Flowery Branch, GA 30542
A Texas-style BBQ joint in Georgia...really original. We're already littered with many places making this claim. Some really good (Fox Brothers BBQ) and many not worth your time at all. But no, Moonie's isn't just "Texas-style" or Texas inspired, this is a real-deal Texas Barbecue joint that somehow has made its way into Georgia's graces. From the woods used, decor, meats offered, and beer selection, this place feels like you've stepped straight into some outlying town near Austin. Our friends at Socks Love Rub were actually the first to let us know about this up and coming BBQ spot in Flowery Branch near their house . I don't know much about Flowery Branch besides that the Atlanta Falcons train and are headquartered there. It's nowhere near where I live so I made a special trip to see how this food could compare to anything we've tried to date.
We pulled into Moonie's on a Friday evening around 6PM. I made sure to call ahead to ensure nothing was sold out just yet. With the limited hours I've heard Moonie's sells out more often than not. As soon as we got out of the car Jamie and I immediately noticed something different in the air. It wasn't your typical hickory log smoke that most Georgia BBQ restaurants use. There's nothing wrong with hickory. I actually enjoy it. This was post oak though. Post oak is something that you'll find at a lot of Texas joints across the state. I didn't realize how different it smelled until our Georgia BBQ adventures began. I haven't had enough experience with woods to be able to just pick smells out of the air (just yet), but it didn't take much to know that this wasn't our usual wood smoking. The outside has a small resemblance to Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor, TX. It even has the double flags out front signifying if meat is sold out yet (flag's up, you're in luck...down, sold out).
I ordered our half pound of brisket from the moist end. This brisket had a lot of smoke flavor and oozed properly rendered fat and juice from the 15 plus hours in their BBQ Guru-maintained Pitmaster Vault. The nice bark added great flavor to some of the best brisket we've tried in Georgia. The jalapeno sausage was equally as pleasing. They use a medium casing and has an inside that's a lot more "crumbly" than anything you'll usually find in a Georgia BBQ joint. Moonie mentioned that he's also in the process of adding his own beef sausage to the menu as well as beef ribs very soon. The St. Louis style ribs were seasoned nicely and also had a good amount of smoke. I wasn't fond of the thick membrane left on the back and would really love to see them take the extra time to remove before smoking. Regardless, they were cooked perfectly. The pulled pork was smoked to a perfect temperature but was just too smoky for Jamie and I. It had a nice bark and also tasted like a light sauce was added prior to serving. You couldn't really taste much of the pork flavor though the sauce and smoke though.
|Moist brisket from the point|
|Lean brisket from the flat|