Heirloom BBQ Market, Atlanta, GA. Just off I-285 on the "top end" is a little BBQ joint that has consistently received positive state and national rankings. For most people in Georgia, it is a bit hard to get to, but the fact is, there are hundreds of thousands of people living almost within eyesight of the joint. Not only are there hundreds of thousands of people, you can nearly see the top of the new Braves stadium from Heirloom. It is worth the effort to find the place, and I am certain that the presence of the Braves just across the interstate will only increase this joint's popularity in Georgia.
Heirloom is unlike most any joint I've been to in Georgia. While it is similar to some joints where you order when you walk in the place, the difference is that when you get your food, the only "eat in" option is to go stand up around one of several counters or round tables that are out on the patio. When you get out there, you will likely find yourself dining with mostly men in everything from construction dress to business suits. That's the thing about BBQ, it brings us all together regardless of income levels.
Being my first visit to Heirloom, I ordered my "first visit" normal of a pulled pork sandwich and Brunswick stew. I started in on the stew that you can see in the picture. It had great color, plenty of meat, and an almost perfect consistency that was neither "soupy" nor "hash"! The stew was just hot enough to make my forehead feel like I was having a little heat, but not so hot that the taste was affected. The portion size was more than adequate, and frankly, it could have served as my meal itself.
The BBQ sandwich was fantastic! The pulled pork was clean but had enough bark to give it character. The portion size was larger than normal, and it was served on a "better than normal" quality bun. I tried the house sauce, which was just sort of a normal KC style sauce, and it complimented the sandwich nicely. While not even eating the top of the bun with the sandwich, I was full before finishing the meal.
Another unique offering of Heirloom is their "Jasmine Sweet Tea". Now I am sure that my south Georgia sweet tea drinking purist friends won't find this that attractive, but the reality is that this was a really neat twist to the favored drink of the south.
So, what's my rating and what could make it any better? My rating is a 4.5 of 5. That's pretty darn good considering all factors. While I have no problem at all with the atmosphere, I would loved to have been able to had a sampling of their other sauces. They may have been available, but if they were, they were well hidden. Heirloom does have some other great entrees that I'll have to try on future visits including brisket, ribs, chicken, and a spicy/Korean style pork. The pricing was a bit higher than most BBQ joints, but the reality is that the cost of doing business inside the perimeter is simply higher.
All in all, this is a great place to try, and me and my colleagues at TRS will surely return.