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-