Saturday, August 22, 2009
Williamson Brothers Barbecue, Marietta. Wow. The friend who suggested Williamson Brothers was spot on. We journeyed across East Cobb following the GPS directed navigation to Williamson Brothers. When Debbie and I pulled into the parking lot (not the door, etc., we were greeted with the fabulous aroma of pork on a "REAL" smoking operation. I mean we had not even let the windows down or gotten out of the truck! Upon opening the doors and moving toward the joint, which it truly is, we were enveloped in an cloud of smoke filled with flavors of oak and pork. We walked in the rather dark but welcoming place and were quickly seated and then waited on by one of the nicest young waitresses ever. She seated us next to three bikers who were well leathered and weathered. I promise one of them looked like Charlie Daniels. We placed our orders from the expansive menu and I wandered off the men's room where I got to walk right by the open, stacked brick smoker where I saw some of the best looking pork shoulders in various stages of their fate. By the time I got back to the table, the food was already there. Now that was fast. The barbecue sandwich was of two meal size, and man it was good! It was pulled style pork lightly sauced with their famous sauce. I started first with the stew which was a great sized, well spiced, and sufficiently meaty stew that would have been enough for lunch, but the barbecue was tops. Deb's fries were just so so, but we both gave the barbecue 5 stars. When done, the Charlie Daniels looking biker (whose picture I took without finding myself thrown through a plate glass window) told the waitresss, "mam, that was the best barbecue sandwich I ever had." He aint far from the truth. I'd bet he's never been to some of of my other joints like Scott's or the Smokin' Pig, but I bet he's got a few under his leathers that I haven't hit either. Thanks Leigh Ann for recommending this place! I even have Christmas ideas for a couple of my best friends! Oh, I forgot to mention one of the great character additions to this joint is a wonderful collection of mounted animals including a full sized wild turkey, fox, and other creatures that put my mind deeply into the woods of South Central Georgia.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Fresh Air Barbecue, Macon. The Rolling Stones sang, "you might not get what you want, but if you try, sometimes, you just might get what you need!" Well on Friday, August 7, 2009 I needed some "Fresh Air." I'd been wanting to do Fresh Air again for some months. Actually, I was hoping to do the Jackson (original) location, but time was pressing us to keep moving and to stop in Macon at their site on Riverside Drive. When you drive up to their joint there in the strip mall behind Longhorn Steakhouse, you are not impressed. It is a "characterless" corner of a strip mall with a little adornment letting you know it is a bbq joint. When you open the door, though, you get a good smell of what you came for. It gets better from there. Their barbecue, once voted best in Georgia, ranks right up there with anyone's. Its pulled pork with perhaps a touch of sauce. You get two choices of sauce on the tables. There is the mild which is pretty much a traditional sauce. Then, there is the hot, which will make your forehead break out in a good sweat. To fix that, though, is the fact that their drinks start with, oh yeah, crushed ice. Debbie likes that and I do too. Their barbecue sandwich is one that won't have you leaving the place hungry. It's not the largest ever had (Dreamland), but it does the job. Their stew is a pretty traditional stew. It is not too thin and not too thick. You kind of have to hunt for the meat in it, but you can taste it whether you can see it or not.
What leaves you impressed with Fresh Air in Macon is that the folks there are friendly. The barbecue leaves a very pleasant taste on your palate for hours to come. Conveniently located, if you are driving 75 south through Macon and want barbecue, you have two choices: Pig in a Pit and Fresh Air. My suggestion? Catch one going one way, and catch the other one going back. You won't be disappointed in either.