Plenty of barbeque joints around Atlanta. Most are about as genuine as a Hollywood boob job. Thank da Lawd, there are two super exceptions. For my money, Atlanta BBQ is all about Heirloom and Fox Brothers. Period.
I wrote about Heirloom previously. Here’s the link:
I despaired of finding another smoky haven, but then a thoughtful friend dragged my hungry self into Fox Bros.
Fox Bros means BBQ Texas Roadhouse style. Looks like a converted barn, inside and out. That’s a good indication that you’re strolling into the heart of barbecue country.
Of course, as every man who’s ever lifted a beer at happy hour on a Friday night knows, looks can be deceiving.
Fortunately, that’s not the case at Fox Bros. ‘Shamefully delicious’ jumps right off the menu and that’s only the start. Ask your server about the specials. Go ahead, punk…ASK!
OK if I skip most of the palaver and get right to the food? Thanks, ‘cause my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
|Beef Rib with a side of Brunswick Stew|
The star of the show, on this particular hot, thirsty afternoon, was succulent, well-smoked beef rib. Yep, that’s singular. Thickly peppered and meaty. Anybody who can eat more than one of these hunks needs to live on the prairie and track down his own buffalo.
Fork tender, yet succulent and every morsel bursting with flavor. To get beef this tender, you have to smoke it longer than it takes to sit through four blind dates sober.
What else is worth the mention? Just about everything. Pulled pork is as it should be, flavorful and juicy. Ribs? You bet! Then there’s something called Brisket Taquitos. Cheese, smoked beef, vegetable bits, and a special sauce, tightly wrapped. Grab some Chicken wings with the look of aged mahogany and the taste of barbecue heaven.
That’s it? Barbecue. Not by a long shot. Take on some Brunswick Stew, grab an order of fried pickles. Pick out your favorite beverage from the well stocked bar. I chanced on a Mimosa. Fresh juice and champagne. An unconventional choice, but an excellent counterpoint to the spicy Q.
|Fried Dill Slices|
Think you can make barbecue in the smoker at home? You’re welcome to try. Fox Bros sells jars of both sauce and rub. The problem is, at home you’re contending with a bunch of different things you probably haven’t considered: type of wood for smoking. Temperature control. Smoke control. Tending the fire - for long periods of time you can’t spare.
I often say that barbecue is more than the cut of meat, the equipment, and the time. It’s part science, but mostly art. All cooking is like that to some extent, but barbecue requires a special skill all its own. Look around. Do some tasting. Every BBQ joint the same?
Fortunately for the folks who live near Atlanta, or are passing through, I’ve done the work for you. Only two names you need to remember, Fox Bros and Heirloom.
Ok, let’s split some hairs. Which one is better? I simply cannot answer the question, but I can point out some differences. Heirloom is strictly a standup and eat affair. Also, the four or five sauces are each wonderful, with separate flavors and spiciness. Plus, because one of the chefs is from Texas and the other from South Korea, you get flavor combinations and accompaniments that catch your eye and take your taste buds where they’ve never been before. However, the Q (and especially the ribs and brisket) are always the main events. If you go expecting barbeque taken to the highest level, you’re always going to get what you came for.
Need to sit down with a group of friends and linger over lunch or dinner? Fox Bros every time. The beef is out of this world and there are many more traditional side dishes. Don’t expect the unexpected…with one huge exception: you’ll never experience BBQ that’s any better than this.
Two Atlanta BBQ things to remember: Heirloom. Fox Bros.
Link to Fox Brothers: http://www.foxbrosbbq.com/fox-bros-atlanta-bbq-menu.html