Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Community Q BBQ (Decatur, GA)

1361 Clairmont Road
Decatur, GA 30033

Community Q BBQ on Urbanspoon

Our visit to the last piece of the Sam and Dave's puzzle is now complete. We've visited Sam's BBQ 1, Dave Poe's BBQ, and even BBQ newcomer, Grand Champion. All of these restaurants somehow had their hand in Sam and Dave's BBQ located in Marietta at some time or another. All of these restaurants are successful at what they do. Two things that they all have in common; They love their Southern Pride smokers and they all pretty much use the same mac 'n cheese recipe. There are a couple different stories out there, but the most popular one is that when Dave Roberts left Sam and Dave's to start Community Q, owner Sam Huff accused him of stealing his mac 'n cheese recipe. To any of you who haven't tried this recipe...yes, it's worth confronting someone about. Dave Roberts was flabbergasted that Sam would even accuse him of "stealing" his very own Grandmother's family recipe. So he did what anyone would do. He published the recipe online for the whole world to have. Problem solved. For anyone that's interested in trying, I've posted the recipe below courtesy of AJC blog, Access Atlanta.

We visited Community Q on their second birthday/anniversary. That means we got a free t-shirt and the crowd was a little larger than usual. I made sure to get there pretty early. They're located in a shopping center (another thing all of these Sam and Dave brethren have in common) in the trendy area of Decatur. I ordered the sausage and brisket while Jamie ordered the spare ribs and pulled pork. Our sides included the famous mac 'n cheese, coleslaw, baked beans, and Brunswick stew. One thing to note is that in addition to the regular menu items, they also offer locally grown produce and homemade desserts.

When our food arrived it looked simply amazing. Jamie and I both sampled the spare ribs first. These ribs were perfect. They were smoky, seasoned, tender, and flavorful. They were gone before you knew it. The sausage we had is not homemade, but it's a close second being ordered from nearby Czech sausage company, Patak Meats. It wasn't too greasy and had great flavor. The pulled pork was also cooked perfectly. It didn't have a ton of smoke flavor, but it was juicy and tender.

One thing to note about the pulled pork is the extra step they take of wrapping in plastic wrap as soon as the pulled pork is done. This allows the meat to rest, redistributing all of the flavorful juices, while also keeping it tender. When it's ready to serve, it's like it just got out of the smoker. It's a great trick if you're having trouble with your pork drying out on you before serving. The brisket we had was solid as well. It had a nice beef flavor, but was just a tad overdone.

As for the sides...this mac 'n cheese is phenomenal. It's creamy, cheesy, thick, warm, and eats like a meal. I can certainly see why so many other restaurants use it. I would too. It's the best mac 'n cheese we've had to date. The baked beans were my ONLY complaint here. They were watery, undercooked, and had a weird, greasy flavor. Also, look out for the huge pieces of onion floating around. The coleslaw or Brunswick stew is also a great option here. 

We highly recommend Community Q to any BBQ lover. They've got a good thing going and we hope their success continues. They proudly join Fox Brothers in our Hall of Fame.
Community Q’s Three Cheese Mac and Cheese

Hands on: 15 minutes Total time: 1 hour Serves: 4

1 (16-ounce) box rigatoni noodles
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
4 ounces grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
2 cups heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper (if desired), to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat and season with salt. Add pasta and cook until just tender, about 12 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain well in a colander without rinsing.
Transfer the pasta to a large bowl. Add half the cheddar, Monterey Jack and Parmesan, reserving the rest for the top. Add heavy cream and stir to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.

Transfer the noodle mixture to a medium buttered gratin dish or casserole. Sprinkle remaining cheddar, Monterey Jack and Parmesan cheeses on top. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool slightly before serving


  1. Well deserved for Dave and his crew.

  2. This place is two minutes from our house which is both a curse and a blessing. I really like the pulled chicken which is moist and somewhat smokey. My husband likes the fact that they serve french fries, although they are sometimes a bit over cooked. The pulled pork and ribs are both great, but I tend to think the brisket is a tad dry. Try some of the special seasonal sides they serve. Currently there is a smoked, cubed sweet potato & kale side that I love. I agree that Community deserves the 5 stars.

  3. They do a solid job. Great write up for a great BBQ joint.

  4. Thanks...They definitely have a great thing going here.

  5. I have been reading your blog and I am becomingf a fan because you are spot on for the places you have reviewed. However, last night 2/28/12, we went to Community (my 2nd visit) and was not sold on 5 stars. Specifically, I was disappointed in the pork ribs (had rib pulled pork combo) because they were very "fatty" and this took away from the overall visit. Slaw was good, mac n chees great, collards good, fries were terrible, brunswick stew was very good. Keep doing what you are doing but I disagree that Community is 5 stars. Maybe 4 (like grand champion Q) bit I like GC just a little bit more.

  6. Also, I should have mentioned I have eaten at Fox Bros. and I agree with 5 stars. Also, Cue BBQ in Milton as 3 stars etc..

  7. Baked Beans were the best I have ever had - the caramelized onions set them OFF!

    My pork was dry and a little light on flavor

    Mac and cheese was good

    Sauces were solid