Friday, June 19, 2009

This blog could use a woman's here it is! Willamson Brothers BBQ

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce a special guest reviewer: My friend Laura has graciously taken on the task of reviewing one of the Atlanta area's favorite BBQ places:Williamson Brothers BBQ in Canton, Ga. Without further ado...Miss Laura, Guest BBQ Expert:

The parking lot was pretty packed at about 8 PM, which I guess is a good sign for a Monday night. The decor was all drab & brown, but I guess that's fitting for a BBQ joint. I felt out of my element a little, but I suppose I would be hard pressed to find a pink, frilly BBQ joint...LOL.

It looked like a hunting lodge to me with various animal heads mounted on the wall, but we were in the sticks, aka Canton, so it fits with the locals. No matter. I was there for the BBQ. At least it wasn't a Jim n' Nicks fake atmosphere. We were seated in a little nook of the restaurant, so I couldn't see much else. I did take this photo from our booth, because I was feeling a little homesick.

I also would like to note that they also had leather "privacy" curtains hanging up, which we found to be amusing.

Anyway, to the food.

We started off with Brunswick stew.

It was decent. I probably wouldn't want to try it again, simply because it had a bit of a sweet taste to it, and I really don't like sweet Brunswick stew. I was sad quite honestly. And for $3.49 each serving. Plus, I didn't even feel compelled to finish it. The texture and heartiness of it was fine, it was the sweetness factor that ruined it for me. Perhaps it would work for someone else that prefers it that way. I did dip my fries in it, and it was a much yummier alternative to ketchup, so I will give it that. I will say that it was the kind of Brunswick stew without lima beans, and that was a good thing as far as I am concerned.

I wanted to try lots of different things, so I opted for the BBQ platter, which had 2 nice sized ribs, a giant chicken breast (I specified that I wanted white meat, otherwise they may have brought dark), a pile of pulled pork (they asked if I wanted pulled, sliced, or chopped) and chopped beef. The platter also came with 2 sides and a slice of garlic toast. I got mac & cheese and steak fries. I think that is was like $14-15 for the platter, which is a lot for a meal in my opinion, but we were splurging.

I thought it was funny that the entire platter was nothing but lots of saucy meat, and one lone pickle...but I am easily amused. It was a ton of food! I personally barely made a dent in it since we had the stew and it had 2 sides. I could easily make 3 meals out of what I got. Maybe a guy with a heartier appetite could make 2 meals out of it.

The BBQ sauce itself tasted good to me. Not too sweet, not too spicy. Just pleasant. No other choices you had to like it. The meat had it on it, plus there was a bottle at each table in case you wanted more. I ate one rib, and it was pretty good. I am by no means a pork expert, but I liked it if that means anything. It wasn't too small or dry. They had a roll of papertowels at each table, and I had to make use of it after eating a rib. Not a biggie. I prefer messy over dry if given the choice.

The chicken was honestly probably the most boring thing, but because it was such a fat portion of it was a little bland and a little dry when you got beyond the BBQ sauce layer. I can't remember if they had the option on the menu, but I think a shredded chicken with sauce version would be much yummier. That way it would be nice and juicy like the pulled pork and the beef. The pulled pork and the beef were my favorites. All around juicy and flavorful.

The steak fries were good. No surprises. Just your average steak fries. Like I said before, dipping then in the Brunswick stew was yummy. The mac & cheese was kind of rubbery and bland. I would pass on them the next go round. I did sample Alex's sides, and his were both yummy. Mashed potatoes & cole slaw. The cole slaw was excellent. It was finely chopped & very juicy the way I like it. I don't like it when the cabbage is shredded in strips...I mean, I'll eat it, but the more finely chopped way with lots of juice was awesome. The potatoes were scrummy with a hint of garlic salt and just a bit of the potato skins mashed in.

Alex got a slab of BBQ ribs.

I think it was $18-19 for the slab, plus the 2 sides and slice of toast. Again, we were splurging. With the tip we spent $52.00 for the two of us to have our platters, plus each a Brunswick stew and a sweet tea. He was only able to eat half, and he has a pretty hearty rib appetite.

While the stew was disappointing, I think the place deserves a B. I don't think I'll be rushing back, but I would go back...this time I know what to get and what to avoid.
There you have it folks! I'd like to personally thank Laura for her review. A review of Williamson Bros. almost killed this blog a while back!