Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jot Em Down ~ Athens, GA

  The reviews on Jot Em Down that I read were mixed. Diners either love this place or they hate it. Without much of a "middle ground" of opinions,  I knew that this was going to be fun. I also knew that I had to consume the ever popular Cabbage Casserole.
  This looks like a BBQ joint. After all, there is a pig on the roof. Stocked with artifacts and "old junk" the place looks like an old grocery store inside and out. The old posters and signs taped to the front doors adds to the charm, as well.  I am not sure about the bamboo wall paper hung throughout the interior though; that felt a little "tiki bar" to me. Antiques and doodads abound at Jot Em Down. However, my thinking has always been "People go out to eat to eat." I suggest that they invest in new booth seats as the current ones are quite worn. Maybe they can sell some antiques to cover those costs.

The plates come out to the table covered in wax paper. This practice is confusing to me. Do they have a fly problem? Is it a game of hide-and-seek or peek-a-boo? Are we supposed to flip the paper over and use it for a plate? Is it for your left overs? I just do not know about the wax paper.

Watching my daughter opening her food was painful. Not only was her plate covered in wax paper, but the sandwich was wrapped up as well. This wax paper deal just kills me.

  The cafeteria-sectional-style plates did not impress her either. Matter of fact, she said that it creeped her out. She stated that the plates made her feel as though she was in a middle-school lunch room. Maybe she had issues in middle school that I am not aware of... not sure about that. The baked beans tasted as though they were straight out of a can, and the Brunswick Stew proved to be a mixture of an unfortunate nature. Fail.

  Not letting personal demons get the best of me, I press onward. The pulled pork meat was smoked and very tender. Delivered without sauce is not a problem as there is a plethora of sauces on the table. Eight or so choices with slight differences in each are an issue in my book. Three sauces max is the gf standard. The staff instructed us shake the vinegar sauces, but we found it hard to comply. Shaking without placing ones finger on the top produces an unwanted acid-rain of sauce on the table. Also, placing ones finger on the spout is a violation. I am sure of it.

  The pulled pork (chopped finer than I like) had a decent smoke flavor to it. However, the ribs disappointed me as they did not sport any seasoning on them at all (insert a significant pause).

The bar with no beer.
  I gobbled up the Cabbage Casserole with gusto. The hype about this side dish is not unfounded. It is impressive. Matter of fact,  I am letting the world know right know that I am stealing this recipe. This is a dish that does not win any awards in the looks department. However, one may turn into a Cabbage Casserole fanatic after tasting this vegetable treat.

 As we wrapped up the visit, I poked around and snapped a few pictures. I discovered an awesome bar in a back right corner of the building in a separate room. I discovered that there are no drink specials as they do not sell any libations. "We served more BBQ then beer" was the given reason. Whatever. Is this is Athens Georgia or is it not? There is not a shortage of beer drinkers in Athens. I think that there may have been too much beer drinking in the past at Jot Em Down. Maybe Jot Em Down used to be called "chug em down". There is a story about the Jot Em Down name posted in the lobby. It said something to the effect of "Jot 'em down so you don't forget 'em." Sorry, but I did not read any more than that as it hurt my head.

  The issues that reviewers have had about the service are not the fault of the servers according to gf. Either the owners need to rethink the ordering process, or hire more servers. That is all I have to say about that.

  There were concerns about a University of Alabama logo hung above the table, but they were unfounded. Upon detailed review, there were significant differences between the Alabama design and the logo that was hanging above the table. The University of Alabama has a fondness for elephants. The sign above the table had a big red "A" and a Spartan poking out through the middle of it. My bad.

  I concluded my visit by ordering some Cabbage Casserole to go. Leaving dazed and confused I reasoned that it was from soaking myself with sauce, the mental exercise of trying to understand why a bar had no cold beer, and trying to remember what the hell was in the middle of the Alabama "A".

  Overall, Jot Em Down is a place to grab a barbecue sandwich on the run. Avoid the ribs, baked beans, and the stew. Do not order a beer at the bar, and watch out for excessive wax paper. Choose the Cherokee barbecue sauce for a condiment.
 "Let The Big Dog Eat" ...barbecue!

Thank you for reading, and GO COCKS!!


Jot Em Down on Urbanspoon


Jean - Culinary Topics said...

You have a wonderful blog here!
Visited your blog from your Bloggers' profile.

Social Workin' said...

Then what was the logo we saw? I think it's a bad idea to have any red "A" in DAWG town...we immediately think BAMA!

ropcorn said...

Wow, that was definitely a unique way to serve food. Lol! But I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this visit, and the pics were fun to see as well. So great post!

Gregory said...

social workin' I have no idea whose logo that is. My guess is "The Athens Spartans"...who ever they are. ;)

Gregory said...

Jean! Thnaks for the compliment. Now I am looking for a Rye bread recipe without sugar. That is a good topic! Thanks again!

Gregory said...

ropcorn thank you for your comments! The wax paper still has me scratching my head. It is an epidemic in Athens as you will see in my next post!