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Jun 8, 2013 10:23 AM

Dickey's Barbecue, Peachtree City

One bummer about living in Fayetteville is that there really isn't a great BBQ place that I've found close to here. Yeah, if I want to travel to, say, McDonough, there is one, but I'm talking local. So it surprised me to have a friend, who I don't know as a foodie but a good friend nonetheless, told me about Dickey's BBQ that has opened in PTC. I thought it was a chain, and my memory was right, but I decided to try it.

I ordered the 2-meat plate, chopped beef brisket and pulled pork. My 2 sides were slaw and Brunswick stew. I am gluten-free by choice, so I cannot review the roll, as I didn't eat it. Got sweet tea and pickles also.

The beef brisket did have some smoke flavor, but for the most part it was fairly dry. I did get one bite that was actually somewhat moist toward the end of my meal. If ALL of them had been like that one, I might have better things to say about it. Gotta have sauce to be able to eat most of it. For me, if I HAVE to use sauce, it ain't good Q! This, to me, was the loser on the plate.

The pork had less smoky flavor than the beef did, but it was also more moist. Nothing to write home about, but not quite as disgusting as some other reviewers have tried to paint it, and overall better than the beef. Still needs sauce though.

As far as the sauces go, I liked their original far better than their sweet or their hot. It actually tastes like a combo of the two. A little runny, but it gets a "fair-to-good" rating. The other 2 not so much. The original sauce has enough heat to it for those who want some but not too much heat. My wife would think it is "hot" but it really isn't.

The slaw was not a heavily-mayo-based slaw, which I appreciate. It was OK. Not wonderful, not awful. The more of the sauce I tasted, the less I liked it. I liked my first bite better than my last.

The winner on the plate to me was the Brunswick stew. It's a thicker stew. No drip from the fork. Good flavor. Fairly hearty. I would have that again. Good.

The sweet tea is fair-to-good. Not as good as CFA, but still good. Not so sweet that I needed to go 1/2 and 1/2, which I do appreciate. So many places over sweeten their tea to "coma tea" status. Not this one.

Yes, they have free soft-serve ice cream. Nothing special, but my kids would like that. But I'm not eating here for the ice cream, know what I mean?

Overall, I would not go out of my way to eat at this place, although, alternatives around Fayetteville are fairly scarce, so if I was passing it and felt like Q enough and didn't have time to get to a real place, I suppose I would go again. I just wish they had better Q to go with the stew.

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    1. re: kengk

      That's where I go for Q if I'm desperate now, and that's probably where I will continue to go. Dickey's wasn't as good, I agree.

      Quite honestly, I think the best meat on Speedi Pig's menu is their chicken wings. The pork is quite dry, and doesn't have much flavor--AGAIN, unless you put BBQ sauce on it. The meat alone has little flavor and it isn't very moist, IMHO. Their hot sauce is the better sauce versus the mild. They don't have a "sweet" sauce.

      Like Dickey's, the BEST thing on their menu is probably their Brunswick stew. My brother, and fellow foodie Aron, who is a regular chow hound in the Detroit area, gives very high marks to the stew at Speedi Pig. I do also, however, I don't go to BBQ for stew as much as I do for Q! If the stew's good, but the Q isn't...meh...I better be in the mood for STEW, not Q, and that is rare.

      Actually, along with their stew, I like their chicken wings. I eat those naked, and am totally satisfied. I actually have never put sauce on the wings. They don't need it. They have a great smoked flavor. The outside makes them LOOK dry, but once you bite into it, you realize it is not, and the flavor is quite nice. I think the wings are better than the pork, and I think few people are aware of it.

      Now, if I am in the mood to travel a bit, I really liked Piggie Park down in Thomaston. It has been a little while since I ate there (years), but I'll NEVER forget what struck me as good there--the SLAW!! It tasted just like my Grandma's homemade slaw and took me right back there as soon as I tasted it. Hard to compete with that, so I must admit that possible bias. Closest thing I've had to her slaw ever since she passed many years ago. The Q was pretty good as I recall, but I have a lot more Q experience now than I did then, and I'm a tougher critic now vs. then as a result, so I will have to go back and try it again. The slaw there practically guarantees a future trip. Perhaps I'll go with my bro the next time he visits. We like taking Q road trips together.

      Another good one--this one a little more than an hour from here--is Fresh Air Barbecue in Jackson, GA on Highway 42. I just happened to be by it--not even looking for Q--and was not disappointed at all! I don't think I tried the brisket, just the pork, but it was good. So was the stew and slaw. The slaw was reminiscent of Piggie Park's but not quite as good. Close. The BBQ pork was moist and had good flavor. The sauce was also good, although I can't recall which one I liked best.

      OB's is supposed to be good in McDonough, but I have not been there yet. On my list. I've heard one person who wasn't impressed though, a reliable source for Q reviews. He judges Q across the nation. It underimpressed him. I will make my own judgment though.

      But again, these are all about or at least an hour or so from F'ville. (OB's is probably more like 35 minutes to be honest.)

      In truth, some of the best brisket I've had in GA is at First Baptist Church, PTC at the 4th of July fireworks. The recipe is a Texas recipe. One of their former pastors was from TX, and has recently moved back there, but his rub recipe remains, and it is excellent so long as they don't overcook it. Only once have they killed it--SO disappointed that year...WAY overcooked! But in recent years, they have improved their smoking technique (I've talked to the people in charge about it), now employing a foil wrap for the first part of the smoking process, and both the pork and the beef brisket are much improved over what I had the first time there. I don't think they have stew. Standard Bush's baked beans and slaw as I recall. But you can't beat the price: IT'S FREE! They serve over a thousand people every year for not a dime! They don't even take donations! You might give that a try, since the fireworks are only in a few weeks. Since we watch the fireworks there every year, I make this an annual trip.

      In the past, Cafe Pig in PTC had good chicken wings as well, but their pork was pretty dry. It did have some smoky flavor, but absolutely required sauce or lots of tea to be edible. But they are closed for good now anyway. I do miss their wings and their sweet potato casserole was also very good. I like their lima beans too. Didn't like their slaw much. Stew was so-so. Speedi's is better. So is Dickey's stew.

      So I'm still looking for my Fayete County Q place for pork and brisket, and so far, Speedi Pig is the best, but still leaves something to be desired.

      1. re: spikedds

        Try the "Oink Joint" in Zebulon for brisket.

        I also like Sprayberry's in Newnan for pork.

        Did you ever eat at Melear's before it closed. I didn't really care for it but it was my dad's favorite so I was sad to see it close.

        1. re: kengk

          I am not a fan of the vinegary style. I realize that is a taste thing, so I don't knock it, because apparently some people like it. Sprayberry's is all that--meaning vinegary--for me.

          Melear's was the very first BBQ place I tried when I moved here back in 1999. I didn't like it at all. Never went back. Not surprised that it closed.

          Never tried Oink Joint. Got it on my list to try. Thx. Anything in particular stand out on their menu?

          1. re: spikedds

            Brisket and pork tacos at the Oink Joint.

            Melear's was in business for fifty years so thats a pretty good run. It's what I think of as "old time" bbq in this area.

            1. re: kengk

              Yeah, usually if you find a place that is run-down-looking like that, it's pretty good Q in my experience. Melear's disappointed me. It wasn't long after that that it closed, so maybe the Q had taken a turn for the worse leading to its closure. I don't know for sure. I just know I wasn't going back.

              My brother Aron and I went into a place outside of Pigeon Forge, TN recently and the first thing that hit us was the musty smell, and my next thought was, "Gosh, if it smells like this and this place has been here long, it's GOTTA be good Q. It was decent. Their sweet & hot sauce was the winning part. Both Aron and I agreed. The pork was also good, although not top-notch. The sauce made it better. I'd go back.

              We actually got it to go and ate it in the parking lot! But I'd do it again next time I'm in Pigeon Forge.

              If I'm not mistaken, Aron did a review on here about that road trip, so I did not, because we essentially agreed on most of our review of the trip.

    2. Say what they may about Dickey's (there's a lot of them), it's better than no barbecue at all.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Veggo

        Like I sad, Veggo, if I want Q badly enough, I'll compromise to get some, but IMHO, Chow is at a higher level than, say, Yelp. My expectations on here are higher than looking at Yelp reviews. You'll note that my review differs from other reviewers who say things like Dickey's is "inedible." I did not say that, nor do I. If the photo is testament, I did eat what I was given. But as a Q critic, I have to agree to a degree with others who criticized it as compared with higher quality Q.

        If I demand REAL Q, I still have to drive a distance to get it. I was hoping it would not be as necessary. Still is. That doesn't mean I would never go to Dickey's again. If I'm near there and pretty hungry for Q, I'd compromise, but I wouldn't plan a trip to go there myself, and I certainly wouldn't put it in the higher echelon of Q joints. Hope that clarifies.

        And of course, tastes vary. My palate for Q didn't used to be as refined as it is today, so obviously if you like it, enjoy it! I might have liked it better years ago. But once you taste the good stuff, it hard to be completely satisfied with less...unless you're famished!

      2. Did not realize Dickey's was a chain, never heard of it before this thread.

        Is it better or worse than Sonny's?

        I'm sure you are familiar with the "Marie, lets eat" blog but thought I would mention it just in case.

        Over the course of forty years I have perfected my barbeque to the point that it suits >me< better than 99.9% of what I can buy so we really don't eat bbq out that much.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kengk

          Well, then Speedi Pig would probably disappoint. I don't have my own smoker. I rely on others to make it. I'm becoming a student of the game, but more as an observer and judge than a grillmaster.

          I haven't been to Sonny's in forever. Last time was before food mattered to me as much. At least 10 years since I was there. I know of friends who live for it. I don't remember getting that impression at all, but like Dickey's it's not like I choked on it or anything. I can eat it, but it's not the same thing as really good Q. Hope that makes sense.

          1. re: spikedds

            Oh, I've eaten at Speedi Pig several times, as good a place to get lunch in Fayetteville as any to me. We stop at Sonny's sometimes if we are traveling and one is handy. I have no problem with their food either.

            FWIW, the only two places in Georgia I have eaten at that I prefer to my own is the OInk Joint and Southern Soul.

            But again, that is just a matter of taste. You might think my bbq was awful.

        2. you should be a professional writer--these reviews on BBQ are well written and informative

          1 Reply
          1. re: bobstripower

            <blushing> Well, go-olly! :-)

            Thanks. I think this is the kind of thing that Chow is about. I'm a dentist by trade, and a father of 3 kids, so doing this regularly just isn't possible. However, when I'm able to contribute, I like to do that. I still think I receive much more than I give on here. Appreciate the feedback, though.