Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Maddy's Ribs and Blues Joint (8/10) - 1479 Scott Blvd., Decatur, GA 30030

**Word out of Atlanta is that Maddy's recently closed its doors. That makes me a bit sad.**

Kansas City - Gates and Arthur Bryants.
Memphis - Charles Vergo's Rendezvous
Texas - Kreuz and Black's in Lockhart, Salt Lick in Austin, and Coopers in Llano.
Carolina - Lexington #1.

Independent of whether its universally regarded as the best, each region boasts a restaurant or two that is nationally -- and potentially internationally --- famous for barbecue.  Each of those restaurant draws tourists, businessmen, and barbecue fanatics who willingly reschedule plans to ensure they make the necessary arrangements to frequent each landmark.  

Well it's no secret that Atlanta, or rather Georgia, lacks a big-league player in the barbecue business.  Although there are a few regionally recognized barbecue restaurants (i.e., Harold's and Fatt Matts Rib Shack) in the city, neither are attractions that top a tourist's to-do list. It's my goal to search out the best restaurant in the city in search of a hidden gem.  Maddy's is a lesser known 'Rib and Blues Joint' whose reputation is starting a stir in the Atlanta (Dekalb) community.  I call up Timmy and we head out for Thursday night ribs.

The restaurant has a decent size crowd -- despite the parking lot looking complete desolate in the above picture -- who seem to be enjoying the seemingly all-white band's rendition of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff".  Timmy and I peruse the menu and settle on their specialty, a slab of ribs, + pitcher of Magic Hat (first time for Timmy) + half a chicken + Brunswick stew.  Although I had heard that the ribs were large enough to resemble something most likely devoured in prehistoric times, we were ambitious and over-ordered.  Watching one of the cooks separate ribs with a cleaver only whetted my appetite further.

The Brunswick stew had a fairly good consistency but lacked the kick I had been spoiled by at Harold's Barbecue.  Then the plate of hickory smoked ribs appeared.  At first glance, the sheer thickness to them escaped me.  Further investigation uncovered a second buried line-up of ribs.  And these weren't the typical sized baby backs one gets at a typical barbecue restaurant, they were the thickest ribs I've ever seen.  The sauce that accompanied the meat was thick and spicy, and the meat, while not easily falling off the bone, was very moist and tender.  The sauce on our half chicken was the same that was on the ribs, and the flavors couldn't have matched worse.  To make matters worse, the breast meat was very dry, a rare attribute for a slow cooked bird.  Maddy's does ribs well, and I suggest sticking with the ribs no matter how intimidating they are.

I would recommend Maddy's to anyone looking for ribs in the local area.  They're not perfected like the ones at The Joint or BBQ Shop in Memphis, but they're unique and meaty with a great subtle kick of spice.  I took them down a point for the chicken, but the rest of the meal was great.

Maddy's on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Maddy's was long ago, one of the original Old Hickory House Q joints. "OHH" was as close to a BBQ dynasty, as metro Atlanta ever had. I don't know exactly how many there were, but I would guess maybe ten. Two still remain; Northlake and Dunwoody. Still good BBQ, and some great homemade sides.

    Maybe a tad more than a decade ago, it was "Rockin' Rob's" BBQ. To me, some of the best food Atlanta ever saw. Excellent meats! The Brunswick stew was as good, if not BETTER than Harold's---that says TONS! The sides were amazing! Fresh cream corn, tangy greens, broccoli and squash cassaroles. All superb! And who could forget the longneck PBR's!

    Why didn't Rob's last? I was told a dispute between the partners. What a shame! It was some of the best country cookin' I ever had in Dixie.



Ratings and Reviews

In order to provide a consistent grading standard across each restaurant/region, I order a barbecue pork sandwich (and other meats/sides if a restaurant/region specializes in another specialty). In addition to comparing the quality of food, I will also take into consideration other intangibles (ambiance, atmosphere, service, authenticity, etc.) in my ratings as I deem appropriate.

Basically, a 10/10 represents an incredible meal, while a 6/10 score indicates a decent dining experience but a substantial number of dishes fell short of great. Lower scores indicate unpleasant experiences which I would most likely not even recommend to my worst enemy (Jonas Singer).

I reserve the right to continuously edit/update previous posts and to change rating scores as I see fit.