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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Do You Community Q? Or are you a Fox Brother?

Becky Stein

Becky Stein

I noticed some new comments on my ancient Community Q BBQ post, surely occasioned by restaurant critic Meridith Ford Goldman’s recent praise for this Decatur barbecue newcomer.

A lot of folks who live on the east side of town compare it to Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q and come down on one side or the other.

I like both for different reasons — Fox Bros. for the chicken wings and the option of a barbecue salad entree, Community Q for the pulled pork and the mac ‘n cheese (even if it does clock in at 1,400 per large serving!!!).

But, overall, I favor Community Q because I applaud their use of locally raised meat and find the flavors of the ingredients and the smoke so clean. It appeals more to my sensibility. I also have to admit that the gut-bomb signature dishes at Fox Bros. (such as the “Lopez” made with Tater Tots, chili and an Exxon Valez slick of melted cheese) hold no personal appeal.

But, really, Eastside Atlanta has upped its barbecue paradigm a lot thanks to both these places.

What do you think? If I was holding a baby-back rib to your head: Fox Bros. or Community Q?

50 comments Add your comment

Christian Boyles

February 3rd, 2010
3:21 pm

Neither. Both are wildly inconsistent. When I want awesome ‘cue, I drive all the way out to Sam’s in Marietta.

Charles

February 3rd, 2010
3:29 pm

Funny, Fox Brothers has been open for more than 2 years and outside of the first 90 days the words “wildly inconsistent” don’t apply. If you knew anything about their current set up (staff, equipment, etc) you’d know that someone would literally have to be sleeping on the job to mess up their consistent results.

Tim L

February 3rd, 2010
3:41 pm

I found Community Q superior in the pork and all the sides I tried: collars, mac & cheese, potato salad, and slaw.

Ramona Clef

February 3rd, 2010
3:59 pm

John, I was happier before I knew the calorie count for Community Q’s Mac and Cheese.

Laverne

February 3rd, 2010
4:16 pm

Community Q – good mac ‘n cheese is worth dying for – young and fat.

Stephanie

February 3rd, 2010
4:18 pm

I LOVE Fox Bros wings and that is pretty much the only thing I get from there. I probably wont make it to Community Q anytime soon and if I did go it would be chicken for me.

John Kessler

February 3rd, 2010
4:29 pm

Stephanie – The pulled chicken at Community Q is really good.
Charles – I’ll have to try some of Fox’s other meats (brisket, pork) again. I have definitely found them inconsistent.

Atl Starter

February 3rd, 2010
4:32 pm

I love the food and vibe at Fox Bros. so I guess that’s my fave for now, but I was very happy with my first (and only) meal at Community Q. I’ll be back there for sure.

kokoatl

February 3rd, 2010
4:50 pm

I have been a Fox Bros fan for years. I tried Community bbQ last week for lunch. The pulled pork was delicious and (gasp) more moist than Fox Bros. I also liked their mac-n-cheese better. The slaw was good too. The only draw back is that community Q doesn’t stay open late and I don’t think they serve alcohol. I like to hang and have a few beers with my BBQ.

Q_Element

February 3rd, 2010
5:09 pm

The pulled Chicken at Community Q is more like sliced then the pulled-shredded variety. If I had my choice between Fox and Q, it would be the Q. Unfortunately I do believe the Q could use some beer and wine plus some LCD’s in the dining room for sports. They are missing a good opportunity to host a nice Super Bowl event there.

Gufman

February 3rd, 2010
5:13 pm

John- Do you know if either place smokes over hardwood or uses gas/electric?
I would bet Fox uses hickory-not sure about Community.

Christian Boyles

February 3rd, 2010
5:39 pm

John — nice to know I’m not the only one who Charles disagrees with. I’ve eaten Fox Bros. when it was served at Smith’s and well into their run at the permanent location. I’ve had good stuff and so-so stuff and what might be good one time wasn’t the next. Hence, me saying it’s wildly inconsistent. I never know what I’m going to get…at either place, really. For instance, I noticed Q is now carving/slicing their chicken instead of pulling it like in the early days. Plus, I still can’t get consistently warm temperatures on the food there. I think both places have a lot of pluses, I just seem to leave both disappointed more often than not.

Allen S.

February 3rd, 2010
6:02 pm

Not to start a whole “Which is the best barbecue in Atlanta” poll, but DBA Barbecue in Virginia Highland beats those other dumps hands down. Period.

nina

February 3rd, 2010
6:17 pm

i love them both, but I wish they had the BBQ salad at Community- feels somewhat healthy!!!!!
hear that Jim and Dave!!!!

Steven A.

February 3rd, 2010
6:25 pm

Gufman: Fox Bros. uses hickory. A parked right in front of their woodpile when I ate there last Thursday.

I have not had the chance to try Community Q yet, but I’m certainly a fan of Fox Bros. Their wings are smoky and awesome and their sides are the best of any bbq place I’ve ever eaten (and I’ve eaten at a lot of ‘em, including Sam & Dave’s). Lately I’ve been getting a combo plate with pulled pork and chopped brisket, since I’m not a big rib fan, but my parents swear by their (special only) short ribs and just about cut somebody last trip when the last plate sold out right as we were seated.

They also make REAL banana pudding (i.e., a true custard, versus JELL-O), probably the best I’ve had. The chocolate pecan pie is pretty damn good too.

Looking forward to trying Community Q to compare.

Cardog10

February 3rd, 2010
6:40 pm

Community Q hands down

Anonymouse

February 3rd, 2010
6:49 pm

I have been eating at Fox Brothers for a few years now, and can’t help but say that each have their own good aspects. Fox Brothers is the more traditional preparation of BBQ, including their ability to keep the same relative range of flavor in each dish (I’ve had beans at Community Q that have been spicy, and absolutely mild two separate times). Community Q does have more moist ribs, but Fox Brothers has a better dry rub variation. Community Q also does have other great sides (although maybe not the HEALTHIEST for you…) Hands down though, Fox Brothers makes REAL banana pudding. Having made it myself quite a few times, I know what the real stuff should taste like, and Community Q just doesn’t cut it. My vote though would have to be Fox Brothers (you have to admit, the Tominator is a bit of a deal-breaker).

Michael

February 3rd, 2010
7:09 pm

I’ve never tried Fox Bros. But I live only a mile from Q and think it’s a great addition to the area. My only problem with it so far is that the food frequently isn’t hot enough. And now that I know the calorie count I’m going to steer clear of the mac ‘n’ cheese.

Thom

February 3rd, 2010
7:27 pm

Neither are as good as Daddy D’s.

Poke Chop

February 3rd, 2010
7:36 pm

Where do they raise pork “locally” around here? Buckhead?

Chuck

February 3rd, 2010
7:42 pm

I’ve been frequenting Community Q for the last month or so… their pulled pork is the best I’ve had around here. Period. Juicy and tender, with plenty o’ bark. And I asked about what wood they smoked with and they said hickory. I’ve enjoyed Fox Bros. any number of times, but always felt like things were just a little overcooked… or sat too long. The fried pickles are always good though.

And unlike Daddy D’z, I can get what I want at either FB or Community… every time I go to Daddy D’z, he’s out of whatever it was I wanted. Too bad.

ATL Chef

February 3rd, 2010
8:35 pm

Community Q is the best. Fox Bros. not even second…….Plus the brothers are Jerks.

Liz

February 3rd, 2010
8:54 pm

Fox bros all the way. Their bbq is yummy and moist, great sauce, bbq beans are delicious, their service is on point.

Gufman

February 3rd, 2010
9:12 pm

I’m curious about the local farm supplied pig that you say Q serves.
Wouldn’t that make a BBQ sandwich incredibly expensive.
The market for Berkshire @ Inland is around $5.00 a lb for shoulder, while Hormel pig from Sysco runs .89+ cents a lb.
I’d like to find that local source for my restaurant.

Smokey

February 3rd, 2010
11:50 pm

This is about the time someone usually chimes in and says they make better ribs in their backyard…

Well, I DO! Honest!

altmod

February 4th, 2010
8:37 am

Lovin’ the Community Q. Fox Bros is good too. Love how Community BBQ attempts to use organic and local meats (raised in GA), when available. The meat so tender and flavorful. The service is great. The mac and cheese rocks. There is definitely room for both BBQ joints!

Reds

February 4th, 2010
9:07 am

Truthfully, there isn’t much BBQ I don’t like…. As long as the bark doesn’t feel like bark in your mouth (super super charred), but has a great flavor, and there is a nice smoke ring, odds are I’ll like it. And if i don’t, there is always sauce to drown it in. :) I’ve not been to either of these places though, and would put them on the list. Curious though… I live WAAAAAY OTP…. has anyone been to Bub-B-Q? Went this past weekend and it was pretty good. The beef brisket was probably the best I’ve ever tasted…. but it was mostly because of the sauce.

Larry M

February 4th, 2010
9:34 am

I haven’t been to Community Q yet, but plan to try it.

However, I have never understood the popularity of Fox Bros. I think most people who really like it actually enjoy going there for the atmosphere (bar-like) and it definitely seems like a place to be “seen” by the young and hip set right now. And hey, I love a good bar – but if I’m going to a BBQ joint, I want good ‘cue and Fox Bros. simply does not cut it. The ribs are dry and the sides are consistently mediocre. All you folks going to BBQ joints for chicken and salads… THAT AIN’T BBQ! If it’s not pork, it isn’t BBQ. If you want brisket, go to Texas.

Ever since Dusty’s closed, the east side/Decatur area has been sorely lacking in good BBQ. I will try Community, but just based on the reviews I have seen, my expectations are not high. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to having to drive to Chamblee (Pig’n'Chik or Old Brick Pit) for good pulled pork or Fat Matt’s if I want ribs.

atl_VOL

February 4th, 2010
9:38 am

Both Fox Bros and Community Q use Southern Pride smokers, which are gas fired, but have a wood box to add the flavor of whatever wood one chooses. Fox Bros uses hickory wood, and I would bet Community Q does as well.

Dave Roberts, the owner of Community Q, was a regular at Fox Bros BBQ until he opened Community Q, so Dave obviously liked Fox Bros BBQ and had nothing but great things to say about Fox Bros when I talked with him. Ask him if you dont believe me. Dave is a very nice, approachable guy.

I think John Kessler should stop writing reviews of bbq restaurants. BBQ is not meant to be judged on it’s “cleanliness”!

East Lake Ira

February 4th, 2010
9:46 am

Community Q wins in a porkslide.

The wife and I tried Fox several times over – I lust for pig sometimes and she indulges me – and we had to stop. Too much BBQ sauce on everythiny, the service was horrible, too much of a hipster quotient and too many preening “I need to be seen” customers… We haven’t been back and we won’t in the future.

Thank goodness Community Q arrived. Awesome pulled pork, nice ribs, great sides, wonderful atmosphere, and finally a good vinegar based sauce. Desserts are getting better which means I’m getting some pig this weekend!!

atl_VOL

February 4th, 2010
9:50 am

East Lake Ira:

I gotta call BS on your post. You claim that you dont like Fox Bros because “Too much BBQ sauce on everythiny”, however, Fox Bros does not put any sauce on any of their meats. Have you even been to Fox bros, or do you have some hidden agenda?

East Lake Ira

February 4th, 2010
9:56 am

atl_VOL

I call BS on you – no agenda here.

We got baked beans that reeked of BBQ sauce and tasted like it as well.

Our ribs were covered in BBQ sauce.

Perhaps it was becuase we went when they first opened? Don’t know, don’t care, won’t be back.

atl_VOL

February 4th, 2010
10:02 am

“Our ribs were covered in BBQ sauce.”

Fox Bros has never served ribs with sauce on them. East Lake Ira seems to have a problem with honesty.

jim

February 4th, 2010
10:05 am

Beef short ribs at Fox Bros keep me coming back. Thurs lunch and Sat.

John Kessler

February 4th, 2010
10:05 am

atl_VOL: There is some barbecue where the flavor of woodsmoke rings through cleanly in the meat, and some where the flavor is muddied by resin and burnt grease. It’s a valid point. Oh, and go Dawgs.

JK

February 4th, 2010
10:31 am

Anyone with a brain and wet wood can make decent pulled pork, the fat content in a shoulder or butt are so high drying out is not much of a factor. Brisket is a true measure of a pit man, after whole hog of course. Fox’s Brisket is as close to perfect as I have found. They also do more with their specials than any other Q place in town. We drive from Dunwoody every few weeks to Fox’s, I cannot wait for the new locale to open.

atl_VOL

February 4th, 2010
10:45 am

John Kessler:

I am sure that your knowledge of fois gras and pate fars exceeds mine, but you really should take a bbq judging class so that you can discuss bbq in a semi-intelligent manner. Check out http://www.jacksoldsouth.com for a good class to take.

atl_VOL

February 4th, 2010
10:45 am

Da’Rick Rogers!

petitecocotte

February 4th, 2010
11:16 am

Community Que has the most delicious, moist and tender brisket…it definitely puts Fox Brothers brisket to shame.

Intowner

February 4th, 2010
12:45 pm

Community Q for me – the only thing I don’t like are their baked beans (too salty). I agree that Fox Brothers is inconsistent – I have had it taste very good and so dry and very wood like that I had to throw it away.

I do agree with the other poster – BBQ1 is still the best in Atlanta.

Drew

February 4th, 2010
5:00 pm

Sometimes I believe the best BBQ is the plate sitting in front of me, so I’m not going to take sides in this. Both places are good – excellent, even – and I’m happy they’re here.

As for Community’s pulled pork, not many folks do it as well as they do. There’s an awful lot of dried-out pork out there. And Fat Matt’s ribs are tasty, but that’s mostly sauce you’re tasting. BBQ1 is great too, but I live in Decatur and I’m not driving out to Roswell every time I want some ribs.

Grammar Queen

February 4th, 2010
5:34 pm

Mike

February 5th, 2010
9:31 am

Tried Q the other night, wasn’t impressed at all. I’ll take Fox or just about any other place in Atlanta over this joint. I’m a fan of ribs, and yeah, while the Q’s ribs were meaty, they had no taste! Also, the greens were marginal. And on top of that, the stew had ground beef in it. No one, but no one, who takes BBQ seriously makes Brunswick Stew with Ground Beef. I also found the Q over-priced.

john

February 5th, 2010
9:52 am

BBQ is a subjective thing. Everyone has opinions. For me, love Fox Bros. Also expect to like Community when I try it. Earlier post seemed to prefer Dusty’s; this is where personal preference comes in. Dusty’s would chop up the meat until it resembled Alpo, just like Harolds, yet people prefer that? I realize that is heresy in this town, but I still don’t get it. Give me Fox Bros, Rolling Bones, etc. every time, where there’s big hunks of meat that are tender and chewy and taste so good. I’ve never seen inconsistency at Fox, but that’s personal. I order slabs of ribs for family and every time they have been heaven.

MimiRenee

February 5th, 2010
11:10 am

Comparing Community Q to Fox Bros is like asking if you prefer The Beatles or The Rolling Stones: both are awesome for different reasons, but they are not the same thing so a comparison is moot.

I live right around the corner from Fox Bros, so geographic convenience wins points and I’m certain to run into 5-10 people I know, as many others have pointed out. The wings and fried pickles are my jam, but it’s namely the atmosphere that keeps me coming back. It’s no different than going to Estoria or The Local, except less smokey air and more smokey food.

I make a special trip to Decatur specifically for Community Q’s food a couple of times a month. The pulled pork and EVERY SINGLE side item are so stupidly delicious. I’m trying desperately to ignore the heavenly mac-n-cheese’s calorie count, but why in the world are we counting calories while eating Southern comfort food? We should know better. I grew up in the Carolinas, so the Q’s vinegar based sauce makes my soul smile. And in response to whomever was suggesting TVs there, PLEASE GOD NO! The whole point in the setup of that place is to support “community.” The last thing I want while I’m enjoying dinner with my family is to compete with an obnoxious television. Order your meal carry-out and go ignore your family at home instead. BBQ joint ≠ sports bar.

In conclusion, I like Fox Bros because of their food and atmosphere and I like Community Q because of their food and atmosphere. Different food, different vibe – both good.

[But the Q is a little more Stones-ish to me and I've got Sweet Virginia on repeat. Looks like I'm making a trip to Decatur today.]

John Kessler

February 5th, 2010
11:58 am

Mimi — Love it! I was actually thinking of using a different music analogy. To me Fox Bros. is Led Zeppelin, and Community Q is Dylan.

clifton

February 6th, 2010
8:52 pm

Community is near my home, so I was eager to try it. Disappointing. Pulled pork looked sliced
and had almost no flavor. No smoke flavor at all. Quite “wet.” No even adding NC style sauce perked it up. I ordered the plate and left more than half of it.

Chip Shoulder

February 8th, 2010
9:02 am

Carried home 3 lbs. of Fox. Bros. pulled yesterday at 4:00 for the game. Community has really good pulled pork, but I don’t see how pulled pork could get better than what I took home yesterday. Deeply smoky, lots of bark with some a bit of fat clinging to it, moist without being wet from steam: flawless. I think Fox Bros. has been consistently operating at a very high level for last 18 months. That said, I don’t order their stunt food (Lopez, Tomminator, etc.); I go for the meat, the collards, and the slaw. I’m glad Community is so close, and I expect these two places will push each other to maintain their standards.

Now if Fox Bros. or Community would just do Riverview Farms whole hogs as an occasional special, so we could get parts of the pig other than the shoulder, I’d die a happy man.

Jane Garvey

February 8th, 2010
2:24 pm

Both are stellar additions to the ‘cue community around here. But Fox also must be praised for its extraordinary smoked chicken. And you can get good beer and decent, ‘cue-sensitive wine there (although I would happily make some additional/other suggestions). Plus as far as I know it’s the ONLY spot in town that offers the rarely seen white barbecue sauce, designed to go with the chicken, but smashing on everything else. And where have you seen fried mac ‘n’ cheese before? Good fried pickles there, too. Plus, if okra’s out of season, as it is now, there’s no fried okra to be had because it’s not poured out of a frozen food bag. Great colllards, too, and the chili is a virtual rock star. All that said, I have a lotta use for Community–great mac ‘n’[ cheese, for sure.

TJ

February 17th, 2010
1:40 pm

Fox Bros wins for me. Great customer service, the brothers come out and greet us almost every time we are there. Plus I love the sides, wings, and brisket. My hubby goes here almost weekly for lunch.

Just tried Community Q yesterday and the food was decent but seemed expensive and small portions. For a $25 lunch I wanted to be full when I left. I ordered a sandwich (which is served a la carte) and added a side of mac and cheese (calorie count be damned!). I wouldve preferred to pay a $1 more and have one side included. Hubby ordered a combo meat platter and his meat portion was the same exact size as my sandwich. How disappointing.

Plus the owner walked right by us several times, greeting other patrons and helping people with trays and never spoke to us. I was getting some racial vibes in there which I never get at Fox, maybe thats what I appreciate most about Fox. The “come as you are, everyone is welcome vibe.” I will be back to Fox very soon.

Sorry Community, you just lost two potentially very supportive patrons.