Thursday, August 30, 2012

Moe's Barbecue, 14th St. and State St, Atlanta

I walked into Moe's (not to be confused with the burrito joint) in a good mood, mostly because I was on vacation and had remembered that I had been wanting to try this place out for a while, being that it was two doors down from where I once lived. You would've thought I would have something against the place, being that it inhabits the space of the former Kool Korners Grocery ( once home to the best Cuban sandwich in Atlanta), but I realize time moves on, as does progress. While it does have a bit of the "Boutique Barbecue" feel to the place, a lot of the details served to dispel that feeling, from (poorly) painted images of musicians on the wall that had to have been homemade, to a well picked playlist on the overhead speakers. Several other "imported rustic" pieces were well placed. I was pleasantly surprised to see the old Kool Korners sign hanging up inside. A nice touch for an old timer like me.
Trepidation set in, however, when I saw that the Brunswick stew was not a main menu item, but rather a special of the day. Forging ahead, I ordered the stew, my standard pork sandwich and some potato salad. The price for the plate (including a Coke) was reasonable, considering the amount of food ordered: Just shy of $10, not including tip. I sat down and awaited my order. It came pretty quickly, and I was amused to find the sandwich both smaller than normal for such establishments and wrapped in checkerboad paper. I'm a sucker for checkerboard. I was glad the sandwich was small, because I think a lot of places make the sandwich too large, making it literally a handful to hold, sometimes two handfuls. I believe you should be able to hold a barbecue sandwich with one hand and not have it fall apart on you. Moe's pork sandwich passes this test. And it tasted pretty good too, a lot closer to (my idea of) "authentic" than I've tasted in most big city BBQ joints.
The stew, on the other hand, failed at just about any criteria you could think of. It was a small portion. It was full of beans. The chunks of meat in it were way too big, especially considering the small container the stew was served in. And lastly, it just wasn't that good. Another case of someone mistaking "stew" for "soup". No wonder it isn't always on the menu.

So in review:
Sandwich: A

Stew: D

Decor: B-

Overall experience: B-

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ballistic on BBQ

I have to admit I was already pissed when I walked into Pig-N-Chick BBQ on Briarcliff tonight. I had just came from a nearby shooting range (Quickshot, on Zonolite rd.) where my rifle had promptly jammed after 6 shots, ending up with me breaking a brand new $25 magazine I had just bought. Add the $16 dollar hourly fee I had to pay for all of 5 minutes of shooting I got to do, and you can see the mood I was in. But I was looking for comfort food and was hoping Pig-N-Chick (P-N-C from here on out) could deliver. No such luck.

Problem number 1: Pig-N-Chick is located in the old Dusty's BBQ building. I have fond memories of Dusty's and was a little sad to see they were gone. I had hoped P-N-C was carrying on the tradition. Nope. Which leads us to...

Problem number 2: The sandwich. I had hoped for the nice chopped sandwich Dusty used to serve. What I got was the same ole' gigantic pulled pork sandwich that every other new BBQ upstart sells. Huge chunks of pork on thick loaf bread. How did these things get to be so popular? I never once had one like this growing up. To me it's just pure laziness. Instead of taking the time to chop (or at least continue pulling) the meat, modern BBQ places just give you huge chunks of pig meat in a large portion, evidently hoping that quantity will overpower quality. And you're not fooling me by using the Texas (un)toast either. You're shooting for faux-BBQ cred, aren't you? You think that bread will make you legit? Well get this: BBQ is blue collar food, and when blue collar folks go to a restaurant and pay for food, they want it fancier than what they make at home. That means buns! You think I came all the way across town to eat a sandwich on loaf bread? (this falls in the same category as those Mason jars Po-Folks used to serve drinks in. Don't even get me started on those) Taste-wise the sandwich was about the same as the ones all the other restaurants serve. in other words, not distinctive. See, I was paying attention to more than just the superficial aspects of the food.

Problem number 3: The stew. Brunswick stew makes or breaks a BBQ joint in my opinion, and P-N-C's is one of the worst I've had, mostly because it wasn't stew, it was soup! This is mission 1 for making a stew: having it end up a stew, with texture, for Pete's sake. Otherwise it's just vegetable soup. FAIL!

Problem number 4: P-N-C, you charge me $1.40 for a Coke, give it to me in a CAN and then you ask me if I want a cup of ice with it? Are you F&*king kidding me? The whole meal was $8.50, which might have been okay if it was worth a flip.

What a night.

(Normally I'd put the BBQ place's address here, but I don't want you to go here, so never mind)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Time for a change

Since this blog has started, several of the establishments have closed. Probably for good reason as we noted in the reviews. We will start a new way a rating the joints we visit. Either by a grading scale from 1-10, A-F, or some sort of audio/video clip. Stay tuned and eat more bbq.