BBQ ROADTRIP!!! : Old Brick Pit Barbeque – Chamblee, Georgia
Photo Source: SOUTHERN LIVING
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What do you eat after two days of straight BBQ restaurant eating and 2 days of competition BBQ cooking? Why yes, of course, more BBQ. I'm sure you're not reading my site due to my commitment to moderation.
Georgia barbecue, especially that of Atlanta does not get much enthusiasm from its BBQ loving citizens. Southern Living surprised many when they chose Francisca Andrin as its top 10 Southern pitmasters. This placed her in the same company as Rodney Scott, Chris Lilly and my teacher Ed Mitchell. Definitely a category many would love to join. So while I was pretty BBQ'd out, I couldn't miss a meal at the Old Brick Pit.
Any BBQ joint older than me I'm predisposed to like. And indeed, the Old Brick Pit has been serving up pork since 1976. They have a pretty innovative pit which calls into mind the long rectangle pits you find in Central Texas where wood is burned at one end and the smoke leaves the other. As in common in Georgia, the cut of choice are hams, not shoulder. Their style is decidedly vinegar based and while others might put them in Carolina territory, they're claiming its a much older Georgian tradition.
BBQ hams, uncured, is a standard in Georgia. The newer generation, at least based off my informal poll on a BBQ forum, seem to dislike the tradition. The margin of error is very narrow for hams. It goes from bland and juicy to bland and dry in minutes. The hams here were pretty good. Not as juicy as those at Maurice's who also uses hams, but still solidly executed. It's not my favorite presentation but at least it didn't have the sawdust like texture that it's competitor - Fresh Air BBQ.
The sauce is interesting. I've often heard of vinegar sauces that were tomato based. This often means ketchup. I've heard of non ketchup tomato vinegar sauces but have never tried it. Most of the top Western Carolina places that serve the vinegar sauce use ketchup. Here the vinegar sauce uses no ketchup or at least I couldn't sense any. The use of straight tomato makes for a flavor I've never encountered. It reminds me of an Italian sauce but the sharpness of the vinegar makes it BBQ.
The ribs are often praised here for being extra-ordinarily tender. I would concur with that statement. To me it's overcooked, but many folks like my wife prefer that their ribs have a fall off the bone texture to it. The rub and smoke on the ribs were very tasty and I could easily imagine picking up a slab to munch on while watching a foodball game.
The other sides like the burnswick stew and beans were ok. Nothing too mind blowing. They were out of the cobbler that evening so I didn't have a chance to sample it. All in all Atlanta is very lucky to have an old time joint like the Old Brick Pit in their midst.
Some shots below and, as always, check the link above for all the photos.