REVIEW: Hartsyard’s ‘Fried Chicken & Friends’

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Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015.

One of life’s true miracles, fried chicken is readily available in most parts of Sydney at most times of the day. You could throw a handful of flour at a drumstick in a deep fryer and it would still taste pretty good, but genuinely great fried chicken takes time, and every fried chicken fan will tell you that the chicken they fry at Newtown’s Hartsyard is genuinely great.

Fried Chicken & Friends is the first cookbook by the couple behind Hartsyard – relocated New Yorker Gregory Llewellyn and Naomi Hart, who opened an American restaurant at the peak of Sydney’s obsession with faux diner food but rose above the hype and delivered a menu that included American classics cleverly tweaked to reflect their Sydney setting.

While they could’ve just called this book Fried Chicken, the Friends include recipes for sweet potato pies, fried oyster po’ boys and poutine, plus a palate balancing selection of pickles and salads, an insane dessert section and some cocktails to wash it all down with.

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As for the fried chicken recipe? It takes up the first 20 pages of the book, takes three days and requires a vacuum sealer. Like a lot of the recipes in Fried Chicken & Friends, it’s incredible to have it written out in front of you but it’s more likely to make you book a table at Hartsyard than it is inspire you to actually cook it. Some things are best left to the experts.

Who
Hartsyard’s Gregory Llewellyn and Naomi Hart

Where
Out now through Murdoch Books

How much
$49.99

EL SHADDAI, MERRYLANDS

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Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015.

African food is a bit of an anomaly in Sydney – a scattering of restaurants in the Western Suburbs without a “best African food in Sydney” Buzzfeed article to help you navigate them. Sydney’s growing African scene has meant the emergence of more specific restaurants. Offering more varied and regionally specific menus, instead of the all encompassing “African cuisine” representing the many dishes of the second biggest continent in the world. The main street in Merrylands has seen a few businesses open in the last few years, turning one end of Merrylands Rd into a haven for hair extensions and awesome food.

El Shaddai specialises in West African cuisine – you can tell this when you walk in due to the smell of ginger and hot spices, plus the Nigerian dancehall videos showing on the TV. It looks like a humble takeaway joint from the outside – and those looking for humble takeaway food will find cheap fish and chips on the menu – but the rest of the fare is proper sit down knife and fork stuff.

There’s an abundance of stewed meats, charcoal chicken and an intriguing dish called ‘kan kan kan’, but the pride of El Shaddai is their jollof rice with fried tilapia. Jollof rice is red with tomato, vaguely spicy and completely ignored when beneath a colossal fish, fried whole with crackly skin. On the side is a spicy onion relish that makes the white flesh of the tilapia taste even better. Also on the plate: a by-the-numbers garden salad topped with intricate swirls of pink mayo dressing. The perfect salad to cover with fish bones.

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The unassuming neon sign out the front of El Shaddai is not one that you’d associate with a $30 fish dinner, but the kitchen delivers, making you promise to return to try the rest of the menu and find out whatever the hell kan kan kan is.

Where
130 Merrylands Rd, Merrylands

When
Mon-Sat 12-8:45pm, Sun 2-8:45pm

How much
Mains from $15

AABOLL CAFE, MERRYLANDS

Originally published on TwoThousand in 2015.

African food is a bit of an anomaly in Sydney – a scattering of restaurants in the Western Suburbs without a “best African food in Sydney” Buzzfeed article to help you navigate them. Sydney’s growing African scene has meant the emergence of more specific restaurants. Offering more varied and regionally specific menus, instead of the all encompassing “African cuisine” representing the many dishes of the second biggest continent in the world. The main street in Merrylands has seen a few businesses open in the last few years, turning one end of Merrylands Rd into a haven for hair extensions and awesome food.

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El Shaddai specialises in West African cuisine – you can tell this when you walk in due to the smell of ginger and hot spices, plus the Nigerian dancehall videos showing on the TV. It looks like a humble takeaway joint from the outside – and those looking for humble takeaway food will find cheap fish and chips on the menu – but the rest of the fare is proper sit down knife and fork stuff.

aaboll3

There’s an abundance of stewed meats, charcoal chicken and an intriguing dish called ‘kan kan kan’, but the pride of El Shaddai is their jollof rice with fried tilapia. Jollof rice is red with tomato, vaguely spicy and completely ignored when beneath a colossal fish, fried whole with crackly skin. On the side is a spicy onion relish that makes the white flesh of the tilapia taste even better. Also on the plate: a by-the-numbers garden salad topped with intricate swirls of pink mayo dressing. The perfect salad to cover with fish bones.

The unassuming neon sign out the front of El Shaddai is not one that you’d associate with a $30 fish dinner, but the kitchen delivers, making you promise to return to try the rest of the menu and find out whatever the hell kan kan kan is.

Where
140 Merrylands Rd, Merrylands

When
Mon-Wed 7am-8:30pm, Thu-Fri 7am-9:30pm, Sat 10am-9:30pm, Sun 2-8:30pm

Contact
02 8840 9076

The Mitchen: a podcast about FOOD

TheMitchen1400I’ve started another podcast! This one’s called The Mitchen​! It’s a weekly panel about food, hosted by ACME‘s head chef Mitchell Orr​ and I from his his kitchen table, with four guests from the food world joining us each episode to discuss food and restaurant news.

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For our first episode we are joined by four talented and hilarious chefs – Mike Eggert (Pinbone), Analiese Gregory (ACME, ex-Quay), Kerby Craig (Ume) and Clayton Eggert (Automata, ex-Momofuku Seiobo). Together we mourn the recent closure of Pinbone, find out how to pronounce Clayton’s new restuarant, react to the news of Noma hosting a pop-up restaurant in Sydney next year, argue over our favourite sandwiches and take a few shots at our good friend Dan Hong.

Subscribe to The Mitchen on iTunes or stream episodes from our Libsyn page. Throw us a like on Facebook too! New episodes up every week!

THE DIP’S LAST WEEK

Originally posted on The Dip blog.

Welcome to the last week of The Dip. Don’t be sad – be organised! Get your crew together and make a booking for one last Dip trip before it’s too late.

We’re keeping it simple all week. Only a few specials – we’re mainly focusing on our regular menu. It’s all about that last plate of Pulled Pork Nachos, that last Lev’s Dawg and that last Young Cheezy.

Here’s some of the awesome things you can be a part of during our last week!

WEDNESDAY – GAME OF THRONES TRIVIA

Join Nick Coyle for an evening exploring George R. R. Martin’s world, covering all four seasons of the HBO show. Free and first in, best dressed. Kicking off at 8pm but be early – this one will be big!

THURSDAY – ONE LAST DIP HOP

Remember Dip Hop? We’re bringing back The Dip’s weekly Front Bar party for one last dance, with Head Chef Levins, Dip Hop regular Leon Smith and Dip legends Batesy & McKinley!

To make it a proper Dip Hop, we’re bringing back The Juicy J for one night only! It’s The Dip’s take on a ‘Juicy Lucy’ burger – the beef patty is filled with gooey American cheese and served with onions, pickles, tomato, lettuce and TRIPPY SAUCE.

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Enjoy rap and enjoy burgers. It’s a no-brainer. Free from 9pm.

FRIDAY – TEARS

Come watch our kitchen staff cry as they work through what is sure to be our busiest night ever.

SATURDAY – OUR LAST NIGHT & THE RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT

It’s our last night ever – and your last chance to eat your Dip favourites! Come enjoy our menu for the last time, and then join us for a huge party out the back with our head chef Levins DJing nothing but nostalgic 90s dance BANGERS until late into the night!

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One week to go! We hope we see all of you at some point!

THE END OF AN ERA

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We’re closing The Dip in four weeks.

At the beginning of this year our son Archie was born. You’ve probably seen him all over Instagram. Having a kid changes your life – mostly it meant that Bianca needed to be at home with him almost every day, keeping her from The Dip. We have been blessed with incredible staff who were more than capable of running The Dip without B – even without me – but The Dip was something that B and I started together, and the idea of it existing without both of us just didn’t seem right.

So rather than The Dip morphing into something less like the restaurant we opened together three years ago (potentially better, potentially worse, we’ll never know!) we’re gonna go out on a high note. The Dip’s last night of trade will be Saturday the 12th of July.

Needless to say Goodgod Small Club isn’t going anywhere and I’m looking forward to throwing more parties with them into the future.

It’s hard to believe that we even got The Dip up and running. Between Bianca and myself we had a total of 0 years experience in the restuarant industry, but with a bit of help The Dip opened for business in May 2011 and since then we have enjoyed three awesome years of serving the food we love to eat to thousands of happy faces. We’ve worked with a few of our food heroes and have been honoured to be a part of the amazing funhouse that is Goodgod Small Club.

There are so many people we need to thank for making those 3 years great – and we’ll get to that over the next 4 weeks – but first and foremost we need to thank Jimmy and Hana from Goodgod Small Club for choosing us to fill their kitchen space in 2011. It’s been such a thrill to follow in their inspiring footsteps and open our own business, and even more of thrill to work with them on so many exciting events. Jimmy is currently talking with potential food collaborators to take advantage of the soon-to-be available kitchen opportunity. So if you think you’ve got what it takes, or if you’re just interested in what the next incarnation is, you should send Jimmy an email – jimmy@goodgodgoodgod.com.

As for me and what I’ll be doing next, everybody who knows me knows that I’ve been working on ten different things as well as The Dip over the last few years. I’ll be focusing more of my time on Heaps Decent, Halfway Crooks, DJing, running parties at Goodgod, being a kool dad and will probably start ten new things by the end of the year.

The most important thing for you to take from this is that there are only four weeks left for you to eat a Lev’s Dawg. Or a Young Cheezy with a side of Pulled Pork Nachos. In fact, we’ll be bringing back all of the most beloved specials, so if you never got to try a Ribwich or a Watermelon & Bacon Burger, you’ve got four weeks to come down and try those too.

I’ll be in Wilcannia all week with Heaps Decent but once I’m back I’ll be working at The Dip every night and I look forward to seeing all of you there for one last Dip feast!

Thanks so much,

Levins

The Dip

WRECENT WRITINGS

A recipe I wrote for Sopaipillas with Fried Chicken got put up on the Thump website with a cute lil’ interview.

I submitted some of my favourite take out spots in Sydney for this tasty article on YOLO.

I made a playlist of my favourite Waka Flocka Flame songs just in time for him to cancel (“postpone”) his Australian tour.

Cool!

THE BBQ BELT: NORTH CAROLINA

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Originally posted on You Only Live Once.

“NORTH CAROLINA! C’MON AND RAISE UP! TAKE YOUR SHIRT OFF, TWIST IT ROUND YOUR HEAD, SPIN IT LIKE A HELICOPTER!”

The sweet tender lyrics of Petey Pablo echoed in my head as we flew into Raleigh Airport, North Carolina (sadly we flew in on a plane, not with our shirts spinning round our head like a helicopter). This was to be the last stop on our BBQ pilgrimage, which had so far taken my wife and I to Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia – with a brief BBQ-free stay in Louisiana somewhere in the middle. Our belts had buckled and our pores were in a permanent state of meat sweats, but here we were in North Carolina, ready to Raise Up once again.

Staying with some family friends in Raleigh (avid readers will be happy to know that we were staying with the same family that I stayed with during my 1997 trip to Memphis! How bout that!), we had some satisfying BBQ at the enormous, family-friendly restaurant The Pit, but had hired a car so we could drive out into the sticks the next day, in order to sample some truly legendary North Carolina style BBQ.

North Carolina is vastly different to BBQ served elsewhere in America. Pork is the focus here – and not just shoulders and ribs. In North Carolina they slowly smoke whole hogs, remove all the bones and then chop all the tender meat up, before drowning the meat in a thin and spicy vinegar sauce. Spoiler alert: this was my favourite style of BBQ that we had all trip.

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“Can we have some bread” I asked the waitress at Wilber’s BBQ in Goldsboro, two hours out of Raleigh. “No bread, sorry” she said as she plonked a basket full of deep fried golden curls on our table, “we do hush puppies instead” – and so began our lunch at the best BBQ spot we visited in America. A chequered tablecloth, an endless cup of Dr Pepper and a papered basket, stacked high with perfectly fried hush puppies.

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In the middle of the table were packets of butter, intended to be spread on the hush puppies. Buttering deep fried cornmeal? Wilber’s was not fucking around.

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We ordered a combination plate, which came with a vinegary mashed potato salad, a finely chopped, vinegary slaw and a huge serve of finely chopped, vinegary pork, fresh from out of the smokehouse. If the hush puppies weren’t so crunchy, you wouldn’t need to chew any of this meal. The pork was tenderer than a Drake album, with the Wilber’s signature sauce supplying the perfect amount of vinegar tang and cayenne pepper spice. It was great on it’s own, even better when eaten in between mouthfuls of potato and slaw. We polished the plate off in no time and knew that we had to order a pork sandwich as well, so as not to anger the BBQ Gods.

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A minute passes and a humble little sandwich arrives on our table. A hot, sugary roll filled with pork and slaw. Even on this 100 degree day, the warmth from the roll is cozy. The pork and slaw, exactly the same as the pork and slaw served on the combination plate, tastes even better in the roll. This is a perfect little sandwich, and each loud, spicy vinegar burp on the 2 hour drive back home reminds us of our incredible meal, and of what a terrible person I am.

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Before we left Wilber’s I took a walk around the back of the restaurant, through the many piles of kindling, and introduced myself to the staff manning the smokehouse. I pulled out the unicorn card – “Hi I’m an Australian who loves BBQ can I please go in that big smokey room?” and was greeted with high fives and a short guided tour of the huge smokehouse. There were some 50 pigs being smoked at the one time! I took a few pictures and actually considered getting this one printed up as a set of postcards:

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What a beautiful view.

The next day we were laughed at by our host for wanting to drive even further for our next meal. “You wanna take a four hour round trip just for lunch?” he exclaimed as we snuck out the back door and embarked on a four hour round trip just for lunch. It amused me that in 2 days of being in North Carolina we had visited two towns that he hadn’t even considered visiting in the two years he’d lived there. Such was our passion for BBQ!

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We passionately drove for 106 miles until we got to Ayden, home of The Skylight Inn. A sign welcomes our arrival that announces “If it’s not cooked with WOOD – It’s not BBQ”, one of the few facts that BBQ spots all over America would probably agree on.

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For many reviewers who aren’t from Texas, The Skylight Inn is thought to be BBQ capital of America – the owners even built a replica of Capitol Hill on top of their roof to announce this.

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Inside The Skylight Inn is a stark contrast to the colourful, family friendly vibe of Wilber’s. White walls, a small amount of paraphernalia from the restaurant’s long history and complete silence, save for the constant chopping of the chef in the kitchen, making his way through whole smoked pigs with two huge cleavers. The old man behind the counter stares at us with cold eyes that say “don’t even try and say a thing to me or my staff besides your order!” Not even my Australian accent can get me a smile. These guys have probably never heard of a unicorn.

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We order a barbecue tray, the most unique way of serving BBQ we’ve ever seen. A small tower of trays stacked on top of each other. Down the bottom is pork, which is not quite as tender and tasty at Wilber’s was but it has pieces of crunchy skin mixed through the meat which is an amazing vibe. On top of the pork is a big piece of corn cake, an incredible take on corn bread made with lard, based on a family recipe from 1830! At the top of the tower is a tray full of pale, vinegary slaw, with a plastic fork wedged inside. A few bottles of BBQ sauce adorn the table.

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Break off a piece of the corn cake, top it with pork and slaw, add some sauce, eat. Speak too loudly about how good the food is, get glared at by the long line of people who have come to order an unbelievable amount of pork takeaway. We had heard legends of this place, we heard almost nothing while we were inside. We tasted some damn good BBQ though, further testament to my decision that North Carolina style BBQ is the BBQ for me.

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Before we hop back in to our car and complete our four hour round trip just for lunch, we pop into a thrift store across the road. “Oh did you eat at Skylight for lunch?” asks the large, mysterious shop owner – “I don’t think it’s very good”. We counter his argument for about 10 seconds before he admits that he just doesn’t like BBQ, and we suddenly realise what your average Yelp reviewer looks like.

The next day we flew to New York and a week after that we were home in Sydney. During our time away I somehow only managed to put on just one extra kilo. We had to buy another suitcase just to house all of the various sauces and trinkets we picked up at every BBQ spot and diner we ate at.

I apologise to Kansas for not including you in our trip. I hear your BBQ is amazing too, and I realise that throughout these 7 posts I’ve only managed to visit an extremely small percentage of America’s great BBQ spots. I hope I’ve provided anyone with an interest in BBQ who’s visiting any of the cities I went to with a good starting point. This is a trip that I would recommend to anyone and would happily do again and again. The barbecue scene of the South is insanely engrossing, full of so many amazing different takes and hilarious opinions. It’s a cuisine that will never be able to be mass marketed due to the many different styles from each region and thankfully you won’t see a McSmokie’s or a BBQ Hut anytime soon.

The difference in produce and cooking techniques means that it’s hard to replicate great BBQ in Australia. There’s a small and building scene of people doing it properly (or as close to properly as possible given our limitations) across the country and hopefully that will keep growing. My advice to anyone who wants to try great BBQ – especially chefs keen to put it on their menu – is too get yourself to Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee or Kansas and experience it first hand. You’ll fall in love with the food and the culture. Then you can come home, write about it and claim the whole thing as a tax expense.

Thanks for the write off, I really enjoyed writing all these and hopefully will do more in the future!

Levins

Part 1, read it here: When Levins did Austin, Texas
Part 2, read it here: When Levins did Lockhart, Texas
Part 3, read it here: When Levins did Spooney’s Bar-B-Que, Mississipi
Part 4, read it here: When Levins did Memphis Tennessee

Part 5read it here: When Levins went to Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Que, Alabama
Part 6, read it here: When Levins did Daddy D’z Bar B Que Joynt

THE BBQ BELT: DADDY D’Z BBQ JOYNT, ATLANTA

Originally posted on You Only Live Once.

One of the fun things about being an Australian travelling through the South is that everyone loves Australians in the South. There’s something about our hilarious accent that makes Southerners treat us like unicorns.

I was really excited about coming to Atlanta – not from a food point of view though. I was excited because 50% of my iTunes library is made up of songs by rappers from Atlanta. Another 20% is rap from elsewhere in the South, and throughout our travels I’d tried to make a few pit stops to indulge the crunk fanboy in me. We’d had luck in Texas, trekking out to Screwed Up Record Records and Tapes, the heart of chopped and screwed rap. In New Orleans I’d got into an argument with a record store owner who refused to let me see her collection of Bounce records. Memphis, home to Three 6 Mafia, only has tacky rock and blues record stores. As we slowly made our way north, I kept a glimmer of hope for Atlanta, and after crossing the Georgia border and instantly being greeted with a half dozen radio stations playing Rich Homie Quan, my excitement kept building and it made me feel some type of way.

Rap is inescapable in Atlanta. Future sings the hook on every song blaring out of each car sitting in traffic, and out of the small speakers that sit above you in the line for famous strip club Magic City. But if you wanna find any of these new records and tapes you’re better off sticking to the internet, because beyond the odd bootleg-selling hood mart, it was impossible to find physical copies of any Atlanta artist who wasn’t in Outkast. So with a sigh of disappointment and paper bag full of Sleepy Brown 12″s, I started searching for good food in Atlanta, of which there was an insane amount – and was recommended a BBQ place called Daddy D’z BBQ Joynt.

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Atlanta isn’t a city that comes up often in the talk about which city has the best BBQ. In fact I wasn’t expecting to find any, least of all the best ribs we’d eat all trip. Daddy D’z sits proudly in the middle of a median strip, surrounded by busy roads. The huge signs above the roof of the restaurant make Daddy D’z impossible to miss – this was definitely the craziest looking spot we’d visited so far, so even if the food sucked, it had already taken that prize. We took a seat and were greeted by a bearded Tom Waitsian type old dude, in an apron and a pork pie hat – this must be Daddy D. He had crazy in his eyes, and we had Aussie accents in our throats, so immediately Daddy D went into full blown “I just saw a unicorn” mode.

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“You’re from Australia?!” he shouted. “Don’t you go anywhere – you just wait here!” and he raced into the kitchen, returning with two ginormous pork ribs. “Now you take a bite of those and tell me they’re not the best ribs you ever ate!” – which we did, and they were indeed the best ribs we ever ate. “I told ya!” said Daddy D, as he waved goodbye to his staff and marched out the door, presumably to go start a blues fusion band. He’d left us in the much less exciting, but probably more capable hands of his staff, and we ordered two plates of ribs straight away.

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Bianca and I have arguments over what we like in a good rib. I like that tender meat to come easily off the bone, whereas Bianca prefers a good chew to the meat. If it’s too much towards either way you’re dealing with some shitty ribs. The ribs at Daddy D’z are the perfect middle ground. Super tender meat that doesn’t fall off the bone when you pick it up, with an awesome smokiness and covered in a wildly good BBQ sauce – sweet, spicy and sticky. Some good ass ribs.

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A lot of BBQ spots we visited focused almost entirely on the meat, with the sides being somewhat of an afterthought. We didn’t meet anyone that would ever go to a BBQ joint just for the sides so I guess that’s fair enough. But the sides at Daddy D’z are spectacular – you get a choice of two with each plate, so between us we had collared greens, fried okra, candied yams and brocolli casserole, with a decent chunk of corn bread on top! All the sides were as good as the ribs – which I’ve already stated were the best ribs I ever ate – so Daddy D’z BBQ Joynt takes home the glory of the best ribs, the best sides and the wildest looking spot of our trip.

Plus if you say g’day you’ll get that unicorn treatment.

Daddy D’z BBQ Joynt264 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta +1 404-222-0206 (View Map)

Next up: The best BBQ of the whole trip? One last post to go!

Stay tuned for the rest of the smokey meat eating tour of America with Levins right here.

Part 1,  read it here: When Levins did Austin, Texas
Part 2, read it here: When Levins did Lockhart, Texas
Part 3, read it here: When Levins did Spooney’s Bar-B-Que, Mississipi
Part 4, read it here: When Levins did Memphis Tennessee

Part 5, read it here: When Levins went to Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Que, Alabama

THE BBQ BELT: ALABAMA

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Originally posted on You Only Live Once.

It’s a five hour drive from Memphis to Atlanta. The drive is made easier knowing that you’ve stolen a week’s worth of breakfast cereal from The Comfort Inn that you were staying at, god knows you’ll need that fibre after the meat with a side of meat you’ve had for almost every meal this holiday. It also helps if you get a fancy hire car with the cable radio stations. The Comedy Central station is just hour after hour of stand up from different comedians, most of which aren’t Carlos Mencia and really help make the time fly by. You also burn a few calories, necessary after all those aforementioned meat meals. Oh and while we’re on the subject of meat meals, the best way to make a five hour drive seem shorter is to visit a BBQ spot bang in the middle of the journey.

To get to Atlanta from Memphis, you have to drive through the state of Alabama. I can’t tell you much about Alabama. We were amped about being in the same state that My Cousin Vinny was filmed in (we were considering trying to find  Sac-O-Suds but realised it was actually in Georgia) and had read about a cool donut place but the main Alabama landmark we were looking forward to was Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in the town of Decatur.


Strangely complicated spelling of the word ‘barbecue’: check. Location in the middle of the highway, surrounded by nothing: check. Fluorescent cartoon pig: check. From the outside of the restaurant, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q really seemed to have it all. After eating at  Payne’s and Spooney’s, this was like being upgraded to Disneyworld after spending a week at a fun park run out of someones front yard. Even the name conjured magnificence. Who was Bob Gibson, and just how big was he?


The greatness continued inside. Next to the counter were dozens of trophies, some taller than I was and covered in brass pigs. Decades of recognition for the best sauce, the best ribs and the best chicken surrounded us. We were taken to our table, covered in various bottles of award winning sauce – in all different colours, from dark brown, to less brown, a reddy brown and… white? I had never seen a white bbq sauce before. It was an Alabama miracle, and one that is supposedly incredible with chicken. We hadn’t come across chicken on the menu at any of the BBQ spots we’d visited either, so we ordered a chicken plate, which came with slaw, beans, potato salad and a crunchy pickle, creating a nice visual symmetry with the drumstick, almost a peace sign on my plate. Has anybody started a ‘peaceful bbq plate’ tumblr?


How did it taste? The chicken was awesome. The skin was smoky and salty, the dark meat nice and juicy. As I expected it would be, the breast was unfortunately pretty dry. Some meats just aren’t made for slow cooking. The white bbq sauce was a knockout though, ensuring I ate even the driest parts of the chicken, just to enjoy more of the creamy vinegar sauce. We bought a bottle to take home, which joined some 80 other bottles of sauce in a suitcase that I didn’t declare at customs upon returning to Sydney.


We also ordered a pulled pork sandwich, which was disappointing but far from terrible. Certainly not worthy of the gigantic trophies we saw in the entrance anyway. As we left I wondered if they’d notice a missing trophy or two – they would look really nice in Spooney’s front yard.

View Larger Map


Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q

1715 6th Ave SE, Decatur, Alabama +1 256-350-6969

Next up: Ribs in Atlanta!

Stay tuned for the rest of the smokey meat eating tour of America with Levins right here.

Part 1,  read it here: When Levins did Austin, Texas
Part 2, read it here: When Levins did Lockhart, Texas
Part 3, read it here: When Levins did Spooney’s Bar-B-Que, Mississipi
Part 4, read it here: When Levins did Memphis Tennessee