Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dean's Barbecue (7/10) - 9480 S Main St, Jonesboro, GA 30236

Su-M: Closed
Tu: 1030a - 4p
W-Sa: 1030a - 7p
(p) 770.471.0138

I awoke after what I believe was a 13 hour Xanax-induced slumber  and figured I owed myself a quick roadtrip down to south Atlanta, beyond the perimeter, to sample some barbecue joints that don't receive a lot of publicity from those who live within the city limits.  My body was famished and I figured I could sample four to five restaurants over the remainder of the day.  I typically conduct minimal research before such an excursion and this occasion was no different.  I first looked at the Barbecue Map, but when I ran a few barbecue-related internet queries, I came across ChoppedOnion -- another food-related blog that listed numerous barbecue joints in the direction I was headed.  His post highlighting his experience at Dean's Barbecue got me the most excited so I added it to the agenda and headed there first.      

Dean's is a quaint one room restaurant that also houses additional benches for its customers who prefer to eat outdoors.  It was raining fairly hard to so I quickly made my way inside, noticed that they only served pulled pork and Brunswick stew, ordered both, and took a seat.  I had noticed that Dean's advertised a "Hot Deal" but considering I had other places to try later in the day, I was content on keeping my order plain and simple.  As is customary for each of my respective barbecue visits, I sampled the sauce prior to eating any of the barbecue.  The sauce was fairly thin, but didn't have the same intense vinegar concentration I anticipated that is traditional to most barbecue in the state.  I was impressed with its sweeter flavor and knew I'd most likely cover my sandwich with sauce.

For $3.50, the sandwich was a bit on the smaller side.  To put into perspective, the bun was slightly smaller than what one would get at Chick-Fil-A -- trust me I'd know, Mom made me work there for a Summer instead of sending me to camp after I got into some trouble.  Although the pork already had a good dose of sauce on it, I doubled-down and applied even more.  The sandwich was very delicate and basically melted in my mouth.  The experience was even somewhat refreshing.  I could envision finishing a sporting event, heading over to Dean's for some sustenance, and then ordering approximately 5 sandwiches to refuel my body.  The flavor of the pork had a subtle smoky undertone and basically tasted how I envisioned it to based on its appearance.  The Brunswick stew was less successful unfortunately, most likely because it had the consistency of pureed gazpacho and I prefer the chunkier variety where I can actually identify the ingredients in my bowl.  While the soup was enjoyable, it was definitely not memorable nor would it tempt me to return to Dean's for a second serving anytime in my future.

Dean's Barbecue was a good experience.  I was saddened to see that the joint has decided to post a "HELP!! We need customers now to avoid shutdown" sign to indicate the difficult financial turmoil it's currently experiencing, especially considering Dean's has been in service for over 60 years in the Jonesboro community.  Sadly enough I did laugh at the use of the double-exclamation point as I thought about Elaine and Jake Jarmel on my drive to my next stop while also being a little perplexed to why the restaurant never came to the consensus to either spell it "barbecue" or "barbeque" on its main signs over its 60 year past.

Dean's Barbeque on Urbanspoon

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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.