I really love their rich pulled-duck sandwich with fig relish. Or try the succulent spiced and sliced brisket sandwich with smoked onions; a huge portion for only $8. This sandwich is as smoky, spicy and meaty as a ‘70s gay bar. Also, try smoked trout with corn relish, or salmon.
Rolling Bones Barbecue
Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
Fat Matt’s Rib Shack
Old Hickory House
The sides at Rolling Bones are marvelous, too. My favorites include Benton’s bacon potato salad, creamy and rich with smoky bacon; a sweet potato with maple butter; Brunswick stew and some porky mustard greens. Other very notable Atlanta places are DBA Barbecue in the Highlands and Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q in Candler Park.
Be a Pit Mistress and throw your own barbecue party. The ubiquitous Nathan’s grilled hot dogs and burgers are always good and you could jazz the burgers up with prepared ahead thick bacon, Tillamook cheddar cheese, guacamole or canned green chilies.
Get a cute straight guy to run the grill while you host, or better yet, a lesbian. Lesbians are the unsung heroes of the grill, like my friend Ellie.
My favorite barbecue food is smoky grilled portabello mushrooms. Under the cap, spoon scrape off the thin gills so they won’t burn. Brush ‘shrooms very liberally with olive oil, grill seasoning and Worcestershire and grill 3-4 minutes on each side. Top with melted herbed goat cheese (cheap at Trader Joe’s), grilled red peppers and onions, cilantro, garlic mayonnaise, arugula or avocado.
No yard or grill? No prob, invite your peeps over for some Fat Matt’s take out, and poof — it’s a summer party. For dessert, go crazy and drizzle Grand Marnier and/or chocolate syrup over buttery pound cake, whipped cream and grilled peaches.
Other Hotlanta faves
Pig-N-Chik (Roswell Road): For a perfect summer night go to a concert or picnic at Chastain Park, and stop by Pig-N-Chik beforehand for inexpensive tasty smoked meats and comforting Southern sides.
Roasters (Lenox Road): OK, I know this isn’t a barbecue joint and the main reason I put it here was because of the scene. They have moist rotisserie chicken with barbecue sauce, traditional veggies and those pillowy yeast rolls. Weeknights there are lots of cute masculine jocks post work-out, not eating chicken skin and acting butch.
Community Q (Clairmont Road in Decatur): First-rate barbecue staples like pork, juicy ribs and from-scratch sides. I go for the mac-and-cheese as I’m a mac-and-cheese love-ah.
‘Cue (Ga. Highway 9 in Milton): The best complex, layered barbecue I’ve ever tasted on smoky juicy brisket and gourmet mac-and-cheese. The must have is the banana pudding topped with flambéed bananas, toasted pecans, butter, brown sugar and Meyers dark rum — fierce.
Top photo: Photo via stock.xchn