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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

Checking in with Kevin Gillespie, post “Top Chef”

kevin1

Kevin Gillespie, shown in the kitchen of his Atlanta home, plans to open a barbecue restaurant by the end of the year.

Bravo’s “Top Chef” saved Kevin Gillespie from financial ruin. Business had been so slow at Woodfire Grill that there were nights last year when just a couple of diners – and sometimes none at all – came in.

“I can’t tell you what it feels like to work all day tweaking and getting things ready to share with people and then have no one show up,” he said. Trying out for the show was a last ditch effort to save the restaurant he’d bought with two partners.

“We’re sitting there, literally, praying that Bravo would call,” he said. “We kept borrowing money, scraping by. We wouldn’t have lasted six more months.”

The day Bravo announced he’d be featured, reservations suddenly surged, and the crush hasn’t let up. Not a single diner has canceled – even when icy weather made the roads a mess recently – and Valentine’s was hopping. (A quick check on OpenTable.com found the next 8 p.m. table isn’t available until March 4.) He probably could squeeze in a few more bodies but caps reservations at 200 daily, choosing quality over quantity.

“Everyone who has come in that restaurant, I feel like he’s had a positive experience,” Gillespie said. “I feel like we’re making better food at the restaurant now. I want to do it with heart and soul.”

Buzz checked in with Gillespie, a finalist voted “fan favorite” on the popular culinary reality show, in the kitchen of his home Monday afternoon. He demonstrated the preparation of a recipe called “one dish hog dinner,” made with cabbage, potatoes and fatback.

“It reminds me of being a kid,” said Gillespie, who grew up in Henry County where his family still lives (all on the same street) and took most of his meals at his grandmother’s table. “My Granny and my family are from the mountains. They are extremely frugal. This is something they would make when there wasn’t much meat available.”

Mmm. Pork drippings

Mmm. Pork drippings

Now that his “Top Chef” run has ended he’s enjoyed getting back into the groove at the restaurant – and has plans to open another one. Details are still coming together, so he couldn’t reveal some of the specifics, but it’ll be a barbecue restaurant that he and his partners will operate while maintaining Woodfire.

“I’ve been very vocal about my thoughts on barbecue,” said Gillespie, whose love of pork was evident throughout his Bravo stint. “We’re going to build ourselves a barbecue restaurant. It’s something I think is missing in this city.”

He’s also working on a book, and says that while he’s sort of sad that it took national television exposure to make his restaurant a local success, he’s grateful for the opportunities newfound fame has brought. (He’s also gotten used to people taking his picture while he cooks their dinners, so snap away.)

“There are plenty of people who are just there to see the famous chef,” he said. “But those people are coming back.”

While he grew up watching cooking shows instead of cartoons, he doesn’t have much to say about current culinary television, by the way. He doesn’t own a TV.

Gillespie loves his Vitaprep blender but he dislikes any cutting gadget that's not a knife. "I don't like things that take away the tactile experience of cooking."

Gillespie loves his Vita Prep blender but he dislikes any cutting gadget that's not a knife. "I don't like things that take away the tactile experience of cooking."

It’s been a tough time for restaurants everywhere, so we asked Gillespie, a big fan of Linton Hopkins’ Restaurant Eugene, his thoughts for the future of dining.

“I’ve been hoping to say goodbye to fusion for the last decade,” he said, discussing trends he thinks will (or should) fade. “I’m really over tapas. I’m critical of all the molecular gastronomy.”

For now he wants to continue honing his craft and becoming a better chef, businessman and writer.

“I hope I don’t become jaded by the celebrity,” he said. “I don’t want to sound like I’m quoting from ‘Star Wars,’ but I want to use it for the greater good. I’m a person driven by my convictions more than anything else.”

- Jennifer Brett, jbrett@ajc.com

110 comments Add your comment

tritanic

February 15th, 2010
7:10 pm

Something not mentioned here is the excellent service being provided by Wood fire Grille. The food is fantastic, but the service is truly a step above the competition. Great job Kevin!

Kenny

February 15th, 2010
7:16 pm

I like his Fresh Air Bar-B-Que shirt. Best BBQ anywhere and it’s in Jackson, Georgia.

cfarris

February 15th, 2010
7:23 pm

Kevin, I can’t wait to try the new BBQ place, other than pig n chik, I can’t find a decent place in this town. It’s all about the pork, everywhere else tries hide it with bad sauce.

Scott Eady

February 15th, 2010
7:39 pm

cfarris – check out Fox Brothers. Best BBQ in Atlanta

Mel

February 15th, 2010
7:40 pm

Can’t. Friggin’. Wait!

Love Woodfire

February 15th, 2010
7:50 pm

Love the restaurant but don’t believe it about no one cancelling. We called on Friday night during the snowstorm and had our pick of times. Still, there were lots of folks there, and the food and service were amazing.

Sensei John Kreese

February 15th, 2010
8:00 pm

I really enjoyed Kevin on this season’s Top Chef. My wife and I plan on going to Woodfire for our anniversary. I can tell by his shirt that the man knows his stuff when it comes to food. For BBQ, Fresh Air bests them ALL!

count_schemula

February 15th, 2010
8:00 pm

Please, do it low country Carolina vinegar based style. This is TRULY something missing in this town.

Varsity Chili Dogg

February 15th, 2010
8:17 pm

I second count_schemula! Carolina style. More specifically: Eastern Carolina style. Slaw goes on the pulled pork sandwich!

Either way, I look forward to whatever Kevin does next.

Katherine

February 15th, 2010
8:19 pm

I agree about the service! We went to Woodfire a few Fridays ago (after making reservations in early December!) and the service and food were both great! We will be back.

Sugarfoot

February 15th, 2010
8:23 pm

Please, no, not another BBQ place!

LUKE

February 15th, 2010
8:31 pm

WHERE IS THE WOOD FIRE GRILLE LOCATED ????

Smee

February 15th, 2010
8:31 pm

I don’t know where you live Sugarfoot, but I think for a Southern town, Atlanta doesn’t have enough BBQ places…at least not in the northern suburbs where I live. And please, don’t tell me Shane’s is a good BBQ restaurant.

LizDawg

February 15th, 2010
8:38 pm

Woodfire Grill is off Cheshire Bridge, we ate there a few weeks ago, great food & good times!

BBQ Lover

February 15th, 2010
8:42 pm

Cafarris – you need to try BBQ1 on Lower Roswell Rd or Fox Bros, all about the pork at the former & accompanied by a great sauce & sides.

Dustin

February 15th, 2010
8:50 pm

I can’t wait until I visit family again in Atlanta so I can visit Woodfire. I enjoyed watching Kevin on Top Chief and I am sure the food and atmosphere is terrific. I can’t wait!!!

debdoes

February 15th, 2010
8:59 pm

Woodfire is on Cheshire Bridge Rd and yes….we need a great BBQ restaurant!

Scott Eady

February 15th, 2010
9:17 pm

I know this is my second time to post but FOX BROTHERS on DEKALB AVE.

Wil@PPG Delta

February 15th, 2010
9:18 pm

I wish him luck and cant wait to try him. In the meantime check out Fox Brothers in little Five.

A Fan

February 15th, 2010
9:19 pm

Fatt Matt’s @ 1811 Piedmont Ave is the absolute best barbeque (next to my dad’s of course). If you haven’t tried them, please do. Can’t wait to try Kevin’s. Whether it’ll beat Fatt Matt’s is to be decided. But either way, I have a feeling it’ll be good. Great job Kev! Good luck!!

Bo Odom

February 15th, 2010
9:47 pm

Fox Brothers is DA BOMB! Short Rib special on Saturdays looks like a dinosaur bone. Dank Brews and Widespread Panic gear rocks

Bob in SF

February 15th, 2010
9:48 pm

Fresh Air is awesome and has been for over 30 years!

Shirley

February 15th, 2010
9:57 pm

I grew up in a town in Virginia where the BBQ was excellant. I move to Ga. expecting the best and there is no comparasion to what I am use to. In Fayetteville there is a BBQ rest that has been been there for more than 40years. They cook the meat and pour the BBQ sauce on top. It is disgusting and the north of Atl was mentioned for the new rest. Please locate it in the so. part of town. Henry Co. please….Can’t wait !!!!

CJ

February 15th, 2010
10:09 pm

My advice is that he not rest on his laurels. I ate at Woodfire Grill during the media hype period and had a really fatty pork chop. I threw half of it away. I expected better than that.

Katielenn

February 15th, 2010
10:19 pm

I see that the chef also worships at the House of Fresh Air…..best ribs I have ever had….

LPC

February 15th, 2010
10:28 pm

Just ate the chef tasting on Sat for a birthday celebration. The pork belly in collards was amazing.
The best meal I’ve ever had… and yes the service was beyond good.

cb

February 15th, 2010
10:41 pm

That Fresh Air Bar-B-Que shirt he’s got on there is an awesome place as well!

Chuck Uga

February 15th, 2010
11:00 pm

PLEASE open a restaurant in Norcross. There is NO GOOD BARBEQUE NEAR NORCROSS. Anyone who says JR’s or Dreamland is going to get smacked in the mouth. Yes, those are barbeque restaurants, but that is NOT good barbeque. Not even close.

jen

February 15th, 2010
11:26 pm

Enjoyed Valentine’s Day at Woodfire. Would definitely go to a BarBQ place this guy opened. I am so glad he doesn’t mind pics taken while he cooks, ’cause I did and felt bad. He looked kind of snowed under. I wished I’d gotton my pic with him before things seem to go pear shaped at the hot plate/line. My “Taste” was served out of order but the food was all good. Maureen, my server was great. I would definitely go back but it’ll have to be awhile bc of the wait. Thanks to my hubby for making the reservations for VDay a while back!

Mark

February 15th, 2010
11:39 pm

Chuck Uga:
Norcross, right. That’s where a (now) famous chef should open his joint. In Norcross. I’m laughing at you, not with you.

cfarris

February 16th, 2010
12:52 am

Haven’t tried BBq1, I have been to fox brothers and after all the build up for some reason I was disappointed. I think it was because the pulled pork I was served was a little dry. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t Pig N Chik quality. I probably just caught them on a bad day. Trust me, I have smoked enough meat in my life to know it doesn’t take much to mess up BBQ. What I love about PNC is that they just grab on hunk off the shoulder, put it in the box, and you take it home and it pulls perfectly. I agree with all you folks wanting NC style bbq, although I love Memphis style, NC style will always be my favorite

Robert

February 16th, 2010
1:18 am

Jot em Down BBQ in Athens is the best. Holcombs in Greensboro is good. Old Clinton in Macon and Grey is excellent.

Shanes is trash.

DamnDawg

February 16th, 2010
5:13 am

Larry

February 16th, 2010
5:29 am

Cover your arms, Kevin! This makes you look dumb, insecure, and completely ruined my appetite and desire to try your restaurants.

Editor

February 16th, 2010
7:33 am

Can we say “EDITOR?”

Seriously, this is for a “real” paper and the AJC can’t even get an editor to fix this writing?

1) “something I think is missing in his city.” – “his” should be this
2) “He’s also working on book” – how about “a book”
3) “culinary television, by the way.” – “by the way” is to awkward

Up your standards AJC.

Rod

February 16th, 2010
7:34 am

There are LOTS of good bar-b-que places around Atlanta. I guess Kevin feels he’s better than all of them, so he insults them by denying their existence.

They’ve been at this ALOT longer than you have Kevin. GROW UP.

Editor?

February 16th, 2010
7:41 am

“is to awkward” should be “is too awkward”.
:-)

Glenn

February 16th, 2010
8:08 am

I used to live in Macon . Not a big fan of the Fresh Air BBQ down there though I had friends whototally loved it . I love BBQ & my personal favorite is BBQ1 . I actually just bought a Weber Smokey Mountain cooker . I look forward to making barbeque a personal hobby .

bob

February 16th, 2010
8:17 am

Fat Matt’s is around the corner from Woodfire and is a shack and not a restaurant. Lots of good shacks around, no BBQ restaurants. Wyatts on Memorial at Manayard Terrace, Daddy D’s at Hill St., Matty’s on Scott Blvd are all nice. I personally like the stew at Sprayberry’s in Newnan. It is hard to beat Zebs in Royston (home of Ty Cobb). With a name like Woodfire, BBQ seems natural.

Barb Beekew

February 16th, 2010
9:08 am

agree with most, there are plenty of (good) BBQ joints in Atlanta. in fact, I think mr. G needs to maybe accept that BBQ resturant is an oxymoron. BBQ is for all day backyard gatherings, blues blowouts and the like. I wish him well, but if his place has anything beyond butcher paper for the “tablecloth” it will be short lived.

John

February 16th, 2010
9:21 am

Nothing stands up to BBQ1 in marietta. Especially their Brisket. The newly split off David Poe’s isn’t as good, nor is Community Q that’s the other David from BBQ1. Sam Huff’s BBQ1 is the best of the 3 and the best brisket you’ll have in Atlanta – and better than a lot of places from Texas. Pulled pork isn’t bad there either!

TheManMike

February 16th, 2010
9:32 am

Larry at 5:29am = Idiot

His ink isn’t going to melt off his skin into your plate, dude.

dgardner-conyers

February 16th, 2010
9:47 am

Yes. I, too, love North Carolina BBQ. While stationed on the east coast of NC in the military, I was introduced to their viniger-based bbq sauce and, initially, thought, yech! It wasn’t long before I waz lovin’ it. Having moved back to the Atlanta area, I miss Smithfield’s Chicken and Barbaque (http://scnbnc.com/). My favorite item on the menu was Combo White (Chicken and BBQ) plus half pint baked beans. Dee-lish! I prefer the viniger-based sauce over tomato-based sauce, now. Wish I had the money to start up a franchise in this area. Atlantans and surroundin’ folks would like it too. I’m sure of it.

Chuck

February 16th, 2010
9:55 am

KC Pit BBQ in Sandy Springs is a barbecue ‘restaurant’… maitre d’ seating, waitrons in ties, white tablecloths, full bar, all the bells and whistles. Good food, but I’ve never been so uncomfortable eating BBQ. If that’s Kevin’s big plan, no thanks.

smokewagon

February 16th, 2010
9:55 am

If his barbecue is anything like that garbage they serve at Fresh Air (on his shirt) I will decline to dine there.

MrHughes

February 16th, 2010
9:56 am

I second on Daddy D’s And Wyatts. Personally, I don’t think that Atlanta needs a bbq restaurant as Bbq and restaurants don’t go together. A four star bbq restaurant sounds downright silly as the overhead doesn’t need to be that high. That’s the beauty of Wyatt’s. It’s a shack, but the food is excellent and economical. That’s on par with paying $30 for a cheeseburger. I like Fox Bros, their sauces, and innovation, but don’t think of them on par with the Shacks.

Lastly, Fat Matt’s is trash. I place them in the same box as Shane’s, Sonny’s, Smokey Bones, and other chains. Their ribs are fatty. There are no real shacks on Piedmont Rd. That place is like the Applebee’s of bbq joints with its shack on one of Atlanta’s most exclusive roads and contrived ambience. And, I like Applebee’s for what it is, but lets be real about what good bbq is about. The same goes for Pig ‘N Chick. Real bbq isn’t in a strip mall either. I can’t believe no one mentioned Swallow at the Hollow, Dean’s, or the twist on bbq offered up by Rolling Bones.

smokewagon

February 16th, 2010
10:00 am

Mr. Hughes- I was just at Dean’s the other day and the stew is still the best. Cue wasn’t bad either.

bigdaddy

February 16th, 2010
10:03 am

A big fan of Bravo’s Top Chef and Kev…but found the food at ENO..another top chef’s restaurant (Eli) to be better.

big papi

February 16th, 2010
10:14 am

Does any one remember Down East BBQ on So Cobb Dr near Windy Hill? It wasn’t in business long but that was a good representation of eastern NC bbq.

David

February 16th, 2010
10:25 am

My wife and I went to Woodfire Grill last Saturday after booking the reservation back in December. The service was incredible from the moment we hit the door. Kyle was our waiter and was superb at introducing the options for diners. The pork loin was excellent but was surpassed by the brussel sprouts and root veggies on the side. The celery soup was very tasty. It was a great dining experience that demonstrated a careful chef’s preparation and imprint on the entire staff. I am a huge Q fan and look forward to seeing what Kevin can produce. Certainly, the love for pork is there.

E Rudy

February 16th, 2010
10:28 am

BBQ1 in East Cobb is fantastic. Best brisket around!

top chef fanatic

February 16th, 2010
10:41 am

great job kevin im glad to hear that the show really turned things around for you, Im a huge fan and i still havent made it to the restraunt yet, but i will be going there eventually and im really excited to see you open a barbeque restraunt as well, And look foward to that as well ….are we going to have boquose d”or quality there as well?

spanter

February 16th, 2010
10:50 am

Scott’s Walk-up Bar-B-Q up in Cartersville is mighty good. Pulled pork, great ribs, smoked chicken and brisket on Fridays. If you are in the area it is worth stopping by. It is the best BBQ around including Atlanta.

Another Nutter

February 16th, 2010
11:04 am

If you’re thinking about branching out, we could use a good BBQ place in Washington, DC (you’d be a great fit on Barracks Row). Glad to hear you’re over tapas too! You were a total class act on Top Chef, btw.

Rudy York

February 16th, 2010
11:16 am

A second vote for Scott’s Walk Up in Cartersville. The only true BBQ in town, as far as I’m concerned.

Dink

February 16th, 2010
11:27 am

BBQ1 in East Cobb… Oh my!!! How tasty the brisket and Mac-N-Cheese are… The BEST and I have tried most…

Bulldawg

February 16th, 2010
11:47 am

Yes, try BBQ1 in East Cobb off Lower Roswell Rd.

It is my understanding the hogs are fed only apples and pears the last month. You can eat the meat without sauce it is so wonderful.

Kristen Hoffman

February 16th, 2010
11:55 am

My sister was visiting from DC with her boyfriend and was so excited about eating at Kevin’s restaurant, as both she and her fiance LOVED him on Top Chef. At the time of their trip, the final winner had not been decided and my fiance and I had never even heard of Woodfire Grill. Now, i’m basically his marketing rep because our meal was probably the BEST meal i’ve ever experienced. And my sister and I have vowed to make dinner at Woodfire our tradition each time she returns to Atlanta. Im in the hospitality industry and have had five star dining experiences in numerous top restaurants and countries and none compared to our experience at Woodfire. You truly are a TOP CHEF, Kevin. The sturgeon was AMAZING and your deconstructed nicoise salad amuse bouche was FABULOUS! Best of luck with the new restaurant and we will definitely visit soon!

cfarris

February 16th, 2010
12:19 pm

Hughes, BBQ is about the meat, not where it is located.

Chuck

February 16th, 2010
12:59 pm

Why do I feel BBQ1 is spamming this thread? Hmmm…

Monika

February 16th, 2010
12:59 pm

Ate at Fresh Air BBQ in Athens, was not impressed whatsoever…you want good BBQ, come up to Syracuse NY and eat at the Dinosaur bbq
dinosaurbarbque.com

Liz

February 16th, 2010
1:17 pm

Monika, did you really just suggest that we should leave the SOUTH, an area of the country known for good bbq (along with certain areas of the mid-west and Texas, of course), and come try some joint in New York??? Really?? I’m not familiar with Fresh Air BBQ, but I can guarantee you that there are a dozen places in 5 square miles of any Southern city that are better than the best bbq offered in any locale north of the Mason-Dixon.

dawgphish

February 16th, 2010
1:19 pm

i’m sorry monika but when i think of bbq i don’t think of new york. congrats Kevin for a job well done. i hope everything works out for ya

Duluth, GA

February 16th, 2010
1:21 pm

If you want great BBQ, try KC Pitt in Sandy Springs off of Roswell Road and Abernathy. That is the best BBQ in Atlanta.

Monika

February 16th, 2010
1:22 pm

Liz, you are so wrong…lived in Georgia for 4 years and believe me we tried alot of BBQ while down there and not one of them even came close to Dino

dawgphish

February 16th, 2010
1:28 pm

monika you must think bbq down here is like shanes rib shack. you obviously have not tried sam and daves, harolds, or fox bros. but then again most people from up north think bbqing is cooking hot dogs

Monika

February 16th, 2010
1:32 pm

Shanes is horrible..tried those places you are referring to…ok, not great

Monika

February 16th, 2010
1:33 pm

Besides, we also consider Hamburgers as bbqing too….ha! At least we know how to deal with a little snow

dawgphish

February 16th, 2010
1:38 pm

“At least we know how to deal with a little snow”
its funny you say that cause majority of people in atlanta today are from new york, chicago, philly and boston. if you don’t believe me try attending any ball game in atlanta

Mike

February 16th, 2010
1:43 pm

To dgardner-conyers:

I agree that Smithfield’s in Eastern NC is pretty good, but I pray that you had some real (read: non-corporate chain) BBQ @ anyone of the amazing places in Eastern NC. Based on your white meat combo let me personally recommend Holt Lake just south of Smithfield, NC on 301. I went to school nearby and tried to eat there at least twice a month. My wife and I have attempted to go back a few times since we graduated, but they close early on Sundays and are closed on Mondays and we always seem to be driving through or visiting at those times. There is also another excellent BBQ restaurant @ the VA/NC border in Welden, NC, Ralph’s, which has a BBQ lunch buffet for $6.95. We stopped by there on the way home from visiting family up in Virginia and I grabbed a quart of stew and a quart of cue which we are now rationing out since we cannot find any Eastern style NC BBQ here in Atlanta.

Monika

February 16th, 2010
1:58 pm

dawgphish-that makes it even sadder…
BTW- I loved Kevin on TC..disappointed that he didn’t win

dawgphish

February 16th, 2010
2:07 pm

i hear ya monika, no hard feelings. but for me when someone rips georgia bbq its like someone kicking my dog in the ribcage.

Like2Hike

February 16th, 2010
2:08 pm

OK, first of all “brisket” is not Bar-B-Que, the noun. Beef can be bar-b-qued, the verb, as can chicken, goat, lamb, or most any other meat. Fresh Air in Jackson is really pretty good vinegar based Bar-B-Que. The other outposts are not as good. Dean’s, south of Jonesboro, is the gold standard. No ribs, no baked beans, no turnip greens, no mac-n-cheese, no… just great pulled pork with average stew.

terri

February 16th, 2010
3:55 pm

My husband and I were one of those few diners that stuck by Woodfire during some s-l-o-w nights a year or so back, when Kevin took over with his partners. We loved Kevin’s cooking, appreciated what they were trying to do and how hard it had to be. We were thrilled when Kevin got on the show, and it was so validating to watch him kick ass! Only downfall to us for his well-earned success is that we can no longer pick up the phone on a Wednesday for weekend reservations! ;)

CL

February 16th, 2010
4:41 pm

the real answer is that, one mans BBQ is another man’s spam. Some do da butts better, some do babyback better, some do brisket better, some do the pulled pork better.

I like the sauce at Fat Matt’s. But Gates (KC) sauce is better.

PaulD

February 16th, 2010
5:01 pm

For a BBQ Restaurant try DBA BBQ behind the Post Office in VA HI. A real sit down restaurant that knows how to do BBQ – nothing white tablecloth or anything but a menu and waiters – and sometimes even good Blues….

~

February 16th, 2010
5:30 pm

I’ve said it before “biscuits and gravy SHALL rise again!”

Paddy

February 16th, 2010
5:58 pm

Larry….If tatoos on his arms is so disgusting; guess you never served in the military. What does tatoos have to do with a man being a great cook? Waiter, more tofu for my friend larry, here!

cfarris

February 16th, 2010
6:03 pm

My top five BBQ institutions- 1) Archibald’s Tuscaloosa, Al 2) Southland Sheffield, Al 3)Lexington BBQ Lexington, NC 4) Rendevouz Memphis 5) Interstate Bbq Memphis

Paddy

February 16th, 2010
6:05 pm

like2hike….wow, somebody that likes bar-b-que that corrects others grammar and usage. You must use only home delivery. You would never be welcome in a Bar-B-Que joint in the South.

chipdip

February 16th, 2010
7:21 pm

FAT MATTS RIB SHACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

luckydog

February 16th, 2010
7:40 pm

I do not eat at food service facilities where the chef/cooks/or servers are Tatooed. It is a sign of lack of personal hygiene. FACT!

MCook

February 16th, 2010
7:59 pm

luckydog…you are an IDIOT!!!! FACT!!!

MCook

February 16th, 2010
8:02 pm

I guess luckydogs face is gonna climb up everones azz to see if they have ink next time he eats out…MORON!!!

Oh Yeah from Kennesaw

February 16th, 2010
8:08 pm

Yeap…KC Pitt BBQ is the best. Seriously, I will not even attempt to try other’s bbq now. I tried many, and KC Pitt on Roswell Road is the best. Plus, their sides absolutely ROCK!!!

Chuck

February 16th, 2010
9:58 pm

Well, so long as this had devolved into another “the ONLY good BBQ is at…” thread, my favorite is still Community Q in Decatur… though the ribs at the Country Store out on Stephenson Rd. in Stone Mountain are awfully hard to beat… if you can find it.

Barbeque Lover

February 16th, 2010
10:38 pm

Fat Matt’s trash? That is so out of line and off base. Fatty ribs?? You do know you are eating a Pig, right? I enjoy them a great deal and have for years! Shane’s produces nicely for Fast Food ribs. Better than Sonny’s. I enjoy Sonny’s, I know what to expect. Just like when I’m at McDonalds. My first choice, no. It does have it’s place. Now run up to Clayton, GA on a Thurs – Sat and look to your right for the pig on the main road in and get there before 7pm or it’s all gone! The best Beef Ribs were at Christopher’s restaurant in North Buckhead years ago. Now the best around, try the Dillard House the night after they make Prime Rib, just north of Clayton.
Yes, Swallow at the Hollow. Check out the back roads on 29 to Cumming and you can find some places to try too. I prefer the Southern tomato based sauce. Vinegar doesn’t do it for me, but I like it. Mustard … only one I have liked is Crazy Jerry’s sauce. Real BBQ isn’t in a strip mall?? Real BBQ is where real people put some time, love and creativity in to providing a product you return for and makes them proud and happy to have you as a customer and most likely a friend. That’s REAL BBQ! May wa all be fortunate enough to find … Real BBQ.

Foggen

February 17th, 2010
10:12 am

Fat Matt’s produces some of the best ribs I’ve ever encountered. I just wish there was a South Carolina-style place in Atlanta.

Alvin

February 17th, 2010
11:45 am

Rolling Bones (Todd Richards) on Edgewood.

buckshotannie

February 17th, 2010
12:14 pm

I like Swallow in the Hollow in Roswell because I am not a sauce lover–I just like the smoked, roasted meat. I absolutely hate those thick sugary sauces. We go there because I don’t like sauce and my husband is from NC and loves the NC type vinegar based sauce, so we are both happy!

3rdDegreeBBQ

February 17th, 2010
12:29 pm

Fat Matts doesn’t smoke their ribs, they’re steamed until they’re grilled before service — definitely not your typical barbecue if you’d even call it barbecue at all. I’ve been travelling in search of the best barbecue (eaten at over 20 places across Atlanta as well as many others across the country) and think that Big Shanty Smokehouse in Woodstock definitely has the best authentic barbecue in the greater Atlanta area. Ive documented my travels at 3rddegreebbq.com

3rdDegreeBBQ

February 17th, 2010
12:31 pm

Big Shanty is in Kennesaw not Woodstock. I was confused with Beetles BBQ’s location.

KCB Judge

February 17th, 2010
12:45 pm

BBQ joints are like woman. To say this one woman is the best in the world is crazy, same with saying this one bbq restaurant is the best. Their are thousands of beautiful women, as their are thousands of great BBQ restaurants. As a Kansas City Barbeque judge, I would suggest you try as many as you can, and judge each on its own merit. Vinegar, Sweet, Dry rub, its all good.

My suggestion is that you order your meat dry with the sauce on the side. Any good chef should be proud to serve you their food to see if the meant can stand on its own. After you try the meat, then add the sauce if thats what you like.

For a local choice, try the beef ribs at the Texas Rib Ranch in Marietta off Hwy 5. Order the small plate, if will fill you up.

Happy Eating……………

melissa's mom

February 17th, 2010
1:08 pm

My husband makes the best BBQ ribs ever! He smears them with regular mustard, then uses a dry rub over that and slow cooks them on our Big Green Egg for at least 3 hours. I like KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce brushed on for the last 30 minutes. We would never wrap them in foil, since that would steam them and the meat would fall off the bone. I prefer to gnaw my off d:) Another helpful hint to fabulous ribs – there is a membrane on the concave side of the ribs that needs to be pulled off first. It all sounds kind of gross, but boy are they gooood!

I love Kevin, but why did you do that to your arms???

melissa's mom

February 17th, 2010
1:26 pm

Went to Matty’s on Scott Blvd. once and had the ribs. They need to change the name to Fatty’s. If you like ribs with lots of undercooked fat, you will love these! However, I’ll have to say the live music was great.

Red

February 17th, 2010
1:33 pm

Swallow in the Hollow in Roswell is the best in Metro. Can’t beat the ribs, go early on the weekends or be prepared to wait a spell…

Bill Bedingfield

February 17th, 2010
1:56 pm

How much did “Fresh Air” pay Kevin to wear that T-shirt? Great plug for some very good Q.

Berue

February 17th, 2010
2:19 pm

Even “Bad” BBQ is better than no BBQ. Lighten up all you elitist pigs! (pun intended) I’m sure Kevin’s BBQ will be very good to most who try it. He just needs to learn to be a little less opinionated about others’ BBQ. He’ll learn as he matures, like most of us. I grew up in NC, been in GA 25 yrs., traveled the country as well and believe me, it’s hard to find “BAD” BBQ.

QintheCity

February 17th, 2010
2:22 pm

Smokejack in Alpharetta is great, and they are opening a new one near my parents. Their second spot isn’t open, but looks cool. Kevin should check out whoever designed it. We need some great Q in the city, right by my house would work.

Rod

February 17th, 2010
2:54 pm

There are LOTS of good bar-b-que places around Atlanta. I guess Kevin feels he’s better than all of them, so he insults them by denying their existence.

They’ve been at this ALOT longer than you have Kevin. GROW UP.

Rod

February 17th, 2010
2:54 pm

Why is this blog thread screwed up? It only shows 10 comments at a time. All of the other blog threads show 100 comments without having to continually change pages.

This is a joke.

RibMan

February 17th, 2010
3:08 pm

Robinson’s Rib Shack on Hartwell Road in Atlanta, next to the Blue Flame Adult Entertainment Lounge. This is a small take out only rib shack. But I find myself coming back after following others suggestions of the best ribs in town only to be disappointed. Also its difficult for me to give any credit to these joints that steam, boil or bake their ribs. Smoked means smoked throughout the entire process. Good BBQ is hard to find in Metro Atlanta, but this little shack on Hartwell Road near Donald Hollowell Parkway is consistent. Note they are only open on Thurs, Fri and Sat.

Big Boy

February 17th, 2010
3:13 pm

I have had thre ribs from that shack next to the Blue Flame Lounge on Hartwell Rd and it was great. My wife loves it too, but she always accusses me of having been in the lounge. She always gets over it once that she has eaten a few bones. Good smoked BBQ. Another thing about this place is that the meat is good with our without the sauce.

Tried it all

February 17th, 2010
4:38 pm

Have you ever tried a place south of Atl. Headed to Montgomery and got off the interstate, drove a couple of miles but found Hawg Heaven in Hogansville. That is real smoked BBQ, didn’t need any sauce, just meat and sides. You could smell the smoke before you got there, that smells COUNTRY.

Jason Watson

February 17th, 2010
5:25 pm

Kevin’s comment in the article about there being no good BBQ in Atlanta is wrong (i.e., that a real BBQ restaurant is “missing in this city”). While this was certainly true a few years ago, it isn’t true now.

I’ve eaten at pretty much every top BBQ place in the country over the years and I’m a BBQer myself, so I’m a very tough critic. Even so, I’ve been very pleased with several meals at both Fox Bros and Community Q.

So while I appreciate Kevin’s desire to open a BBQ place, and I will certainly visit it when it opens, I really don’t think that slagging off every other place in town is justified.

3rdDegreeBBQ

February 17th, 2010
10:27 pm

As it might be resourceful to some of you heated in this ‘i know the best barbecue’ debate, I’ve built a map of all the best barbecue restaurants where I’m attempting to eat in the near future.
Green – I’ve been to. Blue – Excited to try.

http://www.communitywalk.com/3rddegreebbq

dont knock him yet

February 18th, 2010
9:44 am

I’d hold my criticism until I saw what he was up to…he didn’t say that there were no good BBQ places, he said he was creating a BBQ restaurant that he thinks Atlanta is missing. I can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve.

Jason Watson

February 18th, 2010
10:07 am

The quote is:

“I’ve been very vocal about my thoughts on barbecue,” said Gillespie, whose love of pork was evident throughout his Bravo stint. “We’re going to build ourselves a barbecue restaurant. It’s something I think is missing in this city.”

I read this as saying “there are no barbecue restaurants in Atlanta,” or, at the very least, there are no barbecue restaurants in Atlanta that are cooking barbecue properly. I disagree with both.

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