*** (4/9/10) After devouring Fox Bros highly acclaimed short beef rib, I felt David Robert's recently opened Community Q deserved both a revisit and a chance to demonstrate his short beef rib product. Community Q has made some minor improvements since January: a wooden fence separates its 'pseudo-front patio' from the parking lot while its official signage now proudly hangs on the front facade.
Community Q smokes its ribs for 14+ hours in its pair of Southern Pride smokers fueled with hickory wood. Like Fox Bros, the rib had a nice crust but the one attribute that really pushed it over the cliff was how sweet the pieces of fat tasted in the meat. As an aside -- I love the flavor of fat in meat. If I order a ribeye in a public setting, I'll sneak bites of the marbleized pure fat from the cut when I'm fairly confident that no one will see. The rib had a great flavor and I quickly made my way through the entire blade. Much to the chagrin of The Food Abides' pride in his tongue for barbecue, Community Q's rib was superior to Fox Bros'.***
(1/20/10) A former co-owner of Sam & Dave's in Roswell, GA, David Roberts parted ways with Sam Huff leaving Sam to operate Sam's BBQ1 while David turned is attention to another barbecue venture in the Atlanta community. Community Q is his newest creation and the restaurant has definitely generated some serious online buzz. I corralled a small gathering so we could gauge the quality of the food for ourselves. To my delight, I was excited to learn that I'd be dining with one of the locally 'in'famous Woodward students who was expelled from The Academy in 8th grade for dropping LSD on the Washington DC school trip.
-- Please note that Community Q is lacking a lit sign above the restaurant, and each party in our group consequently drove right past the restaurant on its first attempt --
It was only 7:30pm when we arrived, but the restaurant had already completely sold out of both beef and pork ribs and only had a few smoked chickens left. Since we had four people in our group, we decided to strategically order so we could have a wide variety of smoked meats to sample across the table. It was decided that we'd make the most of this trip (sans ribs) with an order of a smoked half chicken, a few orders of brisket, a pork sandwich, and a few sides: mac & cheese, potato salad, rub coated french fries, and Brunswick stew. Community Q was reasonably priced, and I was definitely pleased to see that all prices on the menu were inclusive of tax.
We took a seat at the table, and I sampled the two sauces provided in the clear and yellow bottles. The clear bottle housed a sweeter Kansas City-based sauce and the yellow bottle approximated a strong vinegar-based Southern style sauce. I was more excited about the Kansas City style and thought it would more appropriately complement my meal. I first sampled the beef brisket without the sauce, and the bark had a great smoky sweet flavor. As I dug deeper into the meat and brought full slices to my mouth, I was less impressed and wished that the smoke had better penetrated the brisket. The meat pulled apart extremely easily, a consequence that typically results from being cooked too long. It was extremely moist, but the taste better resembled a cut of meat that was instead steamed than being meticulously smoked. While the chicken was cooked extremely well, I couldn't help but notice that we were only provided a quarter bird. We definitely ordered enough food so I felt that it wasn't worth the effort to raise this point with the staff. I'm hoping that they catch on and correct this issue.
All the sides I tried (decided to not sample the potato salad) were executed well. The penne mac & cheese had a great concentration of hot oil (perhaps from the cheese/cream cheese), the rub on the fries was unique and provided another layer of flavor, and the Brunswick stew had a subtle kick. Community Q BBQ definitely delivered this night, and considering that this barbecue joint had just recently opened, I'm excited to go back in a few weeks/months to sample the ribs and order my own pork sandwich (at the expense of the sub-par brisket).