Woodstock, GA 30188
On my first official GBH visit I decided to head up to Woodstock, Georgia. I've had a couple friends recommend Bub-Ba-Q claiming that it was "the best barbecue ever". Sadly, I've often found out that this doesn't mean much. Regardless, I'm always open for suggestions and headed up to championship pitmaster William “Bubba” Latimer's second barbecue establishment. He opened up the first Bub-Ba-Q in Jasper, Georgia back in 2005 (which I'd still like to visit). The Woodstock location has been open for about two years now and sits nestled in an Ingle's shopping center next to Stevi B's pizza.
When I walked in around 1pm on a Sunday there was a wait with about ten people in front of us. This is a great sign. As soon as you walk in it's apparent that the Bub-Ba-Q team has entered (and won) their fair share of barbecue contests. The whole restaurant doubles as Bubba Latimer's own impressive trophy collection including grand champion from numerous contests. Needless to say I got a little excited and was definitely glad we had picked this place to be the first Georgia Barbecue Hunt tour-stop. In the future I'll make sure to take more pictures of the interior of the restaurant. When we sat down they offered three different sauces, mustard based, spicy, and sweet. Sweet was my top choice as I'm not a huge fan of vinegar based sauces. I believe that sauce should be used sparingly if ever (except for dipping your bread). Barbecue sauce should follow the same rule as steak sauce...if the meat's good enough, you won't need it. One thing I immediately noticed was that they included a shaker full of their own rub on the table. I thought this was great since Bub-Ba-Q's rub is something they should be proud of. It wasn't high in black pepper like some traditional rubs, but it definitely had hints of sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. I liked their rub a lot.
We ordered our food starting with fried pickle spears as an appetizer. Living in Georgia for the last couple years, I've developed an appreciation for good fried pickles. They delivered. These pickles were fried lengthwise which I had never seen before. They were crunchy, full of flavor, and had a nice sauce with it as well. I then ordered the four meat combo which included brisket, chicken (white), dry pork ribs, and pulled pork. You also get two sides which I picked baked beans and mac 'n cheese. I was hesitant to order the macaroni since I'm not a huge fan of it being included with authentic barbecue, but the company I was with insisted. I was there for the meat anyways. The pulled pork was flavorful with nice bark pieces and had definitely spent some quality time in the smoker. The only problem is that it may have spent too much time in there. It was way too dry. Sometimes this is due to the pork being "shredded" instead of actually "pulled" and other times it's from being cooked too long. For whatever reason though, it was dry and immediately in need of sauce to be eaten. The rest of the meat lacked any real smoke flavor. All in all, I know Bub-Ba-Q can cook up some great food, today just wasn't their day though.