Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dave Poe's BBQ (Marietta, GA)

5660 Whitlock Ave.
Marietta, GA 30064

Dave Poe's BBQ on Urbanspoon

There was a time when Dave Poe's BBQ, Community Q, and Sam's BBQ 1 all lived together harmoniously under one roof at Sam and Dave's BBQ. Those days are over, but it doesn't mean that it's not for the best. We now have three different locations to experience equal but different, consistent BBQ. We made our first stop of the three to Sam's BBQ 1 last month, and it was now time to pay our respect to Dave Poe's BBQ (formerly Sam and Dave's BBQ 2).

Personally, I really wish these guys would abandon the idea of shopping center BBQ facilities. I feel like it takes away from the overall experience and doesn't give them enough credit. Their business can stand alone just by serving BBQ and so should their restaurant. There are most certainly BBQ joints deserving of being hidden in a strip mall somewhere but that's not the case here. With that being said, Dave Poe's BBQ is almost identical in appearance to Sam's BBQ 1. The color scheme might be a little different but that's about it. When you walk in you're immediately faced with a number of their local awards for competitions as well as for their restaurant. It was lunch time on a nice Saturday afternoon and this place was packed. I was worried that I wouldn't have a place to sit which would certainly be a problem because I was hungry and planned on trying everything they had available. I finally ordered my meal which included pulled pork, sausage, pork spare ribs, brisket, baked beans, and coleslaw.

Due to the busy crowd, I waited a good fifteen minutes before my number was called and my food was ready. I didn't mind since it probably meant that this BBQ was guaranteed fresh. As I waited I noticed the owner, Dave Poe, walking around and talking with every table there to make sure they were enjoying their meal. Many he personally knew and many he did not. I love seeing owners take the time to interact with their customers when possible. And I don't mean just stopping for a second at each table with the obligatory "how's everything?" and then moving on before you even get a chance to respond. 

I first tried their pulled pork. It's spot on. The rub and smoky flavors went nicely with the tender pieces of properly pulled pork. Sam's BBQ 1 and Dave Poe's pulled pork are almost identical...and this is a great thing. They both were in business together and managed to perfect pulled pork so I wouldn't expect anything less. The brisket was also better than average. It didn't have the dark bark that I am very fond of, but the meat was cooked properly and very enjoyable. The low points of the meal were the sausage and spare ribs. I was lucky enough to get an end piece of the rack which was very dry and almost inedible due to the lack of meat. The sausage was nothing much more than anything you could find at your local Kroger, Ingles, or Publix. I did thoroughly enjoy the coleslaw here at Dave Poe's. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary, but it was simple and fresh. It complemented the baked beans well. Good baked beans and coleslaw is one BBQ pairing that's tough to beat.

The sauces here are a little different than Sam's BBQ 1. There's a strong vinegar sauce as well as a tomato-based Memphis style sauce, but no mustard sauce. Most of the meats weren't in need of any sauce, but just in case you've grown fond of the mustard sauce at Sam's, don't expect it here at Dave Poe's. All in all, Dave Poe's reminded me a lot of Sam's BBQ 1. If I would've visited Dave Poe's first then I would say the same thing about Sam's. Both places have great pulled pork. I wasn't too impressed with the sausage or ribs here today though.

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