Thursday, March 8, 2012
Community BBQ, Decatur, GA.
Often times you just choose to do bbq where you are at. What determines where you choose to eat is often based on word of mouth among us bbq junkies. Today's visit to Community BBQ in Decatur, GA was created by both of those circumstances. I seldom go into Decatur as frankly, I just don't have much reason to go there. Some time back, though, at least one of my bbq friends had suggested Community, so it has been on the radar for some time. Finding myself in Decatur following a good little educational meeting, me and my friend and Board Chairman Tom honed in Community BBQ. Finding the little joint, really wasn't that tough. We plugged it into the GPS, turned on Clairmont Rd., and within just a few minutes were there.
There were good signs in the parking lot quickly suggesting to me that early reports of that this was a good joint were true. First, the parking lot was packed. Secondly, there were folks eating at picnic tables in front of the building. Thirdly, the people that I could see eating out front and walking to and from the joint were of every size, shape, ethnicity, and dress code. Fourth, there was a completely restored 1957 Chevy parked in the first parking spot in front of the building. All of that really made up for the fact that the restaurant is located in a strip mall. Once inside, you don't recognize that fact either. In fact (see this pics of course), the inside has as good of a "joint" feeling as most any q spot I've been to.
This is another one of those low maintenance kinda joints where you line up to place your order at the counter. It is a really efficient set up. While in line, you can peruse the t-shirts they have for sale. The shirts have such things written on them as Smokin' (in big letters followed by little letters) Whole Hog and NICE RACK (in big letters followed again in little letters by) Of Ribs. Me and Forrest really didn't know what they meant by all of that. I was sufficiently entertained to the point that I did't even seem to remember waiting in line. The big menu board at the beside the order station had pretty much told me what I needed to know in that yep, they had pulled pork sandwiches, Brunswick stew, and collards....easy pick. I definitely give Community points for having a good q joint menu. There was no pizza or other things to appease the types who somehow think they are too sophisticated to eat bbq in a joint.
Tom and I decided that we'd eat at the "big" table. This was sort of like a community type bar table that offered us a full view of the restaurant and the people in there. As indicated earlier, which is always a good sign, there were those of us in there in suits seated next to two members of a SWAT team and most everything else as far as occupational backgrounds. Our food came out fairly quickly and the waiter (as such) brought us our food (of course after calling out TOM...BUSTER!).
Now I can joke around from time to time, but when it comes to evaluating the final product, I like to be as serious as I can be, but that may not be saying a whole lot. This bbq sandwich friends was one to fight over. I'm talking about a nice mound of pulled pork resting atop a big ole piece of Texas toast with the other piece of toast flipped to the side. Oh my, now this was a pretty picture (yea, the one of up top). The Brunswick stew was just about the perfect size. I've had smaller and I've had bigger, but to compliment this BBQ, it was just right. The bbq was really, really good. It was a consistent cook, it was clean, it had just a bit of bark, and it was free of excess fat. I couldn't wait, but I had to do the stew first.
The Brunswick stew was among the best I've had anywhere. The consistency was perfect.. The detectable vegetables included whole kernel corn, an occasional English pea, and tomatoes. There was none of this quarter sized filler of potatoes, just some really fine stew. The coloring was right on target. The taste was perfect with just a hint of "heat". Without really thinking about it much, I'm giving them a 4+ (out of 5) on the stew.
Now, back to the pulled pork. Before digging into the pork, I had to sample the sauces. Community has only two sauces: sweet and NC vinegar. Honestly, both sauces were exceptional for their variety. Not only was the bbq clean and of really ample quantity, it was awesome!!! The moist, flavorful bbq was tender and tasty. It was truly one of the best examples of naked pulled pork that I've stumbled across in months.
There's little doubt that if I am in the Decatur area again sometime, I'll try Community BBQ again. You can check out their menu at http://www.communityqbbq.com.