Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kenneth Melear Barbecue (2/10) - 420 Glynn St. S, Fayetteville, GA 30214

M-Th: 5a-9p
F-Sa: 5a-10p
Su: 6a-9p
(p) 770.461.7180

A decent number of barbecue joints in Georgia love advertising their name in huge black bold letters in between Coca-Cola logos on their facade (see Fresh Air, Old Clinton).  Kenneth Melear's Barbecue's storefront fit right in with that scene, and just like the song of the Sirens, I was drawn into what I hoped would be a promising meal of good slow cooked smoky barbecue.  

After spending the last year in Washington DC and witnessing Obama Nation ad nausuem, it was quite refreshing to see my old pal Bushie erected in the corner.  The only thing that could be sweeter than that would be if the place had a hornets/wasps nest attached to a ceiling.  So far, so good.  The rest of the decor was typical, lot of china/porcelain pigs, boss behind the counter on the phone with his feet up on his desk, articles about the restaurant covering the walls, etc.  

I sampled the varieties of sauce as I waited for my pork sandwich and bowl of Brunswick stew and  preferred the spicier of the two.  It was evident that the sauce was packing a lot of heat as peppers had crystallized upon drying on the tip of the bottle.  My food arrived and the pulled pork looked as if it had sat in a bucket of sauce for a week (consistency also looked like Ramen Noodles).  The Brunswick stew looked just like illustrated porridge from Goldilocks -- inedible.   From first look, I wanted very little to do with this place and knew that if I wasn't documenting my journey, I might have just walked out.  The pork was decent, not a hint of smoke whatsover but not sure what else could have withstood the sauce bath it was resting in.  I decided I might as well cover it with more to at least make it spicy.

The quality of the food was poor enough for me to wonder how this place has stayed in business since the late 50s.  I don't believe the barbecue industry has revolutionized at all, but if it has, it definitely left this place in the dust. I left happy knowing that Speedi-Pig Barbecue was located just a few hundred yards from Melear's, because I left in a hurry to see how the competition stacked up.

Melear Barbecue & Catering on Urbanspoon     


  1. You obviously ordered the sandwich, because the barbecue on the "plate" is served without any sauce. The "plate" offers slow outside pit-cooked BBQ with plenty of hickory flavor. Admittedly this is not published on the menu, but locals who prefer not to have their BBQ smothered in sauce either order the plate or specify no sauce on the sandwich. Sadly Melear's closed it doors in 2011 after 55+ years.

    1. So shocked and saddened to drive by and find Melear's closed. It was a part of my childhood.

  2. Anyone know their recipe for Brunswick Stew ????

    1. No but I am searching. It is my favorite stew and I love their sauce.

  3. I grew up with Melears BBQ and Brunswick stew as well and was very saddened to hear from my dad that they had closed - the above pictures bring back many memories from childhood. They're Brunswick stew was the absolute best I've ever eaten and would dearly love to have the recipe if anyone ever runs across it.


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.