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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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