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Burnt Fork BBQ opens in Decatur

Credit: Burnt Fork BBQ

Credit: Burnt Fork BBQ

Josh Kramer, with the help of his wife Kara Ferris and father John Kramer, opened Burnt Fork BBQ in Decatur this past weekend in the space formally occupied by Jin Jin. The restaurant opened with a limited menu, but Kramer hopes to unveil the complete menu on Monday, Feb. 7th.

Though Burnt Fork BBQ serves many of the traditional southern barbecue staples like pulled pork sandwiches, beef brisket, and Brunswick stew, Kramer also takes a more international approach to his ‘cue. Diners can expect menu items like Korean barbecue, Cuban sandwiches, Vietnamese lamb or Peking duck tacos, and barbacoa. And though they are not featured on the limited menu currently, Kramer told me that he will also offer a BBQ potsticker, filled with pulled pork and Napa cabbage seasoned with sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.

Kramer prides himself on making everything from scratch, including his barbecue sauces. Burnt Fork currently offers a vinegar-based Carolina sauce, a sweet Memphis sauce, and a smoky Kansas City sauce. They also make all of their breads in-house and cure all of their own meats, down to the ham hocks used in their collard greens. Like many proprietors these days, Kramer has a strong focus on sustainability and sourcing locally whenever possible, using locally-raised pork from Moonshine Meats in Athens, Ga., and utilizing compostable packaging.

Burnt Fork BBQ also aims to be one of the few vegan and vegetarian friendly barbecue options in town, as Kramer’s wife is vegan and he is no stranger the inconveniences that can pose as a customer. Many of their menu items can have the traditional proteins substituted for marinated tofu, including the aforementioned pot stickers with a Korean tofu option.

And for those die-hard barbecue nerds out there – like myself – Kramer smokes his meats on a Fast Eddy’s 100% wood burning pellet smoker by Cookshack, unlike many of the shops in town that are so fond of the gas or electric Southern Pride smokers. Kramer says that this is because it has less of a tendency to suck moisture from the air inside the smoker, yielding juicer meat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays. 614 Church Street, Decatur. 404-373-7155, www.burntforkbbq.com, $-$$

- By Jon Watson, Food & More blog

- Jon Watson writes about Popular Eats for the AJC Dining Team. He also publishes his own blog, Live To Feast

18 comments Add your comment

kelly

February 2nd, 2011
2:09 pm

This is the second review I have seen for this place. It’s a shame their website isn’t up for more information.

chopshop

February 2nd, 2011
2:24 pm

the reason many restaurants use southern prides is due to the volume they have to cook! why not go true offset wood smoker if he is such a diehard and not use pellets! what are we hamsters!!!

Crabdaddy

February 2nd, 2011
2:40 pm

With you Chopshop..Get a Lange if you want real hardwood smoke flavor.
I’m also curious about BBQ joints that claim local sourcing for Pig..I know the market price for Smithfield. Is locally farmed around the same price point?

ATLien

February 2nd, 2011
2:48 pm

1/2 mile from my house! Can’t wait for the full menu to hit.
And, tofu BBQ just seems…weird. I think the same thing about the tofu burrito Hector Santiago offers at El Burro Pollo.
Mmmmolars….mmmmmmeat

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Jon Watson

February 2nd, 2011
4:01 pm

@Kelly – Just to be clear, this isn’t a review. I have not personally been to Burnt Fork yet, though I have spoken with Josh on the phone. I will review them in the future, but I like to give any new restaurant some time to get their legs under them before rendering judgement.

@Chopshop – I totally get the motivations for using the Southern Prides, and I’m actually not one of their detractors. Most of my favorite BBQ joints in town use them, but I know that some folks turn their noses up at them. Personally, as long as the smoke flavor is good and the meat is juicy, I don’t care if they smoked them in an oil drum.

LocalBeefFarmer

February 2nd, 2011
4:23 pm

Great! A BBQ place that claims to buy locally grown pork. If Moonshine Meats can’t even stick to the claims and protocols they make for Farm Burger, I can only imagine where this pork actually comes from. You’ve been eating grain fed culled cows and research cattle slaughtered at Auburn University and supplied to Farm Burger by Gum Creek “Farms” to keep up with their demand all along…amazing what making a buck will make some do, isn’t it?

Transplanted foodie

February 2nd, 2011
4:27 pm

Interesting claims about Farm Burger, LBF. Can you provide your evidence to support this?

PTC DAWG

February 2nd, 2011
4:46 pm

Harold’s BBQ was closed on Monday….is it closed for good, or just a fluke?

LocalBeefFarmer

February 2nd, 2011
5:44 pm

TF, do you mean by evidence receipts from the Carrollton Livestock Sale Barn? There IS some source verified beef being served at FB, but not all of it, perhaps not even a majority of it. It’s sad. Especially when there are farmers who actually raise tremendously good grassfed beef locally who follow the rules and don’t make concessions about their production practices in order to make more money than they are. FB started with good intentions about their beef suppliers. But decided to deal with the devil and turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the reality of the situation. That’s all I will comment on this. But if you’re willing to follow the production chain from farm to restaurant, try. You can’t because they don’t really know the source of the cattled harvested for FB burgers.

Fisherman

February 3rd, 2011
9:05 am

Is there any BBQ joint in Atlanta that still smokes its meat over real wood. Most of what is being sold around this city is a fraud. You can make the same stufff they sell in a crock pot. You would do a great service to run a list of places that made the real stuff, and even have a 5 Daimond List for places that smoke over an open pit.

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BuHi

February 4th, 2011
3:15 pm

I drove past Burnt Fork a few weeks ago and look forward to trying it (I’ll trying anything with BBQ in the name…).

But don’t get too hung up on their cookers – smoke and heat source are two separate issues in BBQ. My grandfather’s joint was open pit (Fisherman, they’re illegal here unless grandfathered in) and temp control was a nightmare. My stick-burner at home requires me to babysit it for the duration of a smoke (it’s not a Lang or anything else expensive), and most of that work is to control the heat. My gas smoker maintains consistent heat and my only concern is maintaining the material for smoke (wood chips). The result is I can turn out a more consistent (and consistently better) product and I get to occasionally sit down and enjoy a beer.

My bigger concern is the apparent breadth of menu – I’d rather see a BBQ joint focus (especially at the beginning) rather that trying to please everyone. Vegan – please…

Regardless, still looking forward to trying and best of luck to them.

Jason Mann, Moonshine Meats/Farm Burger

February 4th, 2011
3:50 pm

As the owner of both Moonshine Meats and Farm Burger, I would like to make clear to the readers of Food and More the accurate facts regarding Farm Burger’s and Moonshine’s sourcing practices. During our first 6 months while Moonshine Meats was developing its cooperative and beef supply, Farm Burger did purchase product outside of the Moonshine farming family. We sourced from a number of Georgia’s most trusted and reputable suppliers, including Riverview Farms, White Oak Pastures, and Gum Creek Farms, all separate business entities from Moonshine. Gum Creek Farms is a trusted brand for sustainable meat in the metro area and supplies numerous high-end restaurants and markets. Their clients include other responsibly minded businesses such as Flip Burger, Muss and Turners, Woodfire Grill and many more. Further, as of December 1, 2010 Farm Burger’s beef comes entirely from Moonshine’s farms, all of which are local pasture-based operations adhering to a strict set of production protocols. We have never deterred from our grass-fed promise. The pork we supply for Burnt Fork adheres to the same high standards and is entirely pasture-raised on our local farms. We are farmers, first and foremost.
So, I personally invite you, LocalBeefFarmer, and any other readers, to email or meet with me directly to learn more about our operations and ethics. I invite you to visit our farms and our processor to vet our practices. We are entirely transparent and accessible, and would welcome your questions. Please email me at info@moonhsinemeats.com. Jason Mann

sansho1

February 4th, 2011
8:35 pm

Good work, Jason.

LocalBeefFarmer

February 4th, 2011
10:42 pm

From FarmBurger’s Website: “…Our cows are raised on the sweet grasses of the southeast, and never fed antibiotics, hormones, or grain. Our menu is seasonal and sourced from local farms…”

When you purchase cattle from the Carrollton Livestock Sale Barn, it’s like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get. This includes how many antibiotics or hormones have been administered, how many calves they’ve birthed, or how many owners they’ve had during the animals’ lifetime.

This would go against your business philosophy, no? Oughta rename it LivestockAuctionBarnBurger. Too bad there’s not a CarFax for cattle. CowFax…hmmmm…there’s an idea.

Omnivore Family

February 5th, 2011
6:28 pm

I for one am very appreciative of Burnt Fork BBQ’s varied menu. I do not eat red meat, but my husband and children do, so having something GOOD to eat when we go out for BBQ is a treat. I went for lunch this past Wednesday and had the Korean BBQ tofu taco, kale, and sweet potato chips. An entirely vegan and delicious meal! We look forward to frequenting this place, especially since is just around the corner.

rod

February 7th, 2011
7:53 pm

I will give it a try but Viet food and vegan? Its a damn bbq joint for God’s sake. And I am getting tired of all this farm to table crap in advertising. Most of the time it is a statement warning you that the bill is going to be double. It’s a wonder all of us 40-60 year old folks made it before all of this.
A Korean BBQ tofu taco, PPPPPLLLLEEEEEASAAAAAASSSSSSEEEEEEE