I don’t know what’s harder for me to fathom. The fact that I’ve been corresponding back and forth with THE Virginia Willis for a couple of months or that she actually agreed to participate in one of my favorite features on my site, “My Favorite BBQ Joints“?
Virginia Willis is a food icon. Truly. To pin her down to just one hat would be a sin, so know that she is all at once a chef, food writer, spokesperson, and extremely prolific blogger. She also is a culinary TV producer, a professional recipe developer, and social media food authority. “Her legion of fans love her knack for giving classic French dishes a down-home Southern feel and re-imagining homey Southern favorites en Française.” She’s definitely an authority of food (more specifically Southern Food), but what makes me proud is her devotion to BBQ.
Heirloom BBQ – Atlanta, GA
Smoky wonderful goodness. Located in the other half of a convenience store, this BBQ spot has exploded onto the ATL dining scene. It’s a perfect mash-up of hillbilly and haute cuisine. Both of the owners, a husband-wife team, have fine-dining backgrounds. Jiyeon is a trained pastry chef and Korean, so there are also Korean influences that are surprising and wonderful. It’s not fusion in the train-wreck sort of way. It’s works. The Korean Sweet Potatoes are absolutely addictive.
Fox Bros – Atlanta, GA
It’s the best place for Texas style BBQ in Atlanta. They like to call it “Texas with a Southern influence.” The meats are smoked over hickory and it’s nice to see the smoke when you pull up in the parking lot. They’ve got really good vegetables, and use only seasonal and local farmers. I’ve taken out of town guests here and met with great success. It’s the place for brisket in Atlanta.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Pang & Keith Claxton – BBQ Road Trip ’10
Fat Matts Rib Shack – Atlanta, GA
This is where I take the uninitiated for real Southern style BBQ. They’ve got meaty, thick, rich Brunswick Stew, one of my favorites. It’s thick enough to hold a spoon straight up. This is the close as it gets in Atlanta for a real BBQ “joint”. The collard greens are tender and suspended in smoky, salty pot likker.
Photo courtesy of Yelp
Community Q – Decatur, GA
Dave Roberts, the former chef de cuisine under Gunter Seeger now is a pit master. His attention to detail is awesome. Homemade, amazing food. No gallons of pre made corn-syrup fake smoke sauce will be found here. The pulled pork is sweet pink and smoky. He sells local seasonal vegetables out front and it’s truly a local, community place.
Check out Virginia’s blog HERE