Thursday, November 20, 2014
Walking into Sconyers Barbeque in Augusta was like traveling to an alternate reality, where everything is almost the same, yet just a touch...umm...off.
Walking up to the place, everything seemed normal. It's a nice large wooden structure just off 520. I reckon it was meant to echo a log cabin, just more immense. You walk over a nice pond to go inside, wherein things start to get weird. First off, all the female employees are dressed in what I would call "colonial wear": full skirts, corsets and bonnets. Peculiar. I'm not sure what they're going for with that. I've never once thought "I wish I had some barbeque from the 18th century". The male employees were all wearing overalls, which I assume was also restaurant policy, although I've been to a couple of barbeque places where it was just considered high fashion. Maybe if I ever come back, I'll wear my overalls and bus a few tables, just for fun.
Having a gander at the menu, I discovered they didn't serve chopped pork, but "chipped" pork. Ye olde waitress informed me it was the same as chopped. I also had to get her to explain what "hash" was. It appears they don't have proper brunswick stew here. Perhaps it was pronounced "devilish", given a scarlet letter B and rode out of towne on a rail. I don't know. What they do have is "hash", which is a kind of brunswick stew, just a more pious paste-like substance served over a bed of rice, a combination I've seen in the South exactly nowhere.
I found the pork sandwich relatively of this dimension, although the slightly off tradition continued with the pickles, which were the sweet, bread and butter kind. Land-a-Goshen, where am I? Who does that? Even the Coke I had was suspect, falling somewhere between "flat" and "diet".
Two other events solidified the peculiarity of the place: Whilst washing my hands in the restroom, a man came in evidently for no reason other than to count his substantial money roll. Also, upon leaving, a fellow with a couple extra chromosome no.21s enthusiastically bid me farewell. I'm probably going to hell for mentioning that last part, but it was a very Lynchian end to an overall strange dining experience.
Overall score: C
Appropriate soundtrack: "Strange Days" by the Doors, "Mama Told Me Not To Come" by Three Dog Night.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Do I like Old South Barbeque, located just East of the intersection of Windy Hill Rd and South Cobb Drive in Smyrna? Well, it depends...
It depends on whether I'm feeling social or not. On my latest visit (the first time I'd ever been there in the evening), I was called "sweetie" so many times, I started contemplating a visit to the dentist. Which is nothing compared to what happens when you go at lunch. There's a waitress there at lunch that insists on hugging every single patron that comes there. It's tad disconcerting the first time it happens, but you get used to it after a few visits. At least you better, 'cause it's gonna happen whether you want it to or not.
Well, is the food good? Umm...it depends. There's been times I've gone there and it's been very satisfying, but there's been an equal number of times when I've left there mildly disappointed. On average, I'd say the meat tends to be a bit too smoked/dry and the stew a bit too rich. This latest visit, I splurged for the BBQ plate, which was a mistake. For one thing, I suspect the meat was leftover from lunch, and for another, it was too expensive ($12.65 as of 7/2/14). I also had to get up and ask for crackers, after which the waitress apologized profusely, the "sweeties" increasing greatly. Your best bet, quality-wise, is to go at the peak lunch hours.
I honestly want to like the place. It's very blue collar (with a touch of military, being next door to Dobbins Air Force base), which I like, and I love that it's basically an old house converted into a BBQ place. That's one reason I keep going back and giving it another try. But I find it impossible to rate it above a solid C grade, no matter how many times I'm called "sweetie".
Atmosphere: B- with a 100% chance of lunchtime hugs