Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sprayberry's BBQ, Newnan, GA

Sprayberry's BBQ. This joint has been around since 1926, so that makes it something like 84 years, and it is one of the best in Georgia. It really isn't that the bbq is any better than some of the best bbq joints around, but this one's got charm, character, and nostalgia along with great food. Located in beautiful, historic Newnan, GA, the original location is a little harder to access from I-85 than the second location at exit 47, but you've got to go to the original joint at least once. The outside of the building is not much more than a shell of the orginal gas station that it once was many years ago. An old series of bbq pits sit out front, and when you walk in the door, you take a step back in time. You'll find yourself a seat at one of the red-topped formica tables that date clearly back to the 50's. It's a busy place with a number of tables. At those tables will be mix of folks dressed anywhere from blue jeans and work clothes to business suits.

I knew by reputation that Sprayberry's was supposed to have great sweet tea, so I ordered me one in a "to go" cup and was pleased to find that to cool, sweet tea was served over some of the finest crushed ice you can find. I looked over the menu since I had not been at this origiinal location before, and I passed up the Lewis Grizzard special (bbq sandwich, Brunswick stew, and onion rings) and stuck with the usual sandwich and stew. The order was on my table before I could fully take in the place, so I proceeded with the meal. The stew was noticeably thicker and clearly had the appearance of having been finely processed. While the ingredients were thus not clearly discernable, you could tell it contained the traditional kernel corn. The flavor was out of this world great.

The chopped barbecue sandwich was generous in size and served with a dab of sauce, so I asked for some more. It was brought in a small bowl all nice and warm. The sauce, and they only have one, is a thinner vinegar base that is just hot enough to make your head pop a sweat. The extra sauce was really needed as the chopped pork was a touch on the dry, flaky side, but the pork was as tasty as this style of barbecue gets The pickles served along with the sandwich, which is always a good thing, were a spicy sweet style rather than the run of the mill dill.

I picked up a couple of pints of barbecue sauce when I checked out...one for me and one for a friend...so I look forward to further enjoying Sprayberry's taste the next time I smoke a Boston Butt. I noticed as I left the building I was walking with somewhat of a satisfied swagger. I grinned and thought, must be the Lewis Grizzard effect. Here I am two hours later and still enjoying my stop by historic and world famous Sprayberry's BBQ. Put it on your list to visit if you've not been there.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bub-Ba-Q, Jasper, GA.

Bub-Ba-Q, Jasper, GA. Pickens County and Jasper, GA are trying to hang on to it's quiet somewhat rural past like a desperate housewife despite the fact that Atlanta and the northern suburbs continue to creep northward. For years such well known places as Jasper Jeep and The Bargain Barn were destination points Jasper. There's another place that is worth jumping off the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway for, and that is Bub-Ba-Q. A couple of folks including Steve Testerman had recommended Bub-Ba-Q, so I'd had this on the bbq radar screen for several weeks. After a truly fantastic 50 mile motorcycle ride on this Good Friday, we pulled up into the parking lot on Highway 53 West of Jasper.

They say you can tell a lot about a place by who eats there. When you pull up into the parking lot at this joint, by and large the predominant vehicles may well be motorcycles and service trucks. When you enter the joint and look around, you are likely to see a good mix in the joint from white collars to those wearing work uniforms. This is a busy little joint at lunch. It isn't a whole lot to look at from the outside, and the inside isn't exactly much either, but the barbecue and sides are awesome. They don't wait your tables at this little dive, you place your order at the counter when you walk in. Don't go far after you order cause in just a few minutes you'll have your order and you can either sit inside at one of the 14 or so tables.

Debbie and I were ordered right behind 5 other "old" motorcyclists like me. I quickly asserted that my meal would consist of a barbecue sandwich and Brunswick stew while Debbie ordered her barbecue salad (using the various barbecue sauces as dressing). While we waited the few minutes on our order, we tasted the various sauces they had including Hot and Spicy, Sweet, Vinegar, and Mustard based. All were very good, but our favorite was the Sweet sauce followed interestingly enough by the South Caroline style Mustard. The stew was excellent as well. It was somewhat of a thick stew containing pork bbq, tomato base along with a little corn. Debbie was well pleased with the salad as well.