Saturday, February 20, 2010

Beaver Creek Biscuits and Barbeque (6/10) - 1451 6 Flags Rd, Lithia Springs, GA 30122

Although the surrounding area of Lithia Springs, Georgia has now been substantially developed into commercial real estate, the area had historically been predominantly farmland owned by a gentleman by the name of Mr. Turner.  Mr. Turner also owned and operated a commissary/convenience store to serve the local farming community since the early 1950's, but the shop, Beaver Creek Biscuits and Barbeque, was ultimately sold and converted into a barbecue joint.  It was sort of an eye-opening experience driving out the few miles off of I-20 into the eastern part of the city to which I'm practically a complete stranger.  Litter literally carpeted both shoulders of the 2 lane highway, an eyesore and reminder that the city of Atlanta places less emphasis on maintaining the less privileged communities.  Beaver Creek looked well kept in stark contract to its squalid surroundings, and I was excited to try their barbecue considering I knew very little about this place.  I thought to myself that the name was also quite odd for a barbecue joint and was probably better suited for a bakery nestled along the slopes of a Colorado ski resort.

The team that acquired the store decided to forever memorialize the namesake "Turner" and named its barbecue operation after him.  Additionally, the barbecue sauce was named after a local indigenous Native American tribe to the area, the Seminoles.  The naming convention made a little more sense when I entered the store/joint and noticed a decent sized collection of arrowheads in a display case.  My excitement for this meal intensified when I saw that Beaver Creek provided two varieties of barbecue sauce, the traditional Seminole Red Sauce and the other geared towards its customers who prefer things a bit spicier (like Nikki, my Puerto Rican friend who was born in the Bronx).

One of the owners of the restaurant was behind the register when I went to place my order. He strongly suggested that I order the pulled pork sandwich and depending on how strong my appetite was, a spare rib.  I was very pleased that this place allowed me to order ribs a la carte as too many times on the road I have to  make a commitment towards an entire serving of ribs.    Considering that I also had a quarter chicken and a half slab of ribs from JJ's Rib Shack with me, a pork sandwich and rib was going to be just enough food to round out my afternoon of gorging on barbecue.

The sandwich was very well done.  It had great consistency and a solid smoke flavor that verified that the meat was traditionally smoked with wood.  Almost as important, it was also served on a very soft almost-buttery flavored roll that rounded out the sandwich very nicely.  The traditional Seminole Sauce ("red sauce") had a slightly peppery flavor without too much vinegar while the Hot Sauce had a highest viscosity of any sauce I had yet to try on any barbecue.  I presume it was mayonnaise-based, but it had a high concentration of cayenne that took the intensity of the sandwich up a peg.  To put the sauce into perspective, it was very similar to the spicy mayo that sushi restaurants include in a hot tuna roll but with a little less rooster sauce or red chili oil.  It was nice on a few bites, but I liked bouncing between the two in between bites.

My smoked spare rib was served in the midst of a little bath in the Seminole Sauce.  I would have preferred to sample the meat on its own but the pork sandwich already confirmed that a Beaver Creek's barbecue had a strong smoky flavor would be present in each bite.  I thought the rib was cooked fairly well, but I would have preferred both some bark on the rib (perhaps they don't use a rub) as well as a little more rendering of the fat.  The meat could be pulled off the blade with the slightest of ease.

Probably the greatest attribute about this joint was the sincerity of the staff as well as the pride they had in their product.  The owner welcomed almost each customer by name and he also graciously offered to take me on the 'behind the scenes' tour of the joint.  I met the pitmaster while he was in the midst of loading up his wheelbarrow of hickory, and I was also able to peer into the smoker.  I bought a t-shirt and was surprised to see that they stored their supplies and miscellaneous gear in an 18-wheeler parked out the rear of the restaurant.


As I wrapped up my experience at the restaurant I started to snap pictures of the interior of the restaurant to finish documenting the experience.  A female customer curiously asked me what I was doing when she inadvertently stepped into the picture.  She whispered to me that I should also hit up a few other barbecue establishments in the area, but because she didn't know exactly where they were located, she rattled off each location's phone numbers that she knew by heart -- this lady is a dream.  Rather than shoot down the customer's recommendations when the staff later asked me where she suggested I eat next, they instead gave me detailed instructions to direct me to my subsequent destinations if I chose to continue on my barbecue tour.  Deciding to call it a day, I thanked them for the meal and told them I'd head back out to these parts on another occasion.

Beaver Creek Biscuits & Barbeque on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2.  Barbequing has become a standard American tradition for families. The reasons as clear as to why, not only does the food that comes from barbequing have a taste that is unmatched by other cooking methods, but barbequing presents a reason for families to gather together.

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  3. Turner's is one of the first restaurants I ate at after moving to Austell (where I was living just a few miles away). You give their lunches justice but fail to mention their AMAZING breakfast fare. Open at the crack of dawn (I believe 5 a.m.?), Turner's offers homemade biscuits fresh from the oven - I recommend it with their tender, juicy fried chicken and/or sausage gravy. I would vouch to say everything you get there is homemade (except maybe their fried tater-tots, but they're still delicious!). If you're hungry in the morning, this will keep you full well past lunchtime...

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  4. In all honesty – Generic Metformin do quite a few of these things – just a bit differently at times maybe. I engage a heck of a lot – but they’re not always new people – although they are at times. Generic Ultracet do a lot of thanking (at least more than 10 a day) – especially for RT’s and comments – whether to new folks or to ones I already know. Doesn’t matter – a thank you to anyone that’s done something nice for you is well worth it. But then again – you already know how I feel about that right ?

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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.