Thursday, June 9, 2011

Heirloom Market BBQ ~ Atlanta, GA

  "Never judge a book by its cover." This is a true statement for most influential barbecue joints. Multiply that thought by approximately 7.5 when thinking of Heirloom Market BBQ.

  I wore my newly acquired Bass Pro Shop T-Shirt for the dining experience as a hint for my wife. Unable to decode the signals, she got all gussied up for dinner.

If one does not look to the left, this is a quaint restaurant.
  Pulling into the smallish parking lot, not only did I get "the look", I also received  a "what the hell" softly spoken under her breath. Reassuring my spouse, I explained that there was absolutely nothing to worry about except that she was slightly over dressed. This is a small joint. The smallness of the place is part of what I enjoyed about it.  There is only one table. I know! That is awesome, right? We landed at the"Rails" (long boards attached to the perimeter walls) after ordering at the register/display filled with sausages and jars of kimchi.

  We both chose the "Chattahoochee Punch" for a beverage. Tap water served in large, clear bottles (with those crafty springy tops with corks) made the tap water feel expensive. I love the beverage choices. Heirloom BBQ does not have the free-flowing free-refilling coke dispensing machine. Rather they have several unique choices of soda with real ingredients in bottles. Coke made with sugar, (and not High Fructose Corn Syrup) Homemade lemonade, sweet tea, and Jasmine green tea also made me smile.

  Looking into the kitchen, I watched smoke wafting out of smokers, and chefs bustling about preparing orders. As we waited for dinner, the stream of customers getting to-go orders became steady. At three (O'clock) in the afternoon, Heirloom BBQ was hopping. I knew it was not the fancy dining room bringing in the flow of guests, but rather the quality of food. The food arrived on metal platters lined with paper. Grabbing a fork off of the wall, I dug in to find out what all the fuss is about.

   The Smoked Wings (the chalk board special) arrived with a small side of Korean Sweet Potatoes. In the back of my brain, I heard a famous chef say BAM! The baked and sauteed sweet potatoes (delicate and delicious) added to the plate perfectly. A subtle smokiness and a semi-sweet sauce enveloped the wings. Sesame seeds topped the mound of goodness to make this an above average dish for a barbecue joint next to a convenience store. (I am not sure if that is a barbecue category or not.) Maybe it should be. Well then, Heirloom BBQ wins the category if there is one.

The Georgia Sampler came to the rail on two trays, and all of a sudden I felt awful greedy. After some needed adjusting, we started to dissect this monstrosity of a "platter". I dove straight into the chopped barbecue. Grabbing up half of an egg bun (my favorite) and jamming it with some Q and some slaw took me to the seventh level of barbecue happiness. Heirloom BBQ does not over sauce their barbecue. However, they may have over smoked some of the brisket (as well as over cooked it). One has the opportunity to taste the flavors of the meats that they cook without the sauce taking all of the credit. There were several sauces on the table:  Settler Sauce - (North)Carolina(ish) vinegary with peppers, Table Sauce - Sweet and smokey (a thin Tennessee Style), Kitchen Sauce - Peppery tomato Texas blend, and KB Sauce - Korean sweet and spicy.

  Excessive tasting and dunking of barbecue into sauces did little to solve the puzzle in my head as to which one I enjoyed the best. I did conclude that I may have to come back to solve this mystery. Therein lies the Heirloom BBQ marketing plan.

The macaroni and cheese proved to be creamy and slightly spicy. Specs of pepper appeared on occasion throughout the dish as it disappeared from the platter. The chefs prepared the baked beans with hints of barbecue sauce and chunks of meat. Bean eaters (who do not like chunks of meat in baked beans other than hot dog slices) do not fear the Heirloom BBQ baked beans. They are excellent.

Is Heirloom BBQ #1 in Atlanta? I am not sure about that. They are in the game; no doubt.  It may prove to be a long summer at the rate I am going.

Thanks for reading,

Heirloom Market BBQ on Urbanspoon


Christine's Pantry said...

Great post! I love BBQ. Thanks for sharing.

Gregory said...

Love your blog! Thanks for the compliment! gf