Announcing The Peach Pundit BBQ Tour

We’re approaching the 4th anniversary of the Peach Pundit Road Show, where we’ve visited with readers and the Georgia political community in various locations across the state. We’ve decided it is time to move from just occasionally talking about the main dish of Georgia politics and get out and try some on your home turf. And thus, between now and the July 2014 primary, we – contributors and readers alike – shall embark on the Peach Pundit BBQ Tour.

The concept and goal is fairly simple (though we’re still working on the exact details).  We will visit a barbecue restaurant in each of Georgia’s 14 Congressional districts between now and the time we vote during next year’s primary.   This means we have to average about one per month starting “very soon”.

We will welcome your suggestions as to which places to try, but logistics of location (and a suggestion by a local Congressman who may wish to participate) will be allowed to sway the decision of the site selection committee, who will remain anonymous but will freely accept bribes.  We’ll give you as much notice as we can, and you’ll be picking up your own check.  After all, we’ve had a zero dollar gift cap around here forever – meaning we don’t buy you any gifts, but the pleasure of our company is free.

Also – and you should listen very closely here – we don’t care if you are a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or politically agnostic – but as taught to me by Georgia’s literary patron saint Lewis Grizzard, “barbecue” is a noun, and it means pulled pork.  This is non-negotiable.  You may have a great restaurant that you know of that cooks a great brisket.  You may have found the best rib joint in the southeast.  But we’re looking for barbecue, made the Georgia way by Georgians.

If you think “barbecue” is a verb, then check with Rick Perry on how he’s coming with those citizenship applications for the Republic of Texas.  If you think BBQ sauce is vinegar and red pepper, my mother would like a ride to visit the North Carolina side of our family when you’re ready to head out (I’ll gladly accept a carry out plate on the return trip, and bring hushpuppies.  But don’t confuse it with our BBQ.)  If you think BBQ sauce is mustard based, get on your knees and apologize to God right now.

We will be looking for pulled pork with tomato based sauce.  And we will find it in a location near you.

As for the order, we’re also going to try and select Congressional districts that are less likely to have an open contest for Congress at first, giving other districts where we expect an open seat or competitive primary time to have the races develop a bit before we put a spotlight on that area.  Thus, in the interest of getting this off the ground quickly we’re going to start with three fairly close to home.  Georgia 7 , Georgia 3, and Georgia 13 will be first on deck.

So, here’s your chance for input that we will pretend to take under advisement.  Who has the best barbecue in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District?  How about Georgia 3?  Georgia 13?  Be prepared to tell me if your answer includes Brunswick Stew that is free of green vegetables (or for you weirdoes when we get to GA 12, carrots).  Pulled pork is the only requirement, but I will judge each of you if we end up at a place that puts English peas in the stew.

We’re going to eat some Georgia BBQ.  And we look forward to eating it with some of you.  Others, not so much.

148 comments

  1. ricstewart says:

    If you guys don’t want it, Lawton and I will keep Vandy’s Brunswick Stew to ourselves.

    But you’ve got to try Harry’s BBQ in Hagan or Papa Buck’s in Metter for CD-12

  2. Ed says:

    As one of Georgia’s preeminent BBQ experts, I welcome this development, Icarus.

    I would wager the 5th is going to lack an open seat and the opportunities for good BBQ (combined with being ITP) and my home make this easily the strongest CD in Georgia. Just off the top of my head there is Fox Bros, Daddy D’z, Sweet Auburn BBQ, Fatt Matt’s and I’m forgetting several other solid options. All except Fatt Matt’s are within walking distance of each other (well, walk-able for me at least).

    • Joshua Morris says:

      Love me some Fox Bros BBQ, but I rarely get down that way. Have they recovered well from the fallen tree incident?

      • Ed says:

        Yes. And then there are the fallen giants of the 5th CD: Harold’s, Dusty’s, Anderson’s, Rolling Bones… man, the 5th CD has lost better BBQ restaurants than the rest of the state could cobble together…combined.

        Just, you know, throwing that out there.

      • D_in_ATL says:

        That joint prints money. The only thing I can say bad about their ‘Q is that I don’t get a chance to eat it anymore…place is packed all the time.

          • griftdrift says:

            If we’re talking the 5th district, there is only 3 places to discuss (and sorry, Fat Matt’s is not among them, it’s okay for atmosphere, but the ribs ain’t what they used to be)

            My preference
            1. Community Q
            2. Daddy Dz
            3. Fox Bros

            Community Q is the closest I’ve ever had in Atlanta to the barbecue I grew up with. And their stew is right on. Other than the pork itself, that’s usually the best indicator if somebody can cook.

            • George Chidi says:

              Community Q is amazing. Hands down the best I’ve had in Atlanta. But is that still in the 5th district and not the 4th? It’s awfully close to the line if it is.

            • Chance says:

              +1 for Community Q, too. If we’re talking GA-5, it’s my #1 go-to since too many people apparently love Fox Brothers these days.

              • Rick Day says:

                *sniff* I tried Community Q twice.

                Once for the pork. Dry as the Sahara in Summer.

                2nd time was something other than BBQ.

                If you walk in a place and it does not immediately smell like there was some smoke damage at one time (everything smells smoky) then GTFO.

                If not, check health scores. Any score below 80 is probably an OK place.

                *sigh* like I told Charlie, careful about competing in BBQ cookoffs. You will swear of restaurant food.

    • Three Jack says:

      Ed,

      You need to check out Bone Lick BBQ on Huff Rd, best ITP. Daddy D’z good, Fox Bros somewhat overrated, Fatt Matt’s best old style GA Que.

      • Lea Thrace says:

        I second Bone Lick BBQ. Stumbled upon that place this past Saturday and OH MY! (And that is coming from someone who is not really into pork or meat in general.)

        • Trey A. says:

          BoneLick is close to my house (and is in the bottom of the building I used to live in). I’m not a fan of their pulled pork. It’s too salty and the sauce is N.C.-esque with its overpowering vinegar. Their grilled chicken wings are good, though.

    • greencracker says:

      I’d vote for D’z.

      Sweet Auburn, I went there once and was served the most um, unusual, Brunswick Stew I’d ever had. My dining companion said it was clearly “Texas Style.” I don’t know what Texas Style is.

  3. Ed says:

    Dean’s in the 13th and Southern Pit in the 3rd.

    I have to do too much Google-ing to find addresses and then CDs for these establishments!

  4. Dave Bearse says:

    It’s simply not true this is a site prone to insider politicial lingo, or you’d be freely accepting gifts.

    I visited Harolds a few weeks before it was supposed to close a year or two ago. I understand the announcment it was going to close generated enough business that owners reconsidered closure. I nominate it if it’s still open.

  5. Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

    Williamson’s in Marietta, I think that’s the 6th still and I believe where the Cobb GOP hunkers down.

    Anywhere but Slopes in Roswell, that stuff is just awful. Depending on the timing that may or may not be contested…

    • Ellynn says:

      Now you did it. Love their sauce but I go to Moon River for the pull. Too bad ribs are out. Wiley’s Ribs Rock on Whitemarch Island

    • Ellynn says:

      When you start lookind at CD-!, we need to do some “reseach” trips before you get here to narrow it down…

    • Ed says:

      Sorry, Holly.

      Sconyers must be automatically DQ-ed from consideration. By having hash on its menu, it firmly ensconces itself in the South Carolina-style of BBQ.

  6. Mad props to the highly opinionated and amusing writing behind this post. In other news, Fat Matt’s is way overrated. Fox Bros lives up to the hype. Bone Lick is a nice new surprise.

    And let me be the first to mention Poole’s in Ellijay.

  7. griftdrift says:

    8th is going to be tough because it is so big and covers so much ground. And it’s going to make me commit blasphemy. Forgive me, my south Georgia brothers and sisters.

    Has to be Fresh Air in Jackson. People who don’t know barbecue won’t like it but people who love barbecue may get weepy. I saw the daughter of a judge of Memphis in May weep openly when they put that paper plated in front of her.

      • griftdrift says:

        Told you the 8th was tough. Covers too much ground. Now Charlie may get me on a technicality because Fresh Air is chopped, not pulled. But it’s still the best.

        • Ken says:

          Your heart is pure, but Fresh Air in Jackson is no longer in the 8th and Fresh Air in Macon may be in the 2nd now. And while it’s chopped and not pulled, you’re right; it is great BBQ.

    • Rick Day says:

      it would be more impressive to have made an actual MIM judge weep.

      Also said weeping could be sourced to excessive onions.
      *disclaimer: I am aMIM certified judge. Took the 2nd judging class ever held in 1988

    • Joshua Morris says:

      What about Smok’n Pig in Valdosta? I know lots of folks that love that place. Been there once, and it was pretty good. There’s also one in Macon, just a few miles inside the 2nd.

    • Ken says:

      In the 8th CD, Scott’s BBQ in Cochran is good but not as consistent as I would like. White Diamond in Bonaire used to be great, now it’s merely very good.

      Over in the 2nd, you’ve got to take Meatslanger’s BBQ in Leesurg (just north of Albany) into consideration. Jackie Cape knows barbecue.

  8. Andre says:

    BBQ Masters on SR85 in Riverdale is a good place for the 13th district. In the 3rd district, there is a home country cooking restaurant called Charlie’s. I go there entirely too much.

    On a side note, why hasn’t there ever been a Peach Pundit roadshow in Clayton, Fayette, Henry, or south Fulton?

  9. Howard Roark says:
  10. Robin Wheeler says:

    FINALLY!!!! The Road Show leaves the 404. About #$5^ time!!
    GA12: Ohhhhh I love Harrys in Evans County. Rusty Pig in Tattnall County. Vandys in Bulloch is the best of the best and every politico knows a trip to Vandys wins votes every time.

    GA1: Chatham – Walls, PAPAs, Johnny Harris, Angels – lots of good choices in Savannah & Wilmington Island.

      • Ellynn says:

        Blown’ Smoke was still relocating when last I checked. Not a John Harris fan. It ok, but I would go out of my way for it. Wiley’s is my pit of choice. Pulled is great, but their ribs.

    • bgsmallz says:

      We used to stop there on the way to and from the beach. I think we always had a bottle of their sauce in the fridge.

      • Ken says:

        YES! That was great ‘cue. Back in my misspent youth we used to roadtrip over there just to eat barbecue.*

        *When you’re young, bored, and gas is about a buck a gallon; what’s a 50-mile trip to eat good barbecue.

  11. Baker says:

    I must get a plug in for Pappy Red’s. Been going there since I was a kid and they were out in Canton.

    I move in-town as one does and hey look at that, now they’re on Chattahoochee Ave near Howell Mill Rd. John Lewis’ district. I’m sure he’d love to come.

  12. Not sure of the CD it’s in, but Mickey Piggs in Alto is some good stuff. (and who was it asking recently if I ever got out of the city?)

    Seems like I remember Big D’s being pretty decent in Dawsonville.

    Johnny’s BBQ in Powder Springs is good, but you have to ask for their sweet sauce instead of the normal “sauce” they serve with the pork. I also get it served on the side so I can choose my own level of dousing as I prefer to order sauce with my pork… not sauce with a side of pork. Don’t recall whether there’s any green stuff in the stew. It’s decent stew, but needs a little refinement.

    No matter which location though, I’m always good with Slopes. They’ve even got fried okra. 🙂

  13. Dr. Monica Henson says:

    Oh, hell. It’s on, now.

    SC “barbecue” is like eating a bowl of sticks and dirt with mustard mixed in. Tomato-based barbecue is tolerable at best.

    Vinegar & red pepper is where it’s at–Lexington-style NC pulled pork, which must be accompanied with red slaw, is barbecue nirvana.

    The best barbecue joint in the entire state of Georgia, which I have traveled extensively, is Straw’s in Sparta (District 10). Although tomato-based and lacking red pepper, they include substantial portions of vinegar in their sauce. It’s a decent substitute when there’s no Lexington ambrosia to be had.

    Sprayberry’s and..I hesitate even to type this name…Sonny’s…are the devil. Avoid at all costs.

  14. MattMD says:

    If anybody happens to be going through Gray, Old Clinton BBQ is definitely worth a stop. For some reason the original Fresh Air in Jackson is still better to me than the satellite locations.

    I haven’t had anything in Atlanta that can top those two but I need to try Fox Brothers and Bone Lick.

    I had the ribs at Fat Matt’s, can’t say I was that impressed.

  15. Engineer says:

    BBQ definitions in a nutshell:

    Texas = no sauce (just a dry rub on the meat), beef only
    Missouri/Kansas (&western TN) = sauce usually with tomato based sauce (Memphis & Kansas City style sauces) often on beef or chicken
    Georgia = pulled pork usually with a sweet tomato based sauce
    N. Carolina = vinegar based sauce on pulled pork (I honestly can’t stand this kind, just too bitter/sour)
    S. Carolina = mustard based sauce on pulled pork
    Alabama = mayonnaise based sauce on pulled pork (my mom would make this for sauce for bbq sandwiches when I was growing up)

    PS: Riverfront BBQ in Albany is pretty darn good if you guys are down that way.

            • Ellynn says:

              No. But I had their baby backs at the Taste of Chicago a few Summers ago when I was in town for the second King Tut tour at the Field.

              The last time I was in Chicago (2011), the group I was with went to a small place called “Honey 1” north of Humbolt Park. Arkansas slow smoked pork sparerib slabs. Sauce was a red w/ a little roasted sweet red pepper added in the mild (I asked).

          • Ellynn says:

            Santa Anna Tri-tip. Dry rub, grilled a few min., then smoked. They best thing about my visit to Fresno.

  16. Vandy’s, though Sconyers BBQ in Augusta is the place for GA-12 politics. I ate at Vandy’s on Monday with former Augusta mayor Bob Young, who is considering a run for GA-12 Congress. Neither one of us could eat all the food they gave us.

  17. Rambler14 says:

    GA-6
    Williamson Brothers is politically connected,
    but Swallow at the Hollow in Roswell has the better BBQ.

  18. Stefan says:

    In the 4th, Community Q is the early leader for me, 5th is Bone Lick. 13th, that’s a good question, and Ill give Pervis’s in Louisville the early lead in Barrow’s district. Bishop’s district is tough, I’ll go with White Brothers. I’d love to say Abdullah the Butcher for the 13th, but that’s ribs, not barbecue.

    Those are just the early leaders for me. I recognize I didn’t provide anything for the districts actually mentioned above.

  19. Nathan says:

    For GA-14: Hog Heaven in Rossville is pretty good stuff. Choo-Choo BBQ in Chickamauga is very good as well. There are a couple of BBQ places in Chattanooga Valley near my house. I suppose I could take one for the team and do some research. 🙂

  20. Obi's Sister says:

    About to leave for NY for baby girl’s recital, but I must weigh in on the BBQ war.

    Having grown up in Jonesboro, Dean’s is the best in GA13, hands down. We frequent Wallaces a good bit, since it is close to where we live. But any trip to J’boro to visit my mamma and ’em requires a trip to Dean’s.

    • griftdrift says:

      Was in NY this past weekend. If you’re in Brooklyn, check out Mable’s Smokehouse. Two shocking things. The pork was not mushy and the collards were proper. The. Collards.Were. Proper.

      But avoid the baked beans. They are weird. Taste like they put coffee in them.

  21. ARAR says:

    in the 3rd District of Georgia, we have a real place for BBQ. it does have a real catchy name… 13th Street BBQ, in Columbus, Georgia, right on Veterans Parkway. are you confused, you bet but the BBQ is soooooo good, can’t be beat, come on down and try it.

  22. Rick Day says:

    I’m very sorry, but I simply can not assist with this request of referring ‘commercial restaurants’.

    But I’ll be glad to show up and point out just exactly what is wrong with every sampling of pulled pig.

    Just for giggles….

    Then, we invite everyone to Austell Mother’s Day weekend. Make a judge’s daughter cry? It will make you cry; the number of years you were ‘fooled’ into thinking X was ‘good’

    BBQ (the proper way to describe the finished product), is elevated way beyond politics in my world. You are all playing in MY sandbox, now.

    • griftdrift says:

      I’m betting that daughter would put her family’s Delta sauce up against yours any day, Rick. Lord, next we’ll be talking about mamas. 🙂

      • Rick Day says:

        *sniff* sauce was invented by French Chefs.

        To hide lack of flavor in their meats.

        Just sayin’… leading with your sauce is like trumping with a deuce.

  23. mountainpass says:

    After reading through this post….I’d hate to be the one that has to choose.

    Oh by the way vinegar-tomato with a touch of brown sugar.

  24. Lea Thrace says:

    This has so far been my favorite PP comment thread. I have culled an awesome list of new restaurants to try AND I have learned so much about BBQ.

    (Who said Republicans didn’t care about educating the public? :-D)

Comments are closed.