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?
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.