Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Good bread, good meat...

Every once in a while, I need to wander off on a tangent. Tonight, while driving back from the initial meeting for volunteers at the NHL All-Star Game, I drove by Fat Matt's Rib Shack (and let's not forget the Chicken Shack next door). So... I got to thinking about some of the great places I have been lucky enough to eat at here in Atlanta. I know it isn't about real estate, but we live here... and we have to eat... and if we are going to eat, we should eat well.

I guess I should start with Fat Matt's. This is a legendary stop in Atlanta. Aside from ribs that are known throughout the South, there is live blues seven nights a week. The last time I stopped in, there was a tour bus parked outside. As a blues neophyte, I couldn't tell you who the musician was, but one of my guests was just about beside himself that a legend would bring his bus up from New Orleans for a one night engagement in a rib joint. Don't let the look fool you... this place rocks... er blues... whatever.

The chicken next door is also quite amazing. That would be Fat Matt's Chicken Shack. No live blues (that I know of), but BBQ chicken for lunch is certainly a treat.

The next one on the list is actually gone now. For decades there was a place in Atlanta called Deacon Burton's Soul Food Grill. It was the very definition of Southern Cuisine. Deacon Burton passed away a few years ago, and there was a lot of drama involving the restaurant. Born of the drama is a place called Son's Place. I have not been there, but I hear it is across the street and has faithfully captured the experience. The reviews are good as well.

As long as we are on Southern foods, let's hit another BBQ place. This one is right around the corner from me. Spiced Right Bar-B-Q in Lilburn, GA. It is good sweet BBQ. Again, it isn't fancy, but that doesn't mean it isn't good. They have half a dozen different sauces, and they are all good. On my last visit, I enjoyed the brisket... and some pulled pork... and some chicken. Ok, I had some rolls, too.

Finally, not too far away is a DeKalb County tradition... but it's pretty close to Gwinnett County as well. Matthew's Cafeteria in Tucker is a favorite destination for locals at lunchtime. Like Son's Place, they are a "meat and three" place (for those that aren't familiar, that would be meat and three vegetables or sides). Swinging by around lunch, and the lot is plugged with police cars, while there is a steady stream of traffic from Cofer Bros. Lumber across the street.

If you are an Atlanta local, especially around Gwinnett County, I hope that you have a few new ideas for lunch or dinner in the next couple of weeks. If you don't live in Atlanta, drop in for a visit. Buy a house. I'll even take you to lunch...

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