Wednesday, December 30, 2009

High Falls BBQ

Publish Post
High Falls BBQ. Talk about a pleasant surprise at truly a "q joint", High Falls BBQ is just that. As I travel up and down I-75 between Cumming and Cochran, I had seen the sign advertising this joint, and I'd had it on my "to do list" for some months. Most of the time I was too hurried to make the one mile detour down High Falls Road to check this joint out, but today (December 30, 2009) time was on my side. I'd been over a week without hitting a barbecue joint, and this one fit well in my time frame. I exited off I-75 and immediately was in what "the rest of Georgia" is like. The one mile trip off the interstate takes you through a nice mature stand of loblolly pines on each side of the road. About a mile down the road you approach High Falls and an area that is in some ways a "step back in time". When you pull up to this dive, you realize that life isn't always about glitz, glamour, and business. You can't help but to smile when you see the old rusty International tractor on the side of the joint along with the picnic tables out front.

Once inside, you walk right up to the counter and place your order. The menus is not expansive, but it is truly adequate and pretty much what you'd want to find at a small bbq joint. I got my first visit regular of a sandwich and Brunswick stew. I pre-tasted the two sauces available (Original and Carolina Red). Both were very good and similar in being deep red with a fairly thick consistency. My order came out rather quickly, and I first tasted the stew which was about as good as you'll find. It is thick, meaty, and not a form of vegetable soup. The barbecue was also right up there with any of the best joints I've covered. The meat was moist, clean, and quite full of pork flavor. The sauce really topped it off.

I struck up a conversation with a local living there at High Falls as he was having his 11:30 am Michelob Ultra, and he raved at how often he ate there and how much he liked it above even Fresh Air which is not too far away. The joint does not qualify as an icon or having a legendary status as it has only been opened for around 5 years or so. Run by Dean Huckabee and his wife, this is really a place that is worth visiting if you need a mental and physical departure from the hustle and bustle of the traditional dining establishments along I-75 or the metro Atlanta area. I can't wait to stop back by there so my bbq buddy and wife Debbie can join me for another pleasant visit to this somewhat quaint, retro joint that serves this little area quite well with good barbecue, friendly service, and a place to stretch and relax on our drives through Georgia. We'll give it a pretty good 4 out of 5 rating but frankly, you really won't find a lot of places doing a better job with their pulled pork bbq in Georgia.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

'Cue Barbecue- Milton/Alpharetta

'Cue in Milton. 'Cue Barbecue is a new joint having just opened in June of this year. 2009 was a tough year for people trying to open up a dining establishment, but if the quality of today's dining experience continues, this joint can be around for along time. We'd passed 'Cue a few times as we occasionally travel up and down Highway 9 between Cumming and Alpharetta and had seen 'Cue a few times. I still can't tell you where Milton begins and ends in relationship to Alpharetta, but I do know every barbecue joint from the mountains to downtown Atlanta! I'd gotten some pretty good recommendations on the place, so this afternoon led me and Debbie down to try this place out....and man, I am glad we did.

First, I've had to get over the bias against joints in "strip malls." 'Cue is located in a small strip mall, but once inside, you don't feel like you are in one. The joint is nicely decorated and even has a couple of televisions for watching sporting or other events. The place was really hopping, but we got in and were waited on by a very accommodating waitress named Jennifer. Jennifer gave us a good overview of the menu and knew the product quite well as she described the two sauces (one sweet and one thin and vinegar based) as well as the various meats and sides. Debbie decided on a pork salad and I got my traditional first visit order of a pork sandwich and brunswick stew. Now one thing that is unique about 'Cue is that EVERYTHING (except the cola's and other bottled beverages) is home made. Even the bread on my sandwich and the bread and butter pickles on the side were home made. Before getting to the barbecue review, I gotta tell you that the bread was to die for.

When our orders arrived in pretty quick time frame, we were pleased right off the bat. Debbie's pork salad was as beautiful of a salad as you would ever want to see. The barbecue on the top was well portioned, clean, pretty, and had just a slight mix of bark on a few pieces of the barbecue...just like we like it. He summation of the salad was that "it was the best bbq salad I've ever had (and she's had to have a number of them with me)." My barbecue sandwich was well portioned with barbecue between two pieces of home made bread (did I mention that it was to die for?). While I tend to like the pulled pork being not quite as chopped as this, the flavoring of the pork rivaled the best around!!! With the sauce being on the side (once again, just like we like), I was able to dress up my bbq to my liking. The brunswick stew was unique. A lot of folks' stew is similar to everyone elses, but there are a few places whose stew stands out as being different (like Scott's in Cochran). This stew was not a heavy tomato base but was more of a broth based that was very good. The meat base contained both pork and chicken (my philosophy too, throw in whatever ya got), and the vegetables in the mix included whole kernel corn and baby butterbeans. Insider information has it that the brunswick stew is made from a pork rib stock, and I will tell you, it is awesome. The stew with a piece of bread on a cold, rainy afternoon will leave you warmed all afternoon long!!! I really loved the stew, but next time I'm going to try out their collard greens which when described by Jennifer had me on the brink of wavering from my initial decision of a cup of stew.

All in all, I'm going to give 'Cue a great 4+ out of 5 rating. While I didn't get the opportunity to meet the owners/operators, I did learn a little about them which adds to the intrigue of 'Cue. 'Cue's half owners are former partners with Swallow at the Hollow just down the road in Roswell. With that in their background, you know these folks know a little about both barbecue and the restaurant business. You can find out more about 'Cue at their website at