Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Keith-A-Que (Ashburn, GA)

260 East Washington Avenue
Ashburn, GA 31714

Sometimes I make a special trip to BBQ destinations with a purpose and other times the opportunity just presents itself and I kindly indulge. Keith-A-Que has never really been on my radar, but after passing numerous billboards on I-75 I decided to give it a try.

They boast a 99¢ pulled pork sandwich but have a lot of other different options besides your traditional BBQ. You can get burgers, hot dogs, chicken salad, chicken fingers, pork chops, and plenty of other types of food. I've never really understood as a BBQ place why you'd put meats on your menu that aren't smoked. If someone wants chicken fingers then I'm sure there's a Zaxby's nearby.

I stuck with the traditional options and got the pulled pork, spare ribs, coleslaw, and baked beans. The smoky pulled pork comes with sauce already mixed into it...lots of sauce. The best thing I can compare it to is "Lloyd's" or "Curly's" pulled pork from your closest grocery store. It's tolerable, but I'm sure a lot of (or at least some) time goes into their pork butts so it's kind of a shame to mix in a ton of sauce before serving.

The spare ribs were my meal's low-highlight. They were smoky and cooked to a good tenderness yet under seasoned. They had evidence of being reheated after their initial trip to the smoker. If you've ever made ribs then you can tell the difference between freshly sliced ribs and ribs that aren't. They were OK at best. The beans were simply Bush's with onions added while the coleslaw was creamy and satisfying. There are a couple sauces here that all have a nice kick to them.

I don't have a lot of great things to say about Keith-A-Que. I'm sure there are better options right off of the interstate and will keep you updated as I find them. Shane's Rib Shack (gasp!) might even be a better option if you need a quick BBQ fix on I-75.

Keith-A Que on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fresh Air Barbecue (Jackson, GA)

1164 Highway 42 South
Jackson, GA 30233

Fresh Air Barbecue Place on Urbanspoon

Georgia's oldest BBQ joint lies somewhere between Jackson and Flovilla, Georgia. Originating during the Great Depression in 1929, local veterinarian, Dr. Watkins, found himself BBQ'ing whatever decent meat he could find to help get by during tough times. Hard times eventually passed, Fresh Air Barbecue was born, and his legacy would live to this day. Dr. Watkins would eventually sell the business to the Caston family in the 1940's. This didn't stop him from working and playing an active role every day until 1996 at ninety years old.

When you pull up you know you've found a place that's special to generations of locals. There's nothing fancy or pretentious about it. It's just a place doing what it knows, how it's always done it. I've mentioned in previous posts how a lot of times people have a favorite BBQ spot mainly because of all of the memories associated with it. I can guarantee that Fresh Air Barbecue is a favorite to many.

You'll pass the old weathered picnic tables walking on scattered sawdust to make your way through the main door. Subsequently, there's another entrance in the back that was used to serve African-Americans up until the 60's. I've heard some customers still come through that back door to get served. The restaurant revolves around the massive hickory wood-fueled brick pit behind the counter. There is also another smoker in the building behind the dining area. An area for additional seating was built in the 80's to accommodate the ever growing crowd.