Sunday, February 14, 2010

Old South Barbecue (5/10) - 601 S Burbank Circle, Smyrna, GA 30080

To fully conquer the greater Atlanta barbecue scene, I knew I'd eventually  have to canvas the Smyrna (Windy Hill), Marietta, Woodstock, and Roswell areas.  Since I had already given my ladyfriend four pounds of the best beef jerky known to man (Maui style from Celestino's) for Valentines Day, I was cut loose to eat barbecue while she studied all afternoon for her law school classes.  I departed in late morning and set my sites on Old South Bar-B-Q -- a joint located at the corner of Windy Hill Road and South Cobb Drive.

Old South operates in a quaint by the side of the road stand-alone building.  They take their food seriously and are proud to display a local publication's determination that Old South served the best barbecue in Cobb County in 1995.  Opposite the medal, signed photographs of a local Ms. Teen winner and an Elvis lookalike might be well positioned to subliminally suggest that their barbecue is good enough for a king and a queen.

Old South's open pit is visible to customers once they enter the main dining room, and I was rather surprised by the lack of organization of the meats on the racks.  I presumed that the smoked meats would be organized by cuts, keeping the juices from each cut separated from its peers.  I took a seat at a table, took in the sites and sounds of the place, and got excited for my order of one rib, a pulled pork sandwich, and a cup of Brunswick Stew.  I anticipated that sides would definitely out of the question as I'd have a strenuous day ahead of me stuffing my face with barbecue.

The Brunswick Stew had a very strong traditional flavor, and I enjoyed the consistency and floating corn kernels throughout.  The pulled pork was served between thick slices of toast that I thought carried too strong of a taste that seemed to mask the smoked flavor of the pork.  When pulled from the sandwich and sampled on its own, each bite of pork lacked a strong distinguishable flavor.  I presume that the monster slices of toast absorbed much of the moisture and flavor from the pork.

The smoked spare rib had a beautiful crust that reassured me that I was wise to save the rib for last.  The exterior flavor was indeed flavorful, but the inner meat was entirely too tough for my liking.  As I tugged at the meat, whole sections separated at points of least resistance.  The restaurant's sauce was unpleasantly sour and consequently made my eyes squint and cheeks pucker with each bite.  The quality of the food was good but felt like the execution fell short of expectations.

Old South Barbecue on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Nice post...I'd agree that the Brunswick stew is probably the best thing here. Disappointing.


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.