark crusted, iron skillet cornbread.

                        2. HaagenDazs RE: eller Jan 20, 2009 05:13 AM

                          Good Lord, it's a miracle. First, thank you to everyone here who has given such great suggestions. Seriously. They are all valid and all very good. The reason I say it like that is because, invariably, when this question comes up, I always see people raving about Fat Matt's, which is not good. Granted, everyone likes different things, but Fat Matt's is a success because it has a fun name and some high-end folks from downtown and Buckhead like to eat there for lunch.

                          Eller, these folks have suggested some great locations so pick and choose from them... if anyone suggests Fat Matt's please look elsewhere.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: HaagenDazs
                            tbones17 RE: HaagenDazs Jan 20, 2009 07:06 AM

                            Anyone ever heard of Lydle Brothers BBQ? It just opened at the end of the last year, but I can't find that many reviews on it. The reviews I saw on yelp seemed good, but that's all I could find. They're only open for lunch.

                            1. re: tbones17
                              HaagenDazs RE: tbones17 Jan 20, 2009 07:08 AM

                              Hmm - haven't heard of it to be honest. Where is it? Why only open for lunch?

                              1. re: HaagenDazs
                                tbones17 RE: HaagenDazs Jan 20, 2009 07:59 AM

                                No idea. They used to be catering only and now they opened up a restaurant. Their website says lunch M-F. I'm tempted to try it next week, but I was wondering if anyone had already tried.

                                1. re: tbones17
                                  HaagenDazs RE: tbones17 Jan 20, 2009 08:35 AM

                                  I looked it up online and it's in SE Atlanta "only a mile from the Georgia Dome." It's actually near Morris Brown, Clark Atlanta & Spelman so you would think they could benefit from staying open for dinner but who knows.

                              2. re: tbones17
                                Milt RE: tbones17 Feb 1, 2009 12:05 PM

                                The Atlanta BBQ Club recently had a monthly meeting at Lydle Brothers. Their reports and others are available at: www.atlbbqclub.com

                            2. m
                              mule RE: eller Jan 22, 2009 04:17 PM

                              I'm in Atlanta til tomorrow and have not found any local Q on the north end despite driving all over Lawrenceville and Duluth. Not to cloud the discussion of eller's downtown search, but others might see the thread title and be up here where I am looking. I would prefer a local joint and you guys have some good insider info. I saw a closed one called Blackstone's.

                              If you are ever up my way in North Carolina, go west of Charlotte off I-85 to Shelby NC and eat at Bridges. There are two kin and competing Bridges families there that blow away the competition and have excellent side items. They learned it from Stamey's in Greensboro in the style of The Lexington BBQ in Lexington, NC - other good ones to try if headed up I-85.

                              What kind of sauce should we expect to find in Atlanta - vinegar, tomato, mustard, other? Do they make hushpuppies down here or will I have to go back to NC for those? Are there any other local specialties, great home cooking or unique foods that you guys can recommend?

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: mule
                                ted RE: mule Jan 23, 2009 05:47 AM

                                You're in striking distance of Spiced Right in Lilburn. And I don't have a good source for hushpuppies.

                                I'd make a run to Roswell for Greenwood's/Swallow at the Hollow if you get the opportunity. Definitely fits the "home cooking" bill.

                                1. re: mule
                                  hillarybrown RE: mule Jan 23, 2009 10:49 AM

                                  Dang. If you're in Lawrenceville, hit up Hometown BBQ on Gwinnett Scenic Highway. My vote for the best even close to Atlanta. Not great sauce, but it doesn't need it.

                                  1. re: hillarybrown
                                    dabaxter RE: hillarybrown Jan 30, 2009 06:08 PM

                                    Fox Bros....

                                    Get the ribs and the fried Mac and Cheese...

                                    1. re: dabaxter
                                      eller RE: dabaxter Feb 2, 2009 11:27 AM

                                      I attempted a run to Fox Bros last night and although their website said they were open until 9, they were closed at 7 when we pulled up. The owner came out and explained to us that he had to close early because he was out of everything, as he'd had so many (Superbowl) take out orders.

                                      I am going to try to get out there again on Wednesday.

                                  2. re: mule
                                    RhondaSue RE: mule Jan 31, 2009 03:33 PM

                                    Usually in north Georgia you'll find a sweet, dark BBQ sauce, no chili pepper. If you're close to the South Carolina border you'll get into the vinegar-y stuff. Most serve pork, beef and chicken, with sides of Brunswick stew (a tomato-based hunter stew of meat, corn and sometimes beans) and some kind of potatoes. May be served with cornbread, loaf bread or rolls.
                                    Incidentally, my vote for BBQ in Atlanta is Harold's. Have fun!

                                    1. re: mule
                                      Milt RE: mule Feb 1, 2009 12:11 PM

                                      The best hushpuppies I have found in metro Atlanta are at Catfish Jim's on Cobb Parkway (US 41) in Kennesaw just north of Barrett Parkway.

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