I remember visiting a Shoney’s restaurant as a kid. I’m not really sure who I was with or where they were, but I was there (most likely with French toast syrup all over my shirt and in my hair). Many of you probably have never been to one, and it’s ok…you didn’t miss out on anything. If one of these fantastic Shoney’s from my memory was to decide that overnight they’d like to try their hand at BBQ, then I give you Briar Patch in Hiram, Georgia.
I have a couple buddies that have good memories of hunting and visiting this place before or after heading out into the woods. As we mentioned in the last post though, sometimes good food and good memories can subconsciously substituted for one another. Jamie and I headed out on a Wednesday night to visit and this place was packed! You’d expect something a little less than ordering stations with 42 inch plasma TV’s though, or at least I did. We ordered the pulled pork and rib plate with baked beans and Brunswick stew.
Everyone has “their” BBQ spot that’s the best…no matter what anyone else says. If you haven’t found yours don’t worry, one day you will. I was lucky enough to find mine in middle school. My grandfather (Granddaddy) would always take me deer hunting on cool fall weekends and turkey hunting in the spring. This equaled about fifteen weekends each year that I always looked forward to no matter what. Our hunting camp wasn’t close to home at all, which looking back made the experiences even more memorable. To get there we’d always would pass a little BBQ place on the side of the road named Holcomb’s. It wasn’t ever a question as to where we would eat on these Friday evenings. It was always Holcomb’s. This tradition began way before my time though, starting with my dad and Granddaddy hunting together many years before I was ever around. In a way, Holcomb’s has become the standard to which all other BBQ is measured. We’ve never found a place that’s even come close to our experiences here. But it makes you wonder if you’re comparing all the others to the food…or the memories.
Unfortunately, Granddaddy passed away a few weeks before I graduated from high school, and I haven’t eaten there since. The restaurant is 2+ hours from my house, so it’s not somewhere I can just stop by if I want to. I’ve driven by it a couple of times since then, but for whatever reason I wasn’t able to stop. Part of me wonders if I was even ready to stop. It’s been almost ten years even though it feels like just yesterday. I’m married now and life’s a little different than it was, but my dad and I still talk about our BBQ spot so much that sometimes I think I drive my wife, Leigh crazy. Leigh was ready to taste Holcomb’s for herself, so on this day I decided to take a day trip with her to White Plains and finally introduce her to something that’s been so special to me all these years. I was nervous to see if it would live up to the hype in her opinion, but in a weird way I was nervous to see if it could live up to everything that I remembered so dearly. When I pulled up and walked through the doors what kind of feelings would I have? Would I be sad, disappointed, elated, nostalgic, comforted? Is the place even still around?
1451 6 Flags Road Lithia Springs, GA 30122 770-739-0200
It's a cloudy Saturday afternoon. I call my buddy, Kenan. "Do you want to get lunch?" He replies, "Yes." "Do you want to get BBQ?".....without hesitation, "YES."
I love my friends.
It's been a while since I've headed out to the Six Flags area in Lithia Springs. As a kid we all had season passes to Six Flags each summer and spent more time waiting in lines for rides, trying to flirt with girls, and eating junk food than I can remember. Not needing either of our parents to drive us anymore, we headed out that way to nearby Beaver Creek Biscuits and Barbeque.
Apparently this place cooks up a mean breakfast in addition to just BBQ. It was well into the afternoon or I would've been more than happy to try both. Maybe another time. Until then, the chopped pork, chicken half, and ribs will need to suffice. We got a couple sides as well which included Brunswick stew, baked beans, fresh cut fries, and coleslaw. There's nothing exciting or spectacular about Beaver Creek. This joint is old and weathered...just like I like 'em. Having served BBQ for over thirty years now, it's become a local favorite on the west side of Atlanta. It was pretty empty when we arrived with a couple locals getting takeout orders. The not-so-talkative young lady working the register seemed more concerned about getting off work than answering any of our first-timer questions. I understood though. I was sixteen once too.
Beaver Creek boasts a "Seminole Sauce" which seems to be a West Carolina inspired tomato, vinegar, mustard sauce. It's decent. I don't like to get into critiquing sauces too much because it's solely on personal preference. Objectively, no "style" sauce is better than the other. In addition to the "Seminole Sauce" there's also a heavy cayenne pepper flavored hot sauce. This wasn't my favorite.