For the third time this year, Marie left town without me. This time out, it was most convenient for her work schedule to go down to Saint Simons Island to see her family at the same time as a big event at my work. On the Friday morning, however, I had several hours of free time after a short shift, and, while she and the children drove to south Georgia, I went east out I-20 to one of my favorite small towns, Madison.
Crowe’s Bar-B-Que has been here for something like twenty years, and it has been on my to-do list for at least eight. This is not a business that gets much praise or attention from other hobbyists or bloggers, and it is overshadowed by many other, similar barbecue joints in this region, like Hot Thomas or Holcomb’s. The principal restaurants in Madison itself that get travelers’ attention are Ye Olde Colonial or The Chop House Grille. Crowe’s, in a small, nondescript building next to a long-closed Fina gas station, is as off-the-radar as it gets, but it’s a perfectly fine little stop, and definitely something that interstate travelers should know about, since it’s just a straight two mile hop off the highway.
The style here is very much in common with what you’ll find in most of the northeast Georgia region. This is finely chopped, nearly white pork, served with a thin, dark red tomato-and-vinegar sauce. A $6 sandwich plate comes with two sides, and, as usual, I selected stew and slaw. Everything was really good, and since it felt like an eternity since I was out this way to enjoy northeast Georgia barbecue – four whole months! – it seemed long overdue.
I was in a very nostalgic mood on this particular Friday. Heaven knows what prompted it, but as I drove north through Madison’s terrific little downtown on 441, I was lost in thought about good times in younger years. I’m more consistently happy these days, and was missing my kids, but it’s also been a really long time since I stopped at the Chop House, and I wouldn’t mind coming back this way again before too much time gets away from us.
Like barbecue? You can see all the barbecue restaurants that we have visited for our blog on this map, with links back to the original blog posts. It’s terrific for anybody planning a barbecue road trip through the southeast!