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Barbecue, baby. It’s what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Atleast it was for me this past Saturday when I had the honor of visiting 3 of Georgia’s most famous BBQ joints: Fresh Air BBQ in Jackson, GA, The Whistling Pig in Pine Mountain, GA and Daddy D’z in Atlanta.
We started our morning at Fresh Air BBQ which has been a Jackson favorite since 1929. Brothers George and David Barber have been honoring the family biz with the same recipes their Granddad used back when the restaurant was almost entirely outdoors! (Which is how the Fresh Air BBQ name came to be).
Unlike the classic pork butt that’s more commonly used for pulled pork, the folks at Fresh Air slow cook hams that roast up to a gorgeous golden brown—then the skin is peeled back to reveal juicy pork that is (shocker!) much less fatty than pork butt. In this case, less fat meant MORE FLAVOR. It was absolutely delish--- especially combined with the family recipe for a vinegar based BBQ sauce slathered on a bun with some of their homemade slaw. I topped it off with some of their famous Brunswick stew, and it was the best breakfast I can remember!
Our next stop was The Whistling Pig, where I came face to face with the infamous “Big Ed” sandwich: Texas toast topped with mayo, pork loin, French fries and onion rings—all in one big sammy. Oh yes. I did some damage to Big Ed (and probably to my waistline as well!)
The Whistling Pig is also family run operation, and Susie Moore (lovingly known as Mama Pig) introduced me to the whole Pig family—from Papa Pig to Baby Pig, her 7 year old grandson who was delivering food like a total pro! The menu was extensive, serving up favorites like smoked chicken wings, fried hotdogs and caramel cake. Warning: Unbuttoning your top button is pretty much expected after a meal at the Whistling Pig. And hint: “The Big Ed” isn’t on the menu, so be sure to ask for it ahead of time! (And THIS little pig wants another “Big Ed” NOW.)
Our last stop of the day was at Daddy D’z BBQ Joynt, an intown Atlanta “joynt” that is practically legendary. The original Daddy D was from Chicago, and he brought Windy City style BBQ to legions of fans in Hotlanta, including the house specialty-- rib tips. These tender tips are the smoked end of the rib, sauced and cut into chunks. To. Die. For.
Sopping up the tips with Daddy D’z sweet cornbread was like dying Daddy D’z style and going to BBQ heaven.
I still can’t button up those pants….but it was worth every decadent BBQ bite!