Location: 10730 Alpharetta Hwy.,
You may not know this, but Dreamland Barbecue is the best bar-b-que in the world. It can be found in Alpharetta, Georgia. It’s better than just about any bar-b-que in the city covering the northern part of Atlanta. Here, the bar-b-que is different from any place in the world (although I’ve heard rumors that North or South Carolina *might* be similar). The beef and pork aren’t swimming in that sweet, ketchup, red sauce; rather, it’s cooked without sauce, then shredded. You add the sauce yourself. Two kinds are usually provided, red and white. The red is hot and spicy the white is tangy and peppery. (The white sauce is also used for basting chicken while it cooks.) It’s far superior to any bar-b-que I’ve ever had anywhere…There really isn’t a comparison.
50 Hurt Plaza Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30303
When my son and I became interested in barbeque we combined business trips with research into the more noted barbeque joints. Many establishments were mentioned in a number of books and periodicals and we mapped out those located within a reasonable distance of our business routes. As we made our way to our destination we would try to eat at as many barbeque joints as possible to “learn about real Q”.
Most of the places that we visited were very friendly and freely discussed their cooking methods and were quick to give a guided tour of their pits. Don’t ask for a recipe, because I doubt you’d get one and the request itself could shorten the tour! There is much to learn by watching and listening to those recognized as the leaders in the industry. It is also very educational to see the various types of pits and cooking methodology used to produce excellent Q. Each pit master has developed a technique of his own that distinguishes him from the others. All were worthy of their reputations even though there was a good deal of variation on a common theme. All the joints used all wood cooking. Kind of like a lot of competitions that require all wood. I don’t make the rules; it’s just the way I learned.
One of the trips we made was to Atlanta. While there, we naturally tried to eat barbeque as often as possible. We don’t get the opportunity to eat barbeque out too often back home. We’re from Maine! We ate at Harold’s and found the barbeque to be up to their reputation. The next day, however we tried a joint called City Grill in nearby Fayetteville. GOD, it was to die for! Both the pork sandwich and the Brunswick stew was the best we had ever had. The sandwich was made on slices of soft white bread (something I’m not partial to) piled with terrific smoked pork, then toasted. The result was a crunchy outer skin of bread, with a chewy soft inside topped by the finest barbequed pork I have ever had. Orgasmic would be an understatement.
The Brunswick stew was cooked in a gigantic cast iron cauldron over an open fire and had the touch of smoke from being cooked that way. It was hard to decide which you wanted more, another pork sandwich or another bowl of stew. We made it easy and had both.
181 Peachtree Street, NE
Atlanta, GA 30303
First a note on preference: Pork rather than beef or any other 4-legged critter (chicken next). Pulled or shredded meat rather than slices, except for ribs, of course. Vinegar/ pepper based sauce rather than tomato or catsup or sugar. Some places put slaw on a sandwich with the meat – I’d rather have it on the side.
With that in mind, we like the Fresh Air BBQ North of Athens, GA is pretty good, as is Hot Thomas near Watkinsville, GA is also good. Here in Atlanta a lot of fuss is made over so-called Southern BBQ, but to my taste it’s too sweet. Also, they do it to goats and mutton and somehow that doesn’t appeal to me. Atlanta, Georgia has a huge BBQ festival in the summer with lots of different styles represented.
We were passing through Homerville, GA not long ago (don’t ask why – I’m not sure) and noticed a dozens of cars and pick-up trucks parked around a BBQ restaurant. I don’t remember the name, but saw a clipping from the Atlanta paper later that day (on the wall of a bookstore in St. Mary’s GA) identifying the Homerville place as best BBQ in south Georgia. Guess we’ll have to go back. But I think is on the same level as the Atlanta Grill.