For what seemed like many happy months, I was a devoted reader of the Atlanta Cuisine message boards, which no longer exist. Atlanta Cuisine’s still up and running, and a fine site it is, too, but I think that Tom has underestimated just how important those boards were to spreading the word about good restaurants. Articles do a fine job, but nothing will attract a visitor’s attention quite like a thirty-page forum thread. One article tells you that Tom’s excited about a place. Thirty pages of people raving about Fox Brothers or Varasano’s – that’s letting you know lots of people are excited about a place.
Big Shanty Smokehouse never quite managed a thirty-page thread there, but I probably would have never heard of the place if it wasn’t for that message board. I’ve never seen an ad for it, and nobody’s really raved about it at any other site that I see. It’s easily missed – I mean, who the heck wants to go west on Wade Green Road at the best of times, particularly into that ugly stretch of road where all the businesses are in repurposed houses with not a lot of parking out front, the way that side of Windy Hill near South Cobb Drive still looks? Also, you have to drive past a larger, inferior BBQ restaurant to get there. That business is large enough to give any traveler the mistaken impression that it is the cue joint they were looking for, especially when there’s nothing west of it but gas stations and repurposed houses.
I’m not sure why we got out of the habit of visiting Big Shanty Smokehouse, apart from being distracted by newer restaurants. We ate there several times in 2008 and then just slowly stopped. This was stupid of us; you get a lot of very good food for a reasonable price, along with some hot, tangy, Memphis-style sauce, and I believe that they serve up the best banana pudding in the region.
Marie’s going to have to work on Sunday, so she was able to take yesterday off. She treated herself to a no-stress day of cross-stitching and sunbeams, and I did a little pampering once I finished a short day downtown and we drove up here for lunch. Now, one thing about Marie that still baffles me is that she doesn’t like bacon. She likes ham and pork just fine, but something about the smell of bacon aggravates her, so I try not to order it around her. This makes breakfast time an occasionally disagreeable compromise, and she always has to double-check before she orders green beans. What this meant yesterday was she missed out on the skillet corn. Here, the green beans were bacon-free, but the corn wasn’t. It was a very tasty corn salsa with black beans, onion and bacon. She really missed out on that.
We shared a bowl of banana pudding. I considered sharing another four or five bowls, but I figured I’d approximate “reasonable portions” for the good of my girth and left it at one. We decided against letting any schoolage girls who might be living with us, and in class yesterday, know that we had some of that banana pudding. She’s eleven and complains that the whole damn planet is unfair enough as it is.
Other blog posts about this restaurant: