St. Simons Island, GA 31522
Unvisited Georgia BBQ destination number one...Southern Soul Barbeque in St. Simons Island. Considered one of the state's BBQ heavyweights, I couldn't make the trip here soon enough. Memorial Day weekend seemed like an appropriate time to pay owners Harrison Sapp, Griffin "Griff" Bufkin, and the rest of the SS crew a visit. They're becoming a big name in the BBQ world, but even still, I try not to get my hopes up too much as it can sometimes unfairly diminish some of the food experience. I never got the chance to visit the original location which unfortunately burned down in a fire back in 2011. There were no visible signs that I could see of the fire that occurred just a year before. It's nice to see a place like this make a full recovery from something like that.
|Original Southern Soul before the fire. Trailer they used during rebuild on bottom right.|
We ordered our fair share of St. Louis ribs, pulled pork, and brisket for the whole table. The plan was to come the next day to try some of their other specialties such as the burnt ends and fantastic looking sandwiches, but Tropical Storm Beryl was in town and he said no to our future plans. The portions here are massive. You won't be leaving hungry. I've mentioned before, but I'm from Texas and I love some good brisket. I ordered some of the moist and lean to which the waitress responded, "Our brisket is both, moist and lean." I decided I wasn't going to be able to win this battle so I just placed my order and hoped for the best. The brisket had everything you'd expect...an evident smoke ring, crunchy bark, properly rendered fat. All of the flavors worked well together, but didn't overwhelm the cut of meat. You can still taste the beef flavor. It was a little on the overcooked side but other than that, no complaints.
The pulled pork was pulled into large, pink, smoke-kissed pieces. There wasn't a whole lot of bark in our portions and was on the dry side. This could be due to us coming after the initial lunch crowd or also the inconsistencies you can sometimes get from a 100 percent stick burning smoker. It had a good flavor though and made a good sandwich. The ribs were just average. Properly cooked, but too much on the sweet side for my liking.
I would like to point out that the Brunswick stew here was my favorite side by far. It had long pieces of pork, lima beans, onions, and a bunch of other odds and ends that were delicious together. I'm not a huge Brunswick stew lover, but this one did it for me. Well done, guys.
Southern Soul didn't necessarily exceed any of my expectations (which were high). They stay true and cook on 100% wood smokers which give great flavor but can sometimes be a little inconsistent. The food was good, but I'd definitely like to go back for another round to fully see what they're capable of.