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Want Real 'Cue in ATL

Not Fox and Bros or other chain style stuff. Home smoked shack style is what Im looking for. Thanks!

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  1. you're looking for Fat Matt's and Community Q

    2 Replies
    1. re: hungree

      I don't know what exactly you'd consider a "home smoked shack style." I'm not sure that the few places that were really that way are still around. I don't consider Fox Brothers "chain style" since it's a single location operated by the owners. They make more liberal use of their fryer than some other places do, but I don't know that that detracts from the Q.

      Community Q is great in that they not only do Q very well, they also make a bunch of great veggie sides that you could compile a meal from and avoid the meat. Community is descended from Sam & Daves' (now BBQ-1 and Dave Poe's), and they all do good stuff.

      Fat Matts gets praise but isn't even in the same league as many other places in town. If you want to go hang out, have beers, and listen to music, it's fine. If you care about the food at all, it isn't real Q. I don't know exactly what they do to the ribs, but they aren't smoked. I suspect they boil or bake them and then finish them on a grill. Look for a smoke ring (there is none). Look at the grease oozing out (see an old photo in my profile) that wouldn't be there for low-and-slow cooked ribs. The sandwich is basically a sloppy joe- pre-sauced pork to cover up the fact that there's no smoke/flavor there.

      Other places that come to mind: Beaver Creek Biscuit Co in Lithia Springs is really good (and inexpensive) but nowhere near as gourmet-y as Community (if you care about veggies). Spiced Right in Lilburn. DBA in Morningside. Swallow at the Hollow (though I think it isn't as good as it once was).

      If you're avoiding chains, Dreamland is the first that comes to mind.

      1. re: hungree

        Fat Matt's is about as far from legitimate Q as possible. They boil the ribs and then finish them over coals. Horrible, horrible Q.

        Community Q and Fox Brothers are both excellent. Another is Fresh Air in Jackson, GA. about 40 minutes south of Atlanta.

      2. heres Yelps listing of bet BBQs http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=...

        Ive tried many of them and do really like Pig N Chic,esp the one on Peachtree Indus.I know the owner personally and hes a fanatic about service and quality.He works each store every week, including Sunday..Its not a chain but he has opened 3 stores over the last 10 years.BBQ is like pizza, your tastes are affected by what you had as a kid.Bill, the owner was raiesed in NC and his BBQ is NC style.They make their own condiments in the NC style--his hsuh puppies are dead on great.In my view Dreamland is probably the worst, at least the one on 141--i like Fat Matts, but its a little too noisy for me, esp if theres music-

        1. Fat Matts boils their ribs. Ick. I also don't consider Fox Bros a chain ??

          Really excellent barbecue can be found at Sam’s BBQ1 in Marietta, Zeigler’s in Acworth. Both are worth the drive. Look for the Atlanta Magazine BBQ issue for full reviews of these and many other places. For something just a bit different, I have heard wonderful things about Heirloom BBQ near the intersection of 285/75 (Akers Mill rd?). I plan to try it asap since I have had very good reccos from very picky friends.

          2 Replies
          1. re: martyparty

            Heirloom is fantastic. I forgot about them in my post above. Another highly worthy spot. It is very korean influenced as well in sauce and spicing.

            1. re: samlev

              I agree about Heirloom. Really good.

          2. Like ted said, Swallow at the Hollow used to be excellent but the BBQ has gone downhill a lot IMO. The sides are still good, mac & cheese there is one of my favorites.

            Bub-ba-Q has locations in Woodstock and Jasper and they're Q is some of the best I've had. Their ribs actually taste like smoked pork, as opposed to tasting of just the dry rub, smoke and sauce. I go to the Woodstock location pretty regularly and it's my current favorite.

            1. Every time someone says Fatt Matts is good BBQ, Satan gets to pull the wings off an angel. Fun plce to sit and have a beer, great music, awful and that's the best you'll get from me) food.

              Heritage is good, Sams1 too. Let's not forget Dave Poe's (the other half of Sam and Dave's). Great meat, the sides can be a little spotty (I was served the nastiest mac and cheese in a broken sauce there; if the brisket hadn't made me almost pass out, I would have asked for the manager)