Monday, September 12, 2011

J.D.'s Barbecue (Woodstock, GA)

6557 Bells Ferry Road
Woodstock, GA 30189

JD's Bar B Que on Urbanspoon

I'll go ahead and start off by saying that JD's BBQ in Woodstock is one of my favorite places we've visited to date in Georgia. Usually I wait until the end of the review to really let you know how I feel, but I'm making an exception for this one. I've often passed JD's, smelled JD's, but for whatever reason I've never stopped and eaten at JD's. They're fairly young in BBQ years with only being around since 1999, but don't let that fool you. They definitely know what they're doing here. I believe that BBQ is at its best when it's at its purist. Keep it simple. They only use hickory wood here to fire up their side-smokers. No frills. No weird marinades or crazy rubs. Just wood, a couple spices, fire, and meat. A lot of people ask me why I like Texas BBQ so much and what makes it so good. My answer is easy...they keep it simple.

Kenan and Jamie accompanied me on this Georgia Barbecue Hunt stop. When you walk in to JD's, it's a little awkward. There's not much seating and there's pretty much no place to wait. I'm sure we're not the only ones who've made this observation since they're currently in the process of opening a bigger and better location in Acworth soon. We waited about fifteen minutes until a table was available. Once we sat down, we ordered a plate of their smoked wings, some fried pickles, a BBQ chicken quesadilla, and fried jalapenos. We were hungry and had heard great things about these appetizers. The smoked wings were fantastic. They're hickory smoked, fried, and then topped with their homemade BBQ sauce. Great flavors. The BBQ chicken quesadilla uses their smoked chicken for a different but great smoky taste. As for the the fried pickles and jalapenos, they were just ok...nothing special. JD's has two sauces here, an original and spicy. The original was a sweet, tangy, tomato-based sauce. The spicy sauce seemed to be the same sauce with just a little more kick.

For our meal we ordered the three meat combo. We chose the brisket, pork back ribs, and chopped pork as our proteins. Our two sides included baked beans and fried corn. Kenan went with the chopped pork plate with onion rings and brunswick stew. I asked for no sauce on my plate and I'm really glad I did. The brisket was tender, juicy, smoky, and had a crust that would impress just about any Texan. I could've eaten a whole plate of this brisket. The ribs here were equally delicious. They were smoky and tender, but not mushy and overcooked. Both meats had properly rendered fats and great smoky crusts. I was extremely satisfied with our meal at this point. I was also wondering if we had the first ever five star recipient on our hands...and then I tried the chopped pork. Our pork was extremely dry. It's a risk you take when you chop any meat that finely. You lose a lot of moisture from the meat. I noticed that JD's usually serves their pork with sauce on it which probably adds that much needed moisture back into the meat. I'm not saying the pork tastes bad at all because it doesn't. It's got a great flavor with lots of pieces of good bark. It was just way too dry without any addition of sauce.

Our sides were just average. The fried corn wasn't anything special, while the baked beans were just Bush's baked beans with an overwhelming addition of garlic or onion powder. Kenan's brunswick stew and onion rings were great. The stew had layers of great flavors while the onion rings were cooked perfectly.

I love JD's simplicity. It's evident in the food. BBQ is something you shouldn't overcomplicate with silly injections, marinades, or anything else.I wish the pork would've been a little better. We're looking forward to visiting the new Acworth location very soon.


  1. Next time you're there, get them to show you their big open pit cooker in the open air shed behind the restaurant. It's old-fashioned 'cue at its best.

  2. I saw a couple of them behind there. They were only using the side smoker with the attached cabinet when I was there. Definitely traditional style BBQ. I love it.