I've had to shrug my bias against bbq joints located in strip malls some years back. I still sort of eschew that type of setting, but hey, not everyone can build or find a quaint structure (like Swallow at the Hollow) sufficient to house a bbq joint and make a go of it. Location is highly important in the food industry. We walk into Poe's shortly after 1 on a Saturday afternoon. We stand in line behind approximately 10 customers who each place their order at the county. The order taker clips the order to a "zipline" and sends it back to the food prep area. Working the counter and greeting guests, even on a Saturday afternoon, is the founder of the joint, Dave Poe. Poe works the diner pretty well stopping to see if the customers are happy and then from time to time delivering something needed by the diners.
We work through the line pretty quickly. We are given our cups for our drinks and then wait for our number to be called out and then return to the counter to retrieve our food. It is a low level of service, but the bbq clearly makes up for the difference. Furthermore, the price of the food is reflected in the level of the "waitressing"! Deb and I both ordered sandwiches. My side items was Brunswick stew. The sandwich came with a couple of dill pickles which is always a good thing. Before I could even get into eating my meal, Debbie was telling me about the quality of hers. Good coloring. Smoky flavor. After a couple of minutes of picture taking, I finally was into mine. I took a couple of bites of the stew for starters. Wow, it was really good. Clearly it ranked a 4 (or better) out of 5. It was smokey flavored, attractive in color, great taste, and with a nice residual taste.
Next came the BBQ. The bbq was attractive in presentation with a good mix of light charring, darker smoke ring meat, along with some lighter inner portions. It had a great smokey flavor and was about perfect in moisture content. We both went on about the great flavoring of both the bbq and our sides. Based on the number and type of customers in the joint on this Saturday afternoon, you could tell that Poe's is a popular place located about a mile outside of downtown Marietta. The fact that Dave Poe gives it his personal attention and "works the crowd" really adds character to the place that would otherwise get lost as another place to eat in an old strip mall.
You can check out the menu for Dave Poe's BBQ at http://www.davepoes.com/. Poe's apparently does a robust catering business, and I would understand why. Poe's has been featured in several metro area and Georgia related magazines reflecting Dave's serious reputation as a bbq cook. They've received some pretty high level reviews. While it isn't necessarily either "that redneck" (like Fresh Air), that "ghetto" like Daddy Dz's), or your "ultimate dining experience", it is worth a stop if you are in the Marietta area. I'm betting Poe opens up another place or two in due time as well as finds perhaps a more attractive facility than the strip mall. Meanwhile, be sure to explore Poe's rendition of "Redneck Lasagna". It looks more than awesome!