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

Atlanta magazine’s smokin’ hot barbecue issue


The July issue of Atlanta magazine is a don’t miss for fans of fine smoked swine. Dining editor Bill Addison spend two months scouring the metro area’s barbecue joints and turned in an exhaustive and fascinating report on both the revelations and disappointments he encountered on the trail. There’s also a beautifully written essay by my former AJC colleague Jim Auchmutey on Georgia’s protean barbecue identity, as well as a humorous list of tips from pitmaster Sam Huff from Sam’s BBQ1 in Marietta.

The magazine was mailed to subscribers yesterday, and it goes on the newsstand next week. There will also be an online version available for purchase for 99 cents from Zinio on June 28.

Here’s a quick Q&A with Addison as a preview:

Q: How many barbecue places did you hit over those two months?

A: 58.

Q: Good Lord. How much weight did you gain?

A: Eight pounds. But I’ve already lost 4 of them.

Q: What was your methodology?

A: I went at prime lunch or dinner hours, but gave every place just one shot.

Q: How did you hear about all these places?

A: I got so much help from Jim Auchmutey, who put together a huge master list of over 300 barbecue restaurants in the metro area. I also asked readers on my blog, Covered Dish, to recommend good places.  Scott Sapp, who has compiled an annual barbecue map of Georgia, recommended my number one choice.

Q: Which brings us to the 64,000-pig question: What was your #1?

A: The Hickory Pig in Gainesville.

Q: What made it stand out?

A: Owner Phil Beaubein gave me a sampler meat to taste when I came in . Everything I tried just seemed as good an iteration of that kind of barbecue as it could be. Both the chopped pork and beef brisket were moist. Even at the excellent barbecue places, one is usually off.

Q: What was the biggest disappointment?

A: Anderson’s Old Fashion Bar-B-Q. I had heard it was a piller of the community. But I went on Wednesday, and everything tasted as if it were left over from the weekend. It had one shot.

57 comments Add your comment


June 22nd, 2010
4:16 pm

One shot for a BBQ place is plenty. One should be able to produce slow and low foods consistently, and not be as inconsistent as say a seafood restaurant.

How did Fox Bros and Jim n Nicks fare?

Chris Eagle

June 22nd, 2010
4:18 pm

I’ve always wanted to try Anderson’s. Maybe they were having a bad day.


June 22nd, 2010
4:29 pm

Let’s start the debate:

BBQ1 is hand downs the best I’ve had in the metro area. I look forward to trying The Hickory Pig in Gainesville.

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June 22nd, 2010
5:22 pm

I dunno.. Community Q rocks my world. Though to be fair, I haven’t been to BBQ1 yet.

Chris Farris

June 22nd, 2010
5:32 pm

Best Pulled Pork- Pig N Chik, Fox Bros. Pulled Pork is dry……..


June 22nd, 2010
5:34 pm

I love Sams BBQ1!


June 22nd, 2010
5:39 pm

I’m down with Community Q too… though if I ever get up that way, BBQ1 is high on my list. I hope they got out to The Country Store out near Stone Mountain too. Yummmm.


June 22nd, 2010
5:43 pm

best BBQ in GA unfortunately isn’t in Atlanta yet – Mike & Eds has a couple of locations in Columbus/Phoenix City & Auburn (AL). their chopped pork is AWESOME but I recently had the ribs for 1st time which were good but not nearly as good as the chopped/sliced/chipped meat. also, if you’re a mustard sauce person (vs red, as I am) theirs is the best I’ve ever had! I always buy bottles to bring home when I visit my parents in Columbus!

Chris Farris

June 22nd, 2010
6:24 pm

Mike and Ed’s? Really? I went to U of Alabama and I like Mike and Ed’s, but it’s chopped pork with sauce mixed in. You can’t really appreciate the cooking of the pork, because it is masked with the sauce mixed in. They have great pork and M and E’s, but not the best in Ga.


June 22nd, 2010
6:34 pm

Nothing beats Holy Smokes Barbeque in Buford. Pulled pork is so tender and they serve up brisket on the weekends. Awesome!

Roscoe P. "John" Coltrane

June 22nd, 2010
7:16 pm

We enjoy Atlanta Magazine and we are really looking forward to this issued. I’m anxious to see how some these stack up. Thanks for the heads-up.

To weigh in on the best around Atlanta, and I know this will generate controversy – I’ve tried several and none have as good as Dave Poe’s BBQ (formerly Sam and Dave’s #2) in Marietta. I have not made it to Sam’s, but will definitely do so to further broaden my horizons.

Community Q is okay, but not nearly as good as Dave Poe’s. Fox Bros. has quite possibly the best brisket around, but the pork was disappointing. For atmosphere, old-school Atlanta style, you simply couldn’t beat Harold’s – and the food’s pretty darn good, too. Williamson Bros. in Marietta is also a good choice (best BBQ sauce), but I think their quality has suffered of late.

Most disappointing? Clearly Swallow in the Hollow in Roswell. We went on a Saturday, ordered a bunch of different stuff, and none of it was any good. I mean, NONE of it. Not even the sauce. Atmosphere may be great, but that won’t excuse a woefully subpar meal in my book.

Outside Atlanta, you simply must try Jomax BBQ in Metter just off I-16.

Now, I’m hungry…


June 22nd, 2010
7:20 pm

I’ve been going to the Hickory Pig for years. Glad to see Phil get some recognition. Must go on Friday or Saturday to get the full menu. The ribs are incredible. Ask Lil’bit for a child’s portion of nanner puddin, otherwise you’ll blow your diet. Yea! Phil!


June 22nd, 2010
7:26 pm

It’s pillar, not piller! That said, I’m excited to read about Bill Addison’s bbq adventures.

Scott Sapp

June 22nd, 2010
7:49 pm

The Hickory Pig BBQ is definitely a top 5 BBQ joint in the entire state, not just metro Atlanta. Call Phil and see, 770-503-5235.


June 22nd, 2010
8:19 pm

BBQ is the one thing you can’t take ANYONE’S word on. Every one likes it a little bit different. From sauce to texture everyone has a preference. I have had people who seemed like they had my taste buds in their mouth on any other food recommend BBQ to me that I found disgusting.

I’ll rag on anyone and their “taste” on just about any other kind of food, but not BBQ. I give others a free pass on that one.


June 22nd, 2010
11:47 pm

Steer clear of Dickey’s is all I have to offer. Poor excuse for southern BBQ.

pygmy pork lover

June 22nd, 2010
11:49 pm

Just recently went to Gainesville on bi annual business trip. The Hickory Pig is right at the intersection where we turn off Hwy 60. It’s a 57 mile trip one way, but worth it to get Phil’s great barbeque. Besides the food you never know what interesting characters will be there. We were fortunate enough to be there when the cymbal man came in, and even Patsey Cline made an appearance. But it is the excellence of all the menue items that has made this unassuming looking place an icon in the area.


June 23rd, 2010
12:42 am

Best brisket goes to Daddy D’z, no question.


June 23rd, 2010
5:01 am

Had some good pulled pork from Sandfly Barbeque in Savannah this weekend. Check it out when you are down that way.

Que Daddy

June 23rd, 2010
5:24 am

Ifin you don’t want to slap yo mama, don’t go to Fox Bros….just sayin.


June 23rd, 2010
7:49 am

Tomlin’s BBQ is the best ever. Sold out of cart at a farm stand in Rabun Gap, Georgia.

True Atlanta Native

June 23rd, 2010
7:54 am

Que Daddy – Fox Bros. must be doing something right…they are packed almost every day.


June 23rd, 2010
8:19 am

Where in Gainesville??


June 23rd, 2010
8:20 am


June 23rd, 2010
8:49 am

BBQ at Community was great, but I thought the sauce was lacking. Nothing was lacking in the mac n’ cheese, though.


June 23rd, 2010
10:05 am

Sconyers in Augusta – have to be sure they’re open – especially during the early part of the week. Usually Wed or Thurs – Sat or Sunday. Wonderful

careful diner

June 23rd, 2010
12:04 pm

I like Jim ‘N Nick’s.


June 23rd, 2010
12:28 pm

Dear Lord, please deliver me from another ‘This BBQ’ is better than ‘That BBQ’ blog. I swear I’ll repent and reform my ways…honestly I will!


June 23rd, 2010
1:50 pm

Cekker, I agree, every six months there is another take on this….give it a break people.


June 23rd, 2010
3:16 pm

Que in on Hwy 9 in Alpharetta is real good. The service and staff is great too. Its definitely worth a try if your in the area.

Food Fan

June 23rd, 2010
4:12 pm

Agree with the Pig N Chick pulled pork – best in the state.

Chris Farris

June 23rd, 2010
4:35 pm

I had the ribs at Old Brick Pit Bbq in Brookhaven, they were awesome. I like it when the meat isn’t falling off, but comes off easily when bitten. Try the ribs here, chicken looked good too, but stay away from the chopped pork. It is dry.


June 23rd, 2010
5:16 pm

A piller is what i sleep on at night. I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a pillar of the
BBQ community or any other.
I still love Fresh Air in Jackson GA.


June 23rd, 2010
5:36 pm

Has anyone eaten at Thompson Bros. in Smyrna. It’s on Cobb Pkwy near house of chan Tried it the first time the other day and it was very good. Loved their sweet hot bbq sauce, it was some of the best I’ve had.

Scott Sapp

June 23rd, 2010
8:30 pm

I too love Sam’s bbq, excellent in every respect, and by dar the very best mac n cheese i have ever tasted. Great pork, outstanding brisket Sam has fo sho got it going on, and I cannot wait to visit again.


June 23rd, 2010
8:43 pm

36 comments in and no Yankees writing odes to Fat Matt’s. Whew.

Need to get to Gainesville to try out Hickory Pig, I guess.


June 23rd, 2010
9:02 pm

In reference to Ted’s comment–I am a true blue state yankee from Chicago traveling to the ATL frequently for work. When I behave, we get to order in Low Country and eat it in the office. I LOVE IT. I may not know much–but I do know the good que. I am fascitnated by this thread, and look forward to the local input on what is good!!!!

Bo Bean Fan

June 23rd, 2010
9:05 pm

I grew up eating at the Hickory Pig…by far the best in the State…congrats Phil on the well deserved recognition…try the stew, rib and chopped BBQ….ask where the outside dining is and if you can make your own change….also a big fan of Georgia Southern Eagles…way to go Phil

Chip Shoulder

June 24th, 2010
8:07 am

uh, hey True Atlanta Native @7:54 a.m. 6/23 – Que Daddy was in fact saying Fox Bros. are doing something right.

Fox Bros. gets my vote. lb. pulled to go.

bubba bean

June 24th, 2010
11:31 am

I have taken several texans to Fox Bros and they think the brisket there is better than 95% of the places in Texas. The smoked turkey at Fox is also terrific, and worth considering for the holidays. plus the appetizers are killers…. I have had killer pulled pork at Pig N Chix, but not always, somewhat lacks consistency…. the Beef Ribs at One Star Ranch are like a scene from the Flintstones, incredibly good but something you can only handle once a year unless you have someone roto-rooter your arteries


June 24th, 2010
1:54 pm

Alan, yes Thompson Bros is always good. It gets overlooked.

Just give me a G&T

June 24th, 2010
2:08 pm

Dave Poe’s just missed the top 5, according to the article. It’s good stuff.

Swallow at the Hollow was #3, but it’s #1 in my book. I love it. I’m no expert on BBQ, so there certainly may be some that is better elsewhere, but I know what I like, and I like SATH.


June 24th, 2010
3:25 pm

Tyler Pyke must be on vacation.

Scott Sapp

June 24th, 2010
7:50 pm

Dave Poe has the best, hands down, best mac n cheese I’ve ever tasted. He offers excellent pulled pork, brisket and chicken too. Ecellent, top notch bobbycue, not to be under rated, ever. Thanks Dave!

Hickory Pig Kid

June 24th, 2010
8:04 pm

Hey! head to Gainesville to try the BEST bbq in The south! i grew up eating it too! its amazing! with amazing funny people that could just make your day, and also the best food! we bring home stew by the gallons! So head on down to Gaines”vegas”! :)

Tyler Pike

June 25th, 2010
2:41 pm

The Hickory Pig in Gainesville??? You might as well get the #2 at Arby’s or go out with Lindsay Lohan. Clearly this guy’s never wrapped his lips around Daddy’s ‘que before.


June 27th, 2010
9:26 pm

Blind Pig BBQ in Jackson is the best! They got top 5 in this edition of the magazine!! WAYYY better than Fresh Air here in town..

East Lake Ira

June 28th, 2010
8:29 am

anyone tried DBA in the Highlands?


June 29th, 2010
12:37 am

When is someone going to start a thread on best Brunswick stew? Old McDonald’s out in the sticks near Lake Lanier Islands, off Friendship Road, is what I consider the best. I take some home whenever I’m nearby. Only small complaint I have is the yellow corn. I would like to try it with Silver Queen. Just the right heat, and just enough meat, with no potatoes, lima beans, or any of those regular stew veggies to confuse those who don’t know any better. Better than Harold’s IMO.

BBQ is OK but not in the same league as Sam’s and the two Dave’s.