Review - Country Road BBQ in NE Georgia
The other day I found a flyer about a new BBQ joint. Opened today. So I decided to take my family out for dinner for the grand opening.
I wasnít disappointed.
Now, I must admit that Iím kind of a BBQ snob. Iíve been spoiled. Mine is good. Iíve tasted others that are really good. I usually donít enjoy eating BBQ out. I can count on one hand the BBQ joints I would return to. And I think Iíd have three fingers left over.
This place comes close to taking a finger.
We were the first customers. Ever. The waitress is a student at my school. It was her first day. She tried hard. She didnít know much about the BBQ, but that will come to her.
Itís wooden tables, with a pitcher of tea on each table. She took our orders. Gee got ribs with stew and slaw. I got chicken and pork combo, with stew and bread. I asked for a sample of brisket, and they gave it to me.
The sauce is very Northeast Georgia. To the rest of the world, itís Western North Carolina. To us, itís Northeast Georgia. That means a vinegar/ketchup combination that is stronger on the vinegar. It had a bit of a kick that I enjoyed.
Everyone liked the pork. Even Truman. Gee really liked the ribs, and so did I. The brisket had a tug to it. But when I squeezed it, I could see the juice in it. The stew was perfect. Itís the type of stew that has no beans or potatoes, and very smooth and thick. I want the recipe. (If anyone knows of a recipe like this, email it to me!!!) The chicken was a little dry, but more on that later.
The pork was pulled. You donít see pulled pork that often in restaurants. Itís usually chopped. Not because of taste, but for ease. I believe that pulling it helps it stay moist.
After supper, I asked the waitress if we could talk to someone about the place. A young woman came over. I recognized her as a graduate of Franklin County High School. She and I talked for a few minutes about her history concerning BBQ. She has working in BBQ restaurants since she could work. She finally decided to stop working for others and start working for herself. Good idea. She agreed about the dry chicken, and told us she cooked it too quick. We need to go back and try it again. I asked about how she cooked the BBQ, but she was very protective of her methods. She did show me her smoker. Itís a direct method smoked with what appears to be a reverse flow piece of steel to get indirect heat from the Hickory they burn.
You need to try this place out. Address is 3790 Athens Road in Royston, Georgia. Go now. Thatís the corner of Ga Highways 51 and 106. If youíre on I-85 in Northeast Ga, get off at exit #166 and go south. At the first stop sign, itís across the street on your left. There might be a sign that says ďSouthern SmokeĒ. Thatís the last owners. Donít worry. Youíre in the right place.
You wonít regret it.