Monday, September 19, 2011

Heirloom Market (Atlanta, GA)

32243 Akers Mill Road
Atlanta, GA 30339

Heirloom Market BBQ on Urbanspoon

Heirloom Market...finally, we meet. Known locally as a small place getting big attention, this has been on my list for quite some time now. It's hard when you walk into certain restaurants with such great expectations. I'm often let down more than satisfied. It's a lot like when someone tells you "It's the best movie ever!" More often than not you'll leave wanting your money back. I hate to be so pessimistic but that just seems to be the way it goes...well, for me at least. 

We arrived on Friday at 7PM for dinner. The set up at Heirloom is a little different. It's right next door to a convenience store and seating is limited. I counted fourteen chairs total including the large family style table. It's the type of place that you'd like to be a regular. They buy all of their meats and vegetables locally and are extremely proud of that (as they should be). The staff is warm and friendly and does a good job of trying to make you feel at home. Heirloom Market has two head chefs, Cody and Jiyeon. Cody, who's Texas born, provides the traditional BBQ experience and knowledge. Jiyeon is a South Korean native and helps give Heirloom an Asian twist that sets it apart from traditional BBQ joints. Together, they've created a wonderful thing. We watched the regulars order (who were often greeted by name) before finally placing our order...the Texas Trinity. With a name like that, it had some big shoes to fill. This combo came with brisket, pork spare ribs, and beef sausage. I've heard good things about the mac 'n' cheese here so we made sure to include as well as the baked beans. Our order arrived about five minutes after placing.

I couldn't help myself. Initially I dove straight for the brisket. Wow. It had a good smoky crust and was tender enough to pull apart with your hands. I was very pleased with this selection. They offer a couple different sauces here to complement your meal. The settler, table, and Korean sauce are offered daily, while "Hotlanta" was the sauce of the month. The settler is more of a vinegar sauce. The table sauce (our favorite) was Memphis style, being more tangy and sweet than the others. The Korean sauce was a little different, but spicy and sweet. Lastly, the Hotlanta sauce tasted like a spicier version of the table sauce. Sauce is all about personal preference, and they have some good options here.

Next we tried the Texas style beef sausage. This place was now two for two. I felt like I was back home for a second. Great brisket. Great sausage. It was juicy but not greasy. It had a good snap and great flavors. Even after recently visiting the mecca of Texas BBQ in Lockhart, Jamie and I were both impressed with their offerings here at Heirloom. The downfall came at the spare ribs. These were the first ribs we've had on the Georgia BBQ Hunt that were actually over smoked. You don't really see it that often in Georgia because of most establishment's reluctancy to give meat the smoky flavor it deserves. These ribs however, were bitter due to the amount of smoke absorbed. It's hard to really describe meat that's been smoked too long, but you'll know it once you have it. All you can taste is bitter, heavy smoke. Keep in mind that this is coming from someone that thinks 95% of the places we visit don't smoke their meat enough here in Georgia. I will say that they were tender though and I'd honestly like to go back to try them again. The last meat we tried was the pulled pork sandwich. This was another homerun. The pork was very tender, and had a ton of flavor. There wasn't a lot of bark, but that was easily overlooked once you try it.

I have a confession to make about the sides here at Heirloom. The confession is this. We liked the mac 'n' cheese so much here that we actually went back up and proudly ordered another helping. It was like going back for seconds at your favorite family dinner. The noodles were properly cooked and baked with a mixture of cheese that literally leaves you wanting more. It wasn't too cheesy and wasn't too dry. It was some of the best mac 'n' cheese we've had to date. The only place I can think that compares right now is at Grand Champion in Roswell. The baked beans weren't my favorite and tasted a lot like ranch style beans more so than baked. The beans were also a little too hard which could mean they just weren't cooked enough.

We highly recommend visiting Heirloom. Great staff. Delicious food. Fair prices. Despite the ribs being oversmoked, this has been one of our favorite stops so far.
The Georgia Barbecue Hunt continues...  


  1. I agree; this place is terrific. I really need to get back over there again soon!

  2. Great Post! I love Mac and Cheese and BBQ even more. I can't wait to try this place. Thanks again for the hook up.

  3. It was solid. One of my favorite stops so far.