Jan Butsch Schroder
The South didn’t invent barbecue, but we can sure lay a claim to perfecting it. Here are a few places in Sandy Springs and Buckhead to get your fill of perfect pork.
They claim barbecue so good you’ll oink and you may let out a squeal as well after tasting Pig-N-Chik’s ribs and pork. Also on the menu are turkey and smoked salmon, the usual side dishes and Redneck Nachos, which are fries smothered in cheddar cheese and topped with chunks of pork. For dessert try chocolate cream pie, pecan pie or a moon pie. 4920 Roswell Road, 404-255-6368; 5071 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, 770-451-1112, www.pignchik.net
The cue at One Star Ranch is Texas-style and the side items are made from scratch. Look for the usual items as well as barbecue salads served in a taco shell. Some weekly specials include beer bucket Sundays, $5 margaritas on Monday nights, live blues on Tuesdays, country music on Thursdays and other live bands on the weekends. Buckhead: 25 Irby Avenue, 404-233-7644; Alpharetta: 732 North Main, onestarranch.com
As the name says, Ribs Etc. has been serving smothered slabs of pork and more since 1986. Check out the barbecue sundae – pork layered with cole slaw, baked beans and topped with a pickle. They also serve hamburgers, salmon and a limited selection of sandwiches. 4233 Roswell Road, 404-843-8200, www.ribsetc.com
There really is a Shane behind the Raving Brands chain Shane’s Rib Shack. A large fella who quit his corporate job to spend time with his two passions: food and family, Shane Thompson used his grandfather’s sauce recipe and opened a shack in McDonough, Georgia. 123 Perimeter Center West, 770-399-9010; 3247 Roswell Road, 404-231-1742, www.shanesribshack.com
Crowds often line up to order from the short menu of sandwiches, chicken and fall-off-the-bones ribs at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack. Although the place is small, the joint can be jumpin’ with live blues every night. 1811 Piedmont Avenue, 404-607-1622, fatmattsribshack.com
The Johnson family, owners of KC Pit BBQ, are from Kansas City and imported many of their employees from there as well. In addition to the usual barbecue items, you’ll also find lamb ribs, chopped beef brisket, sausage links and fried catfish. 234 Hildebrand Drive, Sandy Springs, 404-459-6497, www.kcpitbbq.com/
Now with five locations, Slope’s BBQ was started by Bob White, an insurance salesman and financial planner who followed his bliss right into barbecue.
200 Johnson Ferry Road, Sandy Springs, 404-252-2330, www.slopesbbq.com/v2/
We recently reported on the Old Hickory House as a hot breakfast place, but they serve up sandwiches, barbecue platters, vegetable plates and steaks as well. 5490 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, 770-671-8185, www.oldhickoryhouse.com
The Roswell favorite Swallow at the Hollow serves homemade everything, including bread and butter pickles and chocolate chip banana pudding. It bills itself as a country music venue as well, with live music most nights, including artists from Nashville on the weekends. 1072 Green Street, 678-352-1975, www.theswallowatthehollow.com/