Monday, March 15, 2010

Sprayberry's Barbecue (5/10) - 229 Jackson St., Newnan, GA 30263

M-Sa: 10:30a-9p
Su: Closed
(p) 770.253.4421

With regards to barbecue, Sprayberry's has always been my first love.  As a I child, I remember my family never passing up the opportunity to pitstop for pork sandwiches whenever we were in the area.  Then when my high school girlfriend moved down to Newnan, knowing that great barbecue was literally right down the street definitely sweetened the pot to provide further incentive to make the 40 mile trek.  So after sampling barbecue across the country in hopes to refine my palette while searching out the best of the best, I've always remained curious to how I would evaluate Sprayberry's Barbecue, my definitive childhood favorite, against the competition.  Although this was going to be my fifth meal of the afternoon, just like tradition, I couldn't drive up I-85N without making my customary stop at Sprayberry's on Jackson St, the original location that's been serving barbecue since the 1920's.

In my opinion, Sprayberry's is the quintessential barbecue joint with a subtle hint of southern hospitality.  In contrast to the barbecue meat markets in the Hill Country of Texas, Sprayberry's is a bit more formal sit and wait to be served operation staffed by very friendly and relatively young employees whom I presume attend high school in the area.  In addition to barbecue, customers can cap off their meals with an assortment of desserts -- cobblers, pies, as well as a a wide variety of flavors of ice cream.

I didn't have room for any of that nonsense so I placed an order for my standard fare -- a pulled pork sandwich.  Sprayberry's takes great pride in its barbecue sauce and it is most likely my favorite of the vinegar-based variety.  Rather than being provided in bottles on the table, Sprayberry's is unique in the sense that it presents its barbecue sauce in shallow dishes to provide the customer the option between spooning it over barbecue or dunking food directly into the dish like au jus -- the latter my preference.  The pork was unfortunately not as well smoked and flavorful as I remembered.  The bun was also rather thick, providing a rather 'breadier' consistency than more soft and buttery rolls.  The cole slaw was bland and I didn't really do myself a favor by piling it high on the pork.

I owe myself another visit to Sprayberry's Barbecue to eat a sandwich on an empty stomach.  In the meantime, this was a very disappointing way to end my day.  I've either been fortunate enough to sample really great barbecue over the past year or the quality of Sprayberry's has plummeted -- most likely a result of the place relying too greatly on its reputation.

Sprayberry's Barbecue 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.