Loading...
 

content

Food Issue - Slow and low

Citywide roundup of long-standing Atlanta barbecue shacks

Atlanta is a hub of travel and business, a city of transplants too busy to hate, but does being a melting pot come at the price of overshadowing some of the local flavor? Take barbecue for instance. Atlanta may not have a historically distinctive barbecue style, like dry-rubbed ribs in Memphis or mustard sauce in the Carolinas, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a slew of joints that have been here longer than many Atlantans have been Atlantans. Here are five barbecue restaurants and good-old ’cue shacks that have stood the test of time. If there’s anything to learn from these deceptively solid, slow-cooking, long-lasting shacks, it’s that presentation or marketing ain’t everything, and that traditional barbecue will always have a home in Atlanta

?
?
????{img src="https://media1.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12478621/foodissue_barbecue7-4_25.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}?

JOEFF DAVIS

?{DIV}?::Wyatt’s Country BBQ, Kirkwood, est. 1976?
?1674 Memorial Drive S.E.?
?404-371-0311::
Wyatt’s Country BBQ is a yellow shack with green trim in a crumbling Kirkwood parking lot. The large brick smoker, hanging over one side, is propped up by wooden joists and billows rich hickory smoke.

?{DIV(align="left")}?

????{img src="https://media2.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12466632/wyatt_s_country_bbq_042.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}?

JOEFF DAVIS

?{DIV}
Despite looking like it could fall over at any second, the shack and the Wyatt family have stuck it out together for more than 35 years.

?{DIV(align="left")}?

????{img src="https://media1.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12466633/foodissue_barbecue7-6_25.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}?

JOEFF DAVIS

?{DIV}
The entranceway to Wyatt's has a price list duct taped to the door. The menu doesn’t claim a regional provenance, and a tight-lipped Mr. Wyatt will only tell you that everything is good. In fact the sole modifier the restaurant claims is “country” in the name. And that it is. ?

?{DIV(align="left")}?

????{img src="https://media1.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12466634/wyatt_s_country_bbq_024.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}?

JOEFF DAVIS

?{DIV}
Behind the crowded counter, you are likely to find Mr. Wyatt himself tending the smoker or doling out barbecue beef, pork, and chicken.

?{DIV(align="left")}?

????{img src="https://media2.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12466635/wyatt_s_bbq_039.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}?

JOEFF DAVIS

?{DIV}
The staff at Wyatt's (left to right): Addie White, Carl Chayne, Danny Seals, and Paul Williams

?{DIV(align="left")}?

????{img src="https://media1.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12466636/foodissue_barbecue7-10_25.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}?

JOEFF DAVIS

?{DIV}
Meat being slow-cooked at Wyatt's in the rock pit. Wyatt’s pork is soft and smoky, the sauce is slightly sweet and vinegary, and the portions are plentiful. While Mr. Wyatt may love all his creations the same, he is best known for the wet-style pork ribs and the barbecue chicken. ?

?
?{DIV(align="left")}?

????{img src="https://media1.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12478621/foodissue_barbecue7-4_25.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}?

JOEFF DAVIS

?{DIV}?::Red’s B.B.QUE, Underwood Hills, est. 1989?
?999 Chattahoochee Ave. N.W. ?
?www.redsbbque.com?
?404-350-0008::
Right across from the Transflo rail yard and near some chic Westside condo buildings you’ll find Red’s B.B.Que in Underwood Hills. A big pile of oak and hickory wood is stacked out front. On the roof, there is a cartoonish pink pig and a decommissioned 1960s Cessna.

?{DIV(align="left")}?

????{img src="https://media2.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12466638/foodissue_barbecue7-8_25.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}?

JOEFF DAVIS

?{DIV}
The dining room at Red’s B.B.Que.

?{DIV(align="left")}?

????{img src="https://media1.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12466645/p.red_s_025.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}?

JOEFF DAVIS

?{DIV}
The family that owns and operates Red’s (formerly P. Red’s, after founder Pappy Red) has lived in Atlanta for 190 years, which means Red’s could quite possibly be a part of the longest-running barbecue legacy in Atlanta.

?{DIV(align="left")}?

????{img src="https://media2.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12466648/p.red_s_bbq_035.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}?

JOEFF DAVIS

?{DIV}
The Brunswick stew comes highly recommended, but Red’s pulled pork and beef brisket are their signature dishes, which are best served as sandwiches on the house-made jalapeño cheddar bread. Red’s slow-cooks beef and pork for up to 18 hours, and the sweet, tangy vinegar sauce comes from a 95-year-old family recipe handed down from generation to generation.

?{DIV(align="left")}?

????{img src="https://media1.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12466649/p.red_s_bbq_030.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}???page

JOEFF DAVIS

?{DIV}
Better known establishments look to create fusions and new trends in barbecue, but Red’s takes its time and pays homage to the old ways.

?{DIV(align="left")}?

????{img src="https://media2.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12466651/foodissue_barbecue7-2_25.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}?

JOEFF DAVIS

?{DIV}?::Crazy Ron’s BBQ, Stone Mountain, est. 2000?
?6187 E. Ponce de Leon Ave ?
?770-413-5900?::
Near a gas station/food market off Stone Mountain Freeway is a tiny shack that looks a lot like a bright red caboose. Crazy Ron’s storefront is, seriously, about the size of an elevator, but it has been dishing out barbecue for 14 years now.

?{DIV(align="left")}?

????{img src="https://media1.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12466652/crazy_ron_s_bbq_003.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}?

JOEFF DAVIS

?{DIV}
Next to the shack, and almost equal in size, sits the giant wood smoker, in which Crazy Ron himself smokes ribs, chicken, and sausage for up to 12 hours. Ron’s offers takeout only, with the exception of a few picnic tables out front in the rustic gravel lot.

?{DIV(align="left")}?

????{img src="https://media1.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12466653/crazy_ron_s_bbq_023.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}?

JOEFF DAVIS

?{DIV}
His shop is open only four days each week, so make sure you call before you haul. And, if you’re interested in a large order, they have to be placed a day in advance. (Rules are rules!) Most days, Ron can be found socializing with the guests or in the back working the smoker. The ribs are a highlight and come packed with smoky flavor and crispy bark.

?{DIV(align="left")}?

????{img src="https://media1.fdncms.com/atlanta/imager/slow-and-low/u/original/12466654/old_brick_pit_bbq-9.jpg?"}????
?{DIV(align="right")}?

ERIC CASH

?
?::Old Brick Pit Bar-B-Q, Chamblee, est. 1976 ?

?4805 Peachtree Road N.E. ?
?www.oldbrickpitbbq.com?
?770-986-7727?::
In 1976, when Old Brick Pit founder Bob Newton saw that the once-popular vinegar-based barbecue sauce he grew up with in Atlanta was dying out, he did what any mechanical engineer would do to save the thing he loves — he built a machine. In this case, a brick-lined barbecue pit big enough to smoke a bear in.

?
?
????Image ????
?
?

ERIC CASH

?

The sign at Old Brick Pit Bar-B-Q in Chamblee. Newton’s original custom-made pit still stands today in Chamblee, and though ownership changed hands in 2000, current owner Jane Ann Jarvis still adheres to Newton’s strict advice on operating the precision-engineered pit, ensuring that the right amount of smoke, steam, and heat reaches the barbecue during the all-night smoking sessions. Atlanta barbecue has seen trends come and go, but Jarvis has maintained the focus of her craft on producing just a few menu items to perfection and preserving the original character of the restaurant. Jarvis’ epic smoked pork is made from hams and shoulders only, never butts, which lack the lean and consistent meat of those other cuts. Old Brick Pit exemplifies a purist take on Atlanta-style barbecue.

?
?
????Image ????
?
?

JOEFF DAVIS

?
?::This Is It! BBQ & Seafood, Camp Creek, est. 1983?

?3523 Camp Creek Parkway ?
?www.thisisitbbq.com?
?404-629-1114 ?::
Sometimes good barbecue isn’t just about the meat, because sometimes the sides outshine the main. Such is the wide world of soulful Southern cookin'.

?
?
????Image ????
?
?

JOEFF DAVIS

?

The decorative door handles at the entrance of This is it! BBQ & Seafood in Camp Creek.

?
?
????Image ????
?
???page

JOEFF DAVIS

?
Now with nine locations in metro Atlanta, owner Shelley “Butch” Anthony takes pride in his restaurants’ bringing traditional Southern dishes including chitlins and oxtails to a wider audience with more consistency than your local hole-in-the-wall meat-and-three shack. Among the wide variety of offerings, from barbecue to spaghetti, the twice-cooked rib tips, covered in a sweet, brown vinegar sauce, highlight the menu.
{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}{DIV}


More By This Writer

Atlanta restaurant Christmas events 2014 Article

Monday December 22, 2014 09:00 am EST

Atlanta food events Dec. 15-21 Article

Monday December 15, 2014 09:12 am EST

Atlanta weekend food events Dec. 12-14 Article

Friday December 12, 2014 09:17 am EST

Atlanta food events Dec. 8-14 Article

Monday December 8, 2014 10:06 am EST

Atlanta food events Dec. 5-7 Article

Friday December 5, 2014 10:19 am EST
Search for more by Alex Lockie

[Admin link: Food Issue - Slow and low]