Signs that made me smile

I enjoy a good sign. Here are a few that caught my eye.

Saturn BBQ
Saturn BBQ
I think we can all agree that manure has been oppressed for too long
I think we can all agree that manure has been oppressed for too long
I like this better than Yield
I like this better than Yield
Do not dispose of anything specific here.
Do not dispose of anything specific here.
I only made it 'til about 3am
I only made it ’til about 3am
What if I want to please someone else?
What if I want to please someone else?
I think this is cute. I imagine the librarians in their meeting, saying, "We need something edgy, something that speaks to the teens of today!"
I think this is cute. I imagine the librarians in their meeting, saying, “We need something edgy, something that speaks to the teens of today!”
This town needs more of this street.
This town needs more of this street.
The State of California is always bragging about things it knows.
The State of California is always bragging about things it knows.
My kind of graffiti
My kind of graffiti
I want to make this into a t-shirt
I want to make this into a t-shirt
This is just the message I needed today.
This is just the message I needed today.
I think they mean "mouth-watering"
I think they mean “mouth-watering”
If I were seafood I would definitely think twice before accepting this welcome.
If I were seafood I would definitely think twice before accepting this welcome.
I'm impressed by his ability to maintain good diving form even while his head bashes in.
I’m impressed by his ability to maintain good diving form even while his head bashes in.
I appericate it when you eat with your fingers.
I appericate it when you eat with your fingers.
I magically recommend the black fungus
I magically recommend the black fungus
Big Burp Theory
Big Burrp Theory
I wonder if Patrick ever wishes this sign were more portable.
I wonder if Patrick ever wishes this sign were more portable.
Words to live by in a restroom in New Delhi
Words to live by in a restroom in New Delhi
As far as I can tell this means that behind this door there's a toilet and it has bum-washing capabilities and your baby can watch.
As far as I can tell this means that behind this door there’s a toilet and it has bum-washing capabilities and your baby can watch.
Do not make squirrels magically appear. Runner up: Do not play dice with squirrels.
Do not make squirrels magically appear. Runner up: Do not play dice with squirrels.
Still Cursing
Still Cursing
Hipster Crap
Hipster Crap
I just like the artwork here
I just like the artwork here
This sign stresses me out - New Delhi market
This sign stresses me out – New Delhi market
The use of shampoo and gel is prohibited in this area
The use of shampoo and gel is prohibited in this area

Do not drink Beverly at the World of Coke

Description of Beverly from The Coca-Cola Company site:

The product was introduced in Italy in 1969 as a non-alcoholic aperitif. Aperitifs are drinks that are consumed before meals and are believed to aid digestion. The 1971 ads for Beverly feature the slogan, “Cold as Helsinki, sparkling as Rio, dry as El Paso.” By 1978, the brand was popular enough to be featured in a company history of the Italian market and was available in both the “classic” and “white” versions. The brand continued to be sold in Italy battling against the bigger competitors, like Campari and San Pellegrino which also had products in that category. In 1991, Beverly “White” was chosen as one of the 16 products from around the world to be made available in the tasting area of the original World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.

Here are a few photos of Beverly at Club Cool at Epcot, Disney World –

 

When I migrated hillfamily.net recently to a new host, I had to abandon my old photo galleries, whose software is no longer supported. The single most-visited page on the old site was this 10-year-old photo of the Beverly drink dispenser from the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, which someone linked to from a Wikipedia article about the drink. And that being the top page tells you something about the thrilling nature of hillfamily.net content.

So, I’m posting the image here and setting up a redirect from the old url, just to eliminate the disappointment of one more broken link on the World Wide Web.

For archival purposes, here are the old comments about it from the original page:

From: Someone (Sun 07 Aug 2005 09:34:51 PM EDT)
Yeah…. That tasted like *&%$
From: ~Naquisha~ (Sun 22 Jan 2006 10:07:56 PM EST)
EWW..ITALIANS SHOULD STICK WITH GELATO!
From: Danny Lewis (Wed 01 Mar 2006 11:03:57 PM EST)
Yeah, if there was anything I could relate the taste to, it is cough surup. My favorite drink, however, was the watermelon soda from China.
From: Mr. Thirsty (Mon 24 Apr 2006 10:51:55 AM EDT)
This stuff is delicious! But it’s definitely not for those with wimpy tastes. :p Too bad it’s not available in the US – I’d buy it.
From: Jessica (Fri 26 May 2006 04:23:06 PM EDT)
Beverly is like eating grapefruit and drinking milk. Then puking it in an ashtray and drinking it again.
From: Erin (Wed 21 Jun 2006 01:06:29 PM EDT)
Someone I know made a bet w/ his friends on how much he could drink… Search Beverley Epcot on yahoo video’s… the boys name is Matela
From: House4 (Tue 18 Jul 2006 04:04:35 PM EDT)
Beverly mostly tastes like alcohol and grapefruit. After you try it, you should go and wash your mouth out with mouth wash.
From: Patrick (Wed 19 Jul 2006 11:29:32 AM EDT)
They should get rid of Beverly before someone gets really sick. My favorite drink was all of them exept for Beverly. Where did this drink come from??
From: House4 (Wed 07 Feb 2007 03:58:23 PM EST)
I thought it came from Germany. But some how it’s Italy. UGH that drink is nasty. It will drive your taste budds sick.
From: Richard (Wed 21 Feb 2007 10:38:01 PM EST)
I tried Beverly at the World of Coke. All of the descriptions of its taste by the postings on this site do not come close to expressing how bad it is. It’s taste is worse than*&%$
From: Máire Ruadh (Fri 16 Mar 2007 09:57:35 PM EDT)
I like it. I don’t drink soda often, and all but Mozambique, Israel and Italy are wayyyy too sweet for me. Wish I could buy it here.
From: Jim (Fri 20 Apr 2007 02:49:47 PM EDT)
I LOVE this drink. Every time I go to EPCOT I drink it. Trying to find out how to buy some. My wife however is fairly certain I’m crazy.
From: Da Dawg (Mon 23 Apr 2007 12:56:35 AM EDT)
Beverly actually isn’t that bad. It is basicaly liquid bitter.So if you like bitter, then you’ll like Beverly.
From: Terry F (Wed 14 Mar 2012 04:36:41 PM EDT)
It tastes like scotch and sewer water mixed with black licorice steamed in castor oil.
From: Britt (Tue 20 Mar 2012 02:20:45 AM EDT)
Lived on this stuff in Epcot. Every time we got overheated we stopped by and had 1, 2, 30 cups of Beverly. Not only do I love the flavour, but it’s the only drink they have that isn’t super sweet. I wish we could buy it in Canada
From: Adrienne S. (Wed 25 Jul 2012 11:01:25 AM EDT)
Beverly tastes like dish soap and carbonated water.
From: Tony D (Sat 01 Sep 2012 06:23:01 PM EDT)
First time I tried it, I hated it; by the third trip, I loved it.
From: tracey (Mon 05 Nov 2012 02:39:25 PM EST)
it’s nasty.
From: Mattie (Sat 15 Dec 2012 10:26:20 AM EST)
It tastes like sprite for about half a second.……………… and then barf
From: John D (Sat 23 Feb 2013 04:43:53 PM EST)
I actually like this a lot- at first I didn’t, but I got used to it after drinking it a few times. Definitely an acquired taste, and definitely one most people won’t like.
From: ratbunz (Sun 07 Apr 2013 12:36:03 PM EDT)
Why did they name it beverly were they mad at her?
From: ratbunz (Sun 07 Apr 2013 12:38:46 PM EDT)
My favorite was bibo I can’t remember the actual flavor but it was yellow and tasted like candy sorta if they sold that here I would buy it ill have to look on e bay or amazon or something
From: Maggie Woods (Wed 26 Jun 2013 06:59:09 PM EDT)
It was disgusting. After I tried a whole cup I thought I was going to puke!!
From: READ THE COMMENT AND ANSWER ME (Thu 08 Aug 2013 08:02:53 PM EDT)
HAVE YOU TRIED THE BEVERLY?????????????HELLO?????????????????????-nascar5
From: Kaylyn (Mon 14 Apr 2014 04:08:59 PM EDT)
I really liked the taste of Beverly. Like others have said, I think it was because it was not so sickening sweet like some of the other ones. I do not drink pop usually FYI.
From: Terrible (Sat 07 Jun 2014 02:30:59 AM EDT)
This is the worst garbage i’ve ever consumed
From: Great (Tue 24 Jun 2014 09:32:34 AM EDT)
I really liked the Beverly. I didn’t get the bitter aftertaste that people normally get. I though it rather sweet and resembling Sprite.
From: Taisttester (Wed 16 Jul 2014 04:08:17 PM EDT)
It really isn’t that bad. My sister thought she going to throw up.d :
From: Su (Sun 26 Oct 2014 01:20:38 AM EDT)
I liked it!
From: nutty guy (Tue 11 Nov 2014 10:06:15 PM EST)
tasted like cough syrup
From: cookies n creme (Tue 30 Dec 2014 04:36:55 PM EST)
this is the worst drink that you could possibly consume
From: Bob Bubbers (Tue 06 Jan 2015 08:23:39 PM EST)
The people claiming they like it are liars trying to seem better than you.This soda is carbonated vomit, please don’t ever put it in your mouth.

Wojtek the WWII Bear

Feeding Wojtek the bear

Today I learned (from the Bathroom Book) that during WWII the Polish army enlisted a bear that became a corporal. He wrestled with the soldiers, drank beer and ate cigarettes, and helped lift heavy artillery boxes off delivery trucks.

They even created a cool logo –

2000px-Wojtek_soldier_bear.svg

More info:

  1. BBC Article
  2. Documentary: Wojtek – The Bear That Went To War
  3. Book at Amazon: Wojtek the Bear

The Christmas Truce

100 years ago, in December 1914, World War I was about 5 months old. In August, the Germans had initially moved rapidly through Luxembourg and Belgium on their way to France. Allied defenses held them at a battle line called The Western Front. By December casualties were high and all both sides could do was hold the line until reinforcements came. They dug trenches and placed barbed wire fences all along the line. The space between them was called “No Man’s Land” and in some places they were only separated by a few yards, close enough to be able to hear the enemy in their trenches.

It was wet and cold and miserable and boring. A British paper said “The bravery of our men, and they are splendidly brave, consists of sitting, often for days and nights, in sodden trenches, with the terrifying and earth-shaking concussions of shells.”
[One soldier wrote:] “You don’t see anything, although the wicked enemy is only 3-400m away , but you hear plenty.” . . .

“Each side could hear each other’s coming and goings, their songs and stresses, a good deal of the time. They got used to it. Here is Second Lieutenant Denis Barnett, serving with the Prince of Wales’ Leinster Regiment, writing a letter home in March the following year: “I had a conversation with a German the other morning. It began just at dawn: ‘Guten morgen, Allyman’, and we soon got going. I told him about the Kaiser, and he said we were all sorts of things I didn’t know.”

As early as December 11, near Armentieres, the Germans threw a big chocolate cake over into the British trench. On it was a note that said, “We propose having a concert tonight as it is our captain’s birthday, and we cordially invite you to attend. Provided you will give us your word of honor as guests and you agree to cease all hostilities between 7:30 and 8:30.” The British thought it was a trap, but they listened to the concert and clapped after each song. One of the Germans yelled over, “Please come mit us into the chorus.” A British soldier replied, “We’d rather die than sing German” and a German quickly replied, “It would kill us if you did.”

The night of December 21 was particularly cold. Sleet fell and the next night was even colder.

Lieutenant Geoffrey Heinekey of the 2nd Queen’s Westminster Rifles was writing to his mother about the recent flurry of activity in the trenches: “A most extraordinary thing happened … some Germans came out and held up their hands and began to take in some of their wounded, and so we ourselves immediately came out of our trenches and began bringing in our wounded also. The Germans then beckoned to us and a lot of us went over and talked to them and they helped us bury our dead. This lasted the whole morning and I talked to several of them and I must say they seemed extraordinarily fine men.”

Another British soldier wrote: “Without a doubt, on the British and German sides of the barbed wire, there are educated men; men who fear God; men who try to live up to the doctrines of their religion , faith, hope and charity.”

As the weather deteriorated, there was a sense that both sides were fighting a common enemy in the weather.

On Christmas Eve, the Germans put up small Christmas trees on the walls of their trenches, lit with candles.
Once darkness had fallen on Christmas Eve, the singing began. At first each side sang their own patriotic songs, trying to drown out the other side with loud singing. Then a group of Germans sang “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” which was practically a national anthem for the Allies.

“Just a line from the trenches on Christmas Eve,” wrote Major Arthur Bates from the London Rifle Brigade in a pencil scrawl to his wife. “A topping night with not much firing going on & both sides singing – it will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow. My orders to the company are not to start firing unless the Germans do.”

In another area, The Germans sang ‘Stille Nacht’. The London Rifles replied with ‘The First Noel’. The Germans clapped. When the British started ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’, the German side joined in with the Latin words ‘Adeste Fideles’.

At 5am Christmas morning, a rumor started circulating that some of the allies were in No Man’s Land speaking with the Germans.  “Impossible, whose leg are you pulling?” said Edward Roe. “If you don’t believe me, go and see for yourself.” “And there they were, sure enough,” wrote Roe later. “British and German warriors in No Man’s Land, talking to each other and exchanging souvenirs. There is a Christ after all.”

Each side took the opportunity to bury their dead, some of whom had been inaccessible since October. They met in the middle and agreed to terms of an unofficial truce, which included things like:

  • Any action taken by the Artillery of either Army did not break our truce as we had no control over Artillery
  • If either side received an order to fire, they would fire the first three rounds high in the air so as to give the other side time to get under cover.
  • If either side fired a shot with intent to kill, the truce was declared off.

Up and down this section of the Western Front, similar scenes played out. One British soldier helped a German who had lived in England before the war write a postcard to his girlfriend.

A British soldier named Esslemont Adams went across No Man’s Land with the intent of arranging a burial service. As he started to cross, a rabbit ran across No Man’s Land and soldiers from both side chased it. “The Germans caught it, and Adams agreed to a joint funeral service which opened with Psalm 23 – “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” – and a joint prayer. After the service, a German colonel took out his cigar case and offered him one. It was an awkward moment for Adams, who was a Presbyterian and didn’t approve of smoking. “May I be allowed not to smoke but to keep this as a souvenir of Christmas here and of meeting you on Christmas Day?” he asked. “Oh yes,” said the German, with a laugh. “But can you give me a souvenir?” Adams took off his cap, dug into the lining to find the copy of the Soldier’s Prayer he always carried (“ Oh God, wash me from all my sins in my Saviour’s Blood, and I shall be whiter than snow”). The colonel put it in his own hat. “I value this because I believe what it says, ” he said. “And when the war is over, I shall take it out and give it as a keepsake to my youngest child.”

Men exchanged gifts. They played football, in some areas with a real ball and in others with whatever they could find. One man ran into a German who had been his barber in England and got a haircut from the enemy in No Man’s Land.

This is Private Ernie Williams of the Cheshire Regiment: “A ball appeared from somewhere, I don’t know where, but it came from their side … They made up some goals and one fellow went in goal and then it was just a general kickabout. I should think there were a couple of hundred taking part. I had a go at the ball. I was pretty good then, at 19, everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves. There was no sort of ill-will between us … There was no referee, no score, no tally at all.”

In another area a soldier recorded: “A German looked over the trench – no shots – our men did the same, and then a few of our men went out and brought the dead in (69) and buried them and the next thing happened a football kicked out of our trenches and Germans and English played football. Night came and still no shots.”

“It was a peculiar mixture of dreamlike exhilaration and celebration. “In the afternoon, I went out and had a chat with ‘our friends the enemy’, ” wrote Sergeant Bernard Brookes of the Queen’s Westminster Rifles in the Frelinghien-Houplines sector.
“Even as I write (dusk),” wrote Sergeant Bob Lobell, “I can scarcely credit what I have seen and done. It has been a wonderful day.”

One soldier summed it up in a letter home: “So there you are; all this talk of hate, all this firing at each other that has raged since the beginning of the war quelled and stayed by the magic of Christmas. Indeed one German said ‘But you are of the same religion as us and today is the day of peace!’ It is really a great triumph for the church. It is a great hope for future peace when two great nations hating each other as foes have seldom hated, one side vowing eternal hate and vengeance and setting their venom to music, should on Christmas day and for all that the word implies, lay down their arms, exchange smokes and wish each other happiness.” – http://www.christmastruce.co.uk/article.html

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All quotes are from Boyle, David: Peace on Earth: The Christmas Truce of 1914 and www.christmastruce.co.uk

Southern Barbecue from a Yankee’s Mouth

Southern Barbecue from a Yankee's Perspective

 

Growing up in the West, I never knew good food until my husband and I moved to the South and fell in love with Southern pork barbecue. Here’s a little page I put together with all the barbecue opinions I never knew I had, including 15 qualifications for good Southern BBQ, restaurant reviews, and the discovery of BBQ at local fairs. Enjoy!

 

(Do you have a favorite BBQ restaurant to add to the list? Add your comment below. )

We highly recommend this song (YouTube link) to help clarify the regional variations of BBQ.

15 qualifications for good Southern BBQ

First of all for barbecue to earn five pigs (), it’s gotta taste of out this world, and incorporate the following criteria:

  1. Pork. ‘Nuff said.
  2. Cheap. Who can really enjoy a good meal if you know you’ll be working overtime to pay it off? A good pork plate, including slaw, fries, and a pickle, should run about $5-$6. Ribs — baby-back, of course — might be closer to $10 with all the fixins‘.
  3. Ma-Pa owned. Sure, there are good barbecue chain restaurants, a few of which we rated. But the appeal of barbecue is tasting a person’s homemade sauce, which usually tastes so good that friends and neighbors ask for the recipe. Then the person has a good start at establishing his or her own restaurant.
  4. A place where everyone knows everyone else — except for us, usually. When Jim the Sheriff and Bob the barber come in for lunch, Louise hollers at them, “Hey boys. C’mon in — your table is open. I’ll bring y’all your usual.”
  5. Most of the staff should be plump–a sure sign that the product is worth tastin‘.
  6. No coupons. Any barbecue restaurant that has to lure you in with a coupon isn’t worth tastin‘. It should be all word-of-mouth marketing.
  7. The aroma of roasting pork should permeate your senses as soon as you pull in the parking lot–even before you open your car door.
  8. It’s got to be casual enough for entire families–great uncle Norm, Great Grandma Ruth, and little toddler Nick, who can’t sit still or keep his voice down low, no many how many reminders from his step-daddy.
  9. Southern accents. Southern town. Southern folks. Southern Southern Southern. (My husband added a couple of non-Southern reviews.)
  10. Vinegar-based barbecue is our favorite, but tomato-based, which is sweeter, is a close second, followed by mustard-based. True Southerners would quickly step-up to define which geographical region caters to which type of barbecue–vinegar, sweet, or mustard-based. However, each restaurant caters to what they like best, so we’ve concluded it’s a Southern myth. Each restaurant serves pork just how they like it.
  11. Tributes to the pig in all forms around the restaurant: Pig pictures on the outside signs and menu, pig statues in the waiting area, and bathrooms, pig toothpick holder at the cashier’s station . . . you get the picture. You just gotta be reminded of what animal you’re eating.
  12. Greasy fries. You know the kind — fried in the left-over dirty greasy from yesterday.
  13. Tart, crisp coleslaw.
  14. Free refills on soda, and keep ’em comin‘. If you have to ask your waitress for a refill, she isn’t quick enough. We need something to wash down the grease.
  15. If it’s a chain restaurant, it has to specialize in barbecue and preferably mention that in the name. Regular all-American grills with a wide range of food choices don’t produce good barbecue.

BBQ Restaurant Reviews

Best =

Worst =

We found most of these BBQ restaurants by word of mouth, or just driving past and smelling the hickory-smoked pork. Our reviews are based solely on my husband’s and my personal dining experience, i.e. our taste buds. Listed alphabetically by restaurant name.

BBQ House, Lithia Springs, GA

Cheap and satisfying. Very casual atmosphere–order and pick-up at the counter. The brunswick stew was very good. The pork was a little on the spicey side. Okay, a lot. They don’t serve fries, so they automatically lose a pig. They lost the other pig on too much spice. There is a nice older gentleman that cleans the tables and goes around conversing with the customers as we wait for our name to be called. They have an autographed, framed photo of Captain Herb, the traffic reporter from A.M. 750, hanging on the wall near the entrance. (Editor’s note: commenter James Robinson claims they do indeed serve fries and recommends the deep-fried corn.)

Mike Broadhead’s BBQ, Newnan, GA

Mike Broadhead is a friend of ours who roasts a whole pig once in a while and invites us over. Talk about good. He and his wife, Susan Jane, are originally from North Carolina. They make a delicious tangy vinegar-based sauce. He gets up in the wee hours of the early morning to go outside and start cooking the pig–an all day process. His wife fries up some yummy hush puppies right before serving time. The hush puppies are crunchy and sweet and compliment the meat well. But oh, the meat. So good, it doesn’t need any BBQ sauce to bring out the flavor–it stands on its own. I can smell the goodness as soon as we pull up to his house. He serves the pork shredded, which is the only way BBQ pork should be served (as opposed to slicing or cubing). His shredded pork just melts in my mouth. He’s nice enough to send us home with extra meat, which will feed my husband for lunch for the next two months. I also made some delicious Brunswick stew with some leftover pork. The only downside is that he doesn’t open up for regular business! But we’re glad to be on the invite list for the pig roasts.

Cafe Pig, Peachtree City, GA

Really flavorful, juicy chopped pork sandwiches. You can smell it before you get there. The coleslaw tastes fresh. The french fries are nasty–they’re cooked in the oven, so definitely not enough grease. The pork is so juicy that it quickly saturates the bun.

Charlie Vergos Rendezvous, Memphis, TN

The dry ribs are heaven on earth. They’re called “dry” but are very juicy. They’re coated with mild spices and cooked in an authentic wood oven/pit. The coleslaw is mustard based and fabulous with the ribs. Fries are an option here, but their ribs make up for that. The atmosphere is very cool. It’s right in the heart of Memphis and has been around since the ’40s. If you’ve worked there for only 20 years, you’re considered a newcomer.

Clyde Cooper’s BBQ, Raleigh, NC

Clyde Cooper’s Barbecue is North Carolina BBQ at its best! While visiting my brother in Raleigh Feb. ’08, we ate lunch at Clyde Cooper’s Barbecue in downtown Raleigh. Clyde’s has been in business since 1938. Don’t let the musty table rag smell get to you when you first enter–it soon gets covered up by great smelling pork. Our waiter was really nice, and got the food out quickly. The menu was basic, and consisted of BBQ chicken, and just BBQ, which means pork BBQ. I got the BBQ sandwich and ordered a side of slaw. The waiter looked at me strangely and told me the sandwich was already topped with slaw. I forgot I was in North Carolina! So I had the BBQ with slaw on top AND a side of slaw.

Before I start on the great meat, the slaw is worth a few lines. Clyde’s slaw was the very best slaw I’ve ever eaten. It’s a vinegar based slaw, unlike the often mushy, wilty, mayo slaw found in other joints. The waiter said the coleslaw is made fresh every day. So good. The BBQ pork was melt-in-your-mouth good. It was finely chopped without any chewy grissle to knaw on. It’s NC BBQ, so it’s not drenched in sauce, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s already very moist. I added the vinegar/pepper sauce on the table to the pork for added tang, but still not necessary. The meat tasted just like Mike Broadhead’s chopped pork, which is a high compliment. My brother Ryan got the BBQ chicken, and it was equally delicious. My husband got butter beans on the side and my brother got brussel sprouts and collard greens and like them all. Our table was served a few baskets of hushpuppies–very crispy and corny–a great accompanment to BBQ. The french fries has a spice blend on them and are thick, cut steak fries–very good. And nothing cost more than about five bucks on the menu–a great deal. Now, if only Clyde’s would consider moving to Newnan, we couold actually enjoy real BBQ without having to drive seven hours away for it!

Downside: no fountain drinks–sodas are only served in cans. But the lemonade is out of gallon containers and include free refills. Beware: it’s a cash only place, no credit cards, so be prepared. There’s no kids meals, and our kids didn’t appreciate the good BBQ, but then again, I think they were sick of eating french fries at every meal that weekend. I helped clean up their BBQ sandwiches, so I can’t complain.

Five Star Day Cafe, Athens, GA

Wow, didn’t quite get as many stars (pigs) as its name. Good, juicy pork sandwich. Cool college hangout across from the U of GA campus. Justin loved the pot roast (“I don’t want it to end”), although beef shouldn’t even be mentioned on the same page as Southern BBQ.

Hole in the Wall Barbecue, Seattle, WA

Justin ate here several times while he was working in Seattle. It’s definitely a hole in the wall — three or four stools make up all the seating. The barbecue sauce has coffee grounds in it, which is fitting for Seattle. There are no fries, but they have a good selection of chips, potato salad, and barbecued beans. The coleslaw is apparently very good, but he doesn’t like coleslaw. Try a sandwich “hot and wet” if you like it spicy and drenched in sauce.

Johnny B’s, Hogansville, GA

The lukewarm chopped pork has a bit of good flavor at first bite, but it tasted bland quickly. I put their homemade sauce on it to save it, but it wasn’t any good either–just tasted like Worcestershire sauce. The fries were just frozen crinkle cut and almost flavorless. The ribs aren’t baby back ribs–the other kind of pork ribs, so no good. It didn’t smell of pork anywhere in the vicinity of the restaurant. It’s a pretty building next to a big meadow with horses, so it looks like it would almost be authentic. Pickles were soggy. Disappointing.

Lexington BBQ, Lexington, North Carolina

We lived in North Carolina for two years, and as pathetic as it sounds, Wendy didn’t get hooked on BBQ until we moved away. So when Justin and Wendy visited this very famous BBQ restaurant, Wendy ordered the grilled chicken sandwich–how sad. Lexington BBQ is sweet, which is my favorite.

Nana’s Country Cooking, Palmetto, GA

This is a general Southern cooking restaurant. Still, the BBQ pork sandwich on the lunch menu was worth going back a second time. The bun was a little stale. Flavorful coleslaw, but the fries weren’t good.

Roger’s BBQ, Hogansville, GA

This is tomato-based sauce, which is a little sweeter than my favorite vinegar-based. I wouldn’t stop here again for lunch, but it satisfied me that day.

Shane’s Rib Shack, Newnan, GA

A new place in town with very good pork barbecue. Cooked in a delicious vinegar-based sauce. Pretty quick, casual service. The fries weren’t too flavorful. The price was a bit high for a typical pork plate–$6.50 for a sandwich with two sides, but drink is extra. So it comes to about $8.00 for a full meal. It replaced a Noodle Bowl, which was good, but apparently a little too eclectic for the Newnan crowd.

Smoke House Barbecue, Palmetto, GA

This trailer did have good pork sandwiches, but unfortunately went out of business.

Smokey Bones, Mobile, Alabama

It’s a chain, so it’s pricier. But it’s good barbecue. Worth the drive. We stopped in, not knowing what to expect, but savored every mouthful. The pork was cooked on wood for sure with lots of smoked flavor. The fries were greasy, hmm yum. The portions were big and the refills just kept coming.

Some BBQ place in Murphy, North Carolina

This place knows ribs. Even our little five-year old licked off every rib bone in her kid’s meal. These ribs just melted in my mouth. Packed with real flavor. The fries were great. Poor Justin was sick this day and couldn’t enjoy his could-have-been favorite rib experience. The waiting room is very quaint with many wooden rocking chairs lining the walls. Very family friendly. Good prices for ribs and kid’s meal, and the bread was fresh.

Sonny’s BBQ, Douglasville, GA

Nasty. The meat is dry without flavor, and their specialty sauce is basically a thicker version of ketchup.

Sprayberry’s Barbecue, Newnan, GA

This place is famous in Newnan. It’s been around since the 1920s and is still family-run. The meat tends to be dry, and their sauce isn’t packed with flavor either, but if the place has been around that long, I must be missing something that other people dig. Justin likes their brunswick stew. (Editor’s note: this is the rating that is most-disputed on this page — see comments below. There were a few other comments that have been excluded for profanity and taking BBQ ratings entirely too personally. Justin decided to give the place a second chance and really liked his sandwich. He’s almost convinced me to go back.)

Sticky Fingers, Hilton Head, South Carolina

It’s a chain, but it’s a good chain. The pork plate topped with slaw was melt-in-my-mouth good.

The Barbecue Kitchen, Hapeville, GA

Pretty good barbecue, until the place burned down. (It’s back in business now, but I haven’t been back yet.)

Wallace Barbecue, Lithia Springs, GA

I owe all of my love for BBQ to Wallace’s. This is where I got hooked on BBQ. We compare all barbecue restaurants to Wallace’s. It is the epitome of Southern BBQ and has all 15 criteria. The “pork thrift plate” is under $5 and comes with a pork sandwich, slaw, and fries. You can smell this place from a mile away. The meat has a wonderful smoked flavor with a vinegar taste. You don’t need to add any barbecue sauce to the meat to make it good. The pork is very tender. The fries are thick and dirty and greasy and salty, just the way I like ’em. The coleslaw is tart and vinegar-based. The only time I’d hesitate to visit is in July after they shut down for a few days and clean out, among other things, the deep fryer. Wait a couple of weeks until it builds up “flavor” again for the fries.


BBQ at Local Fairs and Festivals

Also worth mentioning are county fairs and seasonal festivals, which are some of the best places to get BBQ. Unfortunately, these occassions are few and far between. Spring and fall are the likely times of these events, so keep your eye out. Nothin‘ beats eating good BBQ ribs on the grass while a hometown bluegrass band entertains us all. Events worth noting:

  • Big Pig Jig, Vienna, GA, held in October: From www.bigpigjig.com: “BIG PIG JIG® was born in Vienna, Georgia when a group of self-professed gourmets made wagers on who among them could cook the most succulent pig! . . .Twenty-one years after the idea took shape, the contest drew 121 teams cooking over 400 entries of hogs, shoulders, ribs, plus kettles of Brunswick stew, barbecue sauce, and barbecued chicken. The event attracted over 20,000 spectators and required more than 425 judges, 325 volunteers, plus countless pounds of pork. In 2002 the Dooly County Chamber of Commerce awarded more than $12,000 in cash plus trophies to BIG PIG JIG’s top cooks and accommodated huge crowds of festival fun-seekers at the facility now known as BBQ CITY, ”
  • The Barbecue Festival, Lexington, North Carolina, held in October: From www.barbecuefestival.com: ” Lexington, North Carolina is the Barbecue Capital of the world. The barbecue is legendary. We invite everyone to come to Uptown Lexington where we provide over 100,000 people with the finest exhibits, the most exciting entertainment, and of course, the Best Barbecue in the world!”
  • Dylan, GA–a BBQ cookoff gathers BBQ fans from around the state
  • Dogwood festival, Atlanta, GA–local vendors show off their unique BBQ