Quest For The Best: BBQ

Jared Steckl

By: Harrison Thweatt

Nothing is more of a Southern staple than barbeque, so to honor my heritage, I set out on a quest for the best BBQ.  To find the best pork I visited Fox Brothers’ BBQ, Fat Matt’s, Community Q and Sweet Auburn. Each restaurant had its own unique flare on the “king of meats.”

Upon entering Sweet Auburn in Poncey Highlands, I was struck by the modern decor—not typical of a barbeque joint.  The environment was appealing but resembled a coffee shop with it’s low ceilings, exposed brick and quiet and comfortable feel. Yet Sweet Auburn’s large portion sizes made up for the somewhat odd decoration. I ordered a spicy half-rack of spare ribs, signature fries, mac and cheese and brunswick stew. The ribs had a lot of meat on them and were cooked well. The ribs were seasoned just the right amount so as not to detract from any of the exotic sauce choices on the menu. I was a bit worried when I noticed Sweet Auburn did not have a classic barbecue sauce. Instead the restaurant offers flavors such as coconut lemongrass, spicy chile and Wu Tang. I was somewhat disappointed with the signature fries which were only seasoned with chives.

My next stop was Fox Bros Co. where I tried a pulled pork sandwich. The pork was freshly grilled and the sauce was succulent. The amazing quality of my food more made up for the restaurant’s high prices and long lines.  Fox Brothers BBQ is well known in Atlanta and the Southeast for their spare ribs.  They present you with a heap of meaty bones (either half rack or rack) that have been rubbed down with their signature dry rub.  Since this is Texas barbecue the ribs are prepared with a dry rub rather than being soaked in a sauce before and after preparation.

The next restaurant we tried was Fat Matts. Fat Matt’s has been a hot ticket in Atlanta for the past 20 years. I felt the culture and spirit of the establishment as soon as I stepped in the door. and you could also taste that in the food. The wait was long, but if you are looking for a great pulled pork sandwich, some happy employees and some blues in the background, then Fat Matt’s  is the place for you. The food was delicious and was the second best of the four meals I tasted.

I headed to Community Q last. It is fairly new, so it came as no surprise that I was greeted yet again by a line at the door. Even though the food was well made, I can’t say it was my favorite. I would take good food and good vibes over just good food anyday.
None of the restaurants on my quest were utter disappointments. That being said, my favorite was Fox Bros. I was impressed by its authentic BBQ and large menu selection.