Before we embark on our new format, I want to say a little bit about Sprayberry's Barbeque in Newnan, Ga, since we just went there last night and it's fresh on my mind.
Sprayberry's has been around since 1929 and is partly famous for being the favorite BBQ haunt of the late Lewis Grizzard, beloved southern author and columnist for the AJC. Country singer Alan Jackson supposedly waited tables here when he was young as well.
It all started on a whim, with me calling up Grant an hour or so before quitting time and proposing the adventure of driving down the back roads to Newnan for a quick dinner at Sprayberry's. Grant gives in very easily to the "call of the pig". I also called my friend and former bandmate Daniel to meet us there, as he lives in the area.
Turns out we were the only patrons there as we arrived at about 8:00, so we had the place to ourselves. Our waitress was very friendly and stayed so throughout the visit.
I ordered the "Lewis Grizzard Special" which was everything that I normally order (a pork sandwich and an order of brunswick stew) plus the addition of onion rings. No wonder dear old Lewis needed a new heart valve, if this was his usual order! Grant ordered two different kinds of meat, some stew, beans and Texas toast. Daniel had "the Aristocrat", which consisted of a pork sandwich, onion rings and fries.
I have to agree with a number of reviews I read online in saying that, unless you're a local, Sprayberry's is nothing to write home about. But then again, if you are a local, what are you writing home for anyway? I guess it's one of those things you have to grow up with, not unlike my family's obsession with the Varsity: I just don't get it.
My meal was, for the most part, average but was ruined by that most humble of ingredients: the pickle. Sprayberry's uses sweet pickles on the sandwich, which just made it all wrong to me. I'm definitely pro-pickle, but sweet pickles don't work for me on my BBQ sandwich. On the other hand, the stew was serviceable, maybe even above the average of what I've been getting lately.
So to wrap it up, I'll say Sprayberry's gets a C, maybe even a C+, but just barely. I would probably go there again and give them another chance. Even with a C, they are better than your average generic strip mall BBQ place.