BBQ PSA: Heirloom Market is smokin’.

If, like me, you believe there can never be enough decent barbeque joints on the planet, say hello to my new leedle fren’, Heirloom Market BBQ.

I’ve had enough there to say that while it may not be better than my current Atlanta benchmark, Fox Bros., it damned sure isn’t outclassed.  Especially if you’re partial to Texas-style barbeque.

Warning:  I’m not kidding about the little part.  The place only has one table and seats a total of about fifteen, so I imagine it’s quite cozy at peak times.  (I live less than 10 minutes away, so that’s no problem for me.)

If you’re a barbeque lover who’s near the I-75/I-285/Chattahoochee River triangle, Heirloom Market is a no-brainer.  For the rest of you, it’s worth taking a pilgrimage.


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53 responses to “BBQ PSA: Heirloom Market is smokin’.

  1. Keese

    If you’re ever heading up to ellijay just past Jasper check out Biggins bbq. Only ate there once but man it was good

  2. Spence

    Many many people disagree with me, but I think Fox Brothers is over-rated (their pulled pork leaves something to be desired, and pulled pork should be the gold standard). Try Maddy’s on Scott Blvd sometime (it’s related to Fat Matt’s.

    • Joe

      I Like Fat Matt’s! Tried to go yesterday.

    • JWalker84

      I’ve had bbq from NC to Valdosta, Up to Savannah, statesboro, Macon and all the way to New orleans and in between. I’ve still never had a better pulled pork than Fox Bros. Fat Matt’s and Maddy’s doesnt come close. Fat matts is a rib shack for crying out loud. For pulled pork go to fox bros.

    • Reptillicide

      Blasphemy. I had Fox Bros for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and it was the best BBQ I’ve had in the state of Georgia, by far. Everything was perfect… including the pulled pork.

  3. Skeptic Dawg

    Best BBQ in Atlanta is Harolds downtown, near the big federal prison. Awesome stew and incredible cracklin cornbread. Note: it has been awhile since I have been there, not 100% sure they are still open.

    • Foodie

      Harold’s is still there – though I was not as impressed with it on my last visit in December. I did catch the tail end of the lunch rush and the Brunswick stew was good – but the BBQ pork was just ok at best.

  4. NCT

    I’m especially partial to having my BBQ cut up in chunks instead of pulled and shredded (and, worse, mixed with sauce). I can stand Harold’s when I get it sliced. It’s been mighty hard to find good stuff around here (and by “here”, I don’t mean where I live in Midtown, because that’s a no-brainer — it’d be served with a chipotle-raspberry coulis and a side of “our take” on traditional coleslaw made from Thai cabbage and a saffron-cinnamon remoulade — Jeebus, the only catfish I could find was a pecan-encrusted filet at 6 Feet).

    BBQ is the only thing I miss about my sojourn in Columbus. There are Saturday afternoons when I think I might kill somebody for a Smoky Pig Old-Timer Plate.

    But thanks for the tip. I’ll look into Heirloom. Now, if anybody knows where I can find a good chicken-fried steak with collard greens and black-eyeds, I’d be much obliged.

    • Macallanlover

      Like you, I love the “chunked” version so you can really taste the meat, pulled pork is my 2nd choice. I usually hate BBQ that is chopped to small pieces, although Vandy’s in Stateboro could get away with it because they ised white bread and had a great sauce. I want to check out Heirloom’s as well, that meat looked damned good in the pics.

      I don’t know if it is still there, but Glen’s BBQ in Conyers had the best chunked meat sandwich I ever had. His sauce wasn’t great, had to play around mixing it, but that was the largest BBQ sandwich I have ever had. The large size comes on Texas toast and was stacked high, I mean really high. Only place I have ever been where I couldn’t hardly finish two sandwiches. Ordered my usual two the first time in and it took me a while. The waitress said she assumed someone was joining me when I ordered. If it is still there, check it out sometime.

    • Scott W.

      6 Feet has regular Catfish too. It’s reeel good!

  5. Bill M.

    Down here in Columbus we have plenty of bbq. But thanks ; )

  6. SouthGa Dawg

    Coming up to Athens from Hwy 15, stop at Holcomb’s BBQ in White Plains. BBQ and stew are great, plus the place is screen door/windows and saw dust floor. Great food and cool atmosphere (especially on Sat. mornings in the fall).

    • anon

      The most over rated experience I’ve ever had. I saw the place and was immediately sold. Neat, old timey exterior.

      However, the people running it could have cared less I was there, and the food was worse. Absolutely no smoke to the pork at all.

  7. 3rdDegree

    I got laid off in the Summer of 2009 and so I subsequently traveled the country over the next 9 months eating as much barbecue as I could (30 spots in Atlanta and over 90 in the country). While I’m partial to Texas-style barbecue, I really aimed to also find the best barbecue in Atlanta.

    *Overall, I had the most consistent and best tasting at Big Shanty up in Kennessaw.
    *Like somebody stated above, Fox Brothers is pretty-overrated. Love their rub, especially on the beef short rub, but the rest of the options are typically dry and their product is too inconsistent to be the best. Community Q is comparative too.
    *If you like Fat Matt’s style, I highly suggest that you make it over to Maddy’s on Scott and N Decator. Its ribs are superior and its hard to beat bbq while listening to the Open Jam with Chicago Joe if you like the blues / classic rock.
    * Monday nights, P’Cheens puts out some pretty stellar barbecue
    * Heirloom never made it on my radar. But after hearing about it from multiple sources, gotta check it out on my next trip back to Atlanta.

    Not trying to plug my own site (especially because its been dormant for about a year since I’ve since rejoined the employment pool), but I documented my journey here – — perhaps some of you might find the write-ups and pictures resourceful, if you’ve ever given thought to going on your own bbq roadtrip around the South or Atlanta.

  8. Reggie Cunningham

    I’m sure you guys all know the lyrics, but it’s worth a re-listen. I have to hit it up every once in a while whilst living in NYC. Helps keep my brain right.

    BBQ is not a grill. BBQ is not a verb.

  9. shane#1

    The best I have had lately has been at Fresh Air in Macon on Riverside. Most BBQ in Albany is just so so, okay when you are jonesing, but not worth a long drive.

    • Macallanlover

      That is asurpringly good BBQ sandwich for a place right along the interstate. Stop there every time I go to Savannah.

      For those who like really good Brunswick Stew, Johnny’s in Gainesville has some of the best I have ever tried. Usually bring some home with me for the next day.

  10. Hobnail_Boot

    The year I lived in Kansas City completely ruined southern BBQ for me.

    • Will

      I felt similar after my trip to KC, but the blank, mindless stares from waitresses when you asked for “Sweet Tea” just killed it for me. Why even eat BBQ if you can’t get it with a good glass of sweet tea. These idiots literally were trying to put two and two together on the spot after I would ask: “Well, I could bring you … hot tea? And maybe some sugar?” Pfff.

  11. Bard Parker

    Plenty of BBQ in Columbus, as stated above.
    If you like a more vinegar-based sauce Heavy’s outside of Crawfordville is a good place.

    • NCT

      I miss Smoky Pig. And Rose Hill. And Minnie’s. And Chicken Comer. And partying with middle-aged office ladies at Memory Lane’s (and that “‘s” is obligatory). Ok, the last one not so much — just establishing my Fountain City cred. Good times.

  12. gastr1

    Having grown up on Carolina and Southern BBQ but spending much time in the midwest and Texas, I have to say that burnt ends in Kansas City and brisket in Texas beat the holy heck out of anything otherwhere. Those of you who like to taste your meat (!)…

    You don’t use sauce at a play like that.

    • gastr1

      >cough< "Place" like that. Juice splatter from that brisket got in my eyes.

    • Oh, son, now you went and brought up Central Texas BBQ. I live in Austin and love Louis Mueller’s. Ditto Cooper’s in Llano, the Lockhart trio (Black’s, Smitty’s and Kreuz’s), Luling City Market, Southside Market in Elgin. As much as I love a good sauce (something in short supply in these parts), there’s nothing like meat with nothing to hide.

      Man, if I ever wanted to go out with my own version of “Leaving Las Vegas,” I’d do it with an absolutely hedonistic tour of those places. Just keep the hearse running out back and know I’m goin’ out smilin’.

  13. X-Dawg

    It’s been my experience that everyone tends to have different tastes in BBQ and no one is right or wrong in their opinions. I’ve been to lots of BBQ places in the ATL area and almost every one of them have things I like and things I could criticize. I could be in the mood for pulled pork, chopped pork, sliced pork, brisket, ribs, etc…… whatever mood I’m in determines which place I go to. Some of my favorites that haven’t been mentioned are Swallow At The Hollow in Roswell, Williamson Brothers in Marietta, & Poole’s in Ellijay. My least favorite (at least for the pork) is Slopes.

    • gastr1

      “It’s been my experience that everyone tends to have different tastes in BBQ and no one is right or wrong in their opinions”
      + 1.

      Except I’m right, of course. 🙂

  14. S.E. Dawg

    I don’t know about Atlanta area BBQ but if any of you are ever in Lumber City GA. (don’t blink your eyes or you’ll miss it) Stinson’s BBQ is the best. I’ve eaten a lot of BBQ and this by far is the best I’ve had. I’ve actually taken some for tailgating on gameday. It’s mom and pop so it’s unique and original.

  15. Silver Creek Doug

    I would highly recommend the Georgia Pig off the Jekyll Island exit on I 95 on the way to Jax. I lived in Brunswick for a year and absolutely wore that place out.

    I am very partial to the eastern NC BBQ (my college girlfriend was from Lexington and her parents owned a restaurant), but I tried Texas BBQ brisket for the first time last October and thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

    • SC Dawg

      Amen, brother. Pulled pork from coastal Carolina is the jam. You could pour straight vinegar on it and I’d be happy.

      • Macallanlover

        See, that is just how individual tastes are like by region. I love BBQ as much as anyone I know, will drive way out of my way to try a new place, or stop just after I have eaten when I see one on the highway that looks interesting. That said, I lived in NC for over 20 years, and damn near starved for BBQ in NC. I even felt they sshould be sued for giving BBQ a bad name. Worst I have ever had, but the locals think it is OK. The only decent BBQ, and I mean any I could even finish eating, was at pig pickings before than could ruin the meat by chopping it to the size of ground pepper, and then cover it with cabbage and vinegar. I appreciate some like it, but meat done that way might as well come from Taco Bell. You cannot taste it. And yes, I have been to Lexington and all over Eastern NC to the highly rated places. Everyone’s got their own definition.

  16. Scott W.

    Now I have a list of about five places to try. Thanks y’all!

  17. Zdawg

    Thanks for the callout senator. I’m just around the corner in Marietta. Fox bros and daddy d’s are a bit of a hike! I’ll check it out.

  18. DawgPhan

    If anyone is in middle Ga this weekend, stop by the Lane Peach Packing Plant. They are having a GBA bbq contest this weekend. I am not sure if they are having a people’s choice or anything, but if you stop by Kudzu Q and ask for DawgPhan I will make sure you get some of the best bbq you have ever had.

  19. Beef ain’t bbq in Ga my brother

  20. NRBQ

    I’m in Augusta, which has practically no edible barbecue in town.

    The most successful and famous place (catered at the White House for Jimmah Cahtah), is garbage.

    In the 50’s and 60’s, my dad would take me to one of several dirt-floor shacks featuring one man, a butcher block and a cleaver, sauce optional. Big sandwich on white bread, homemade pickles and potato salad, Co-cola in a 6-oz. bottle. Great stacks of hickory piled up outside. Now all the family joints are gone, and several chain efforts have failed here.

    • Macallanlover

      That is exactly what Vandy’s original place downtown is still like. If you get in that area, try it. The new one at the mall has good cue, but just not the same as the original.

    • Bard Parker

      There was a place in Beech Island that was pretty good, ate there a few times while in school. Can’t remember the name…

  21. matt b.

    Just tried Dave Poe’s bbq in Marietta last week – killer stuff right there. Least favorite bbq in Atlanta? Dreamland; anything but.

    • DawgVegas

      Yep – Dave Poe’s is something special, as is Sam’s in East Cobb near Parkaire. Very similar menu (Sam and Dave were once in partnership) – I have yet to try the sauce ’cause the meat doesn’t need any, but I hear it’s good. I like both places better than anything else I’ve tried around Atlanta (but I haven’t tried ’em all). Better imo than Fat Matt’s, Fox Bros (but I do love that place too), Harold’s, Dusty’s (RIP), Williamson bros (ugh), Slopes, etc. I will now be venturing to Heirloom Market on my way home tonight.

      Thanks Senator for the tip!

  22. Marshall

    In terms of BBQ pork, the original Fresh Air in Flovilla, GA (just south of Jackson), is widely considered the best in Georgia and I’d have to agree. Their sauce is amazing. The stew is pretty good but nowhere near as good as the pork.

    Still waiting to find a decent brisket/BBQ beef. I’ve heard there is a place out near Mansfield, GA that has it down pretty good. I’ll let y’all know once I try it.

    I do have an appreciation for Carolina-style. You have to eat like they do though. Fix it on an onion roll, add a mustard-based sauce and top it with vinegar-heavy slaw…it’s good eatin’!

    • Reptillicide

      Fresh-air is my 2nd favorite after Fox Bros. It’s really a tough comparison because they are different styles.