Pit Boss BBQ, Hapeville GA

In April, I visited Hapeville after work and had a very good lunch at Hambones. That restaurant is located within sight of Pit Boss BBQ, and I considered trying them both, but didn’t feel that I had room that trip. Everything worked out just fine, because while Marie is on maternity leave, she and I are getting the opportunity to enjoy a midweek lunch or two together on my short days. I wanted to bring her back down to Hapeville so that she could have a milkshake at Chapman Drugs, giving us the chance to stop by and see what Pit Boss had to offer.

This is yet another Atlanta barbecue place that doesn’t get very much attention from the foodies and bloggers in the region, but I think that it is definitely worth a visit. It has a very loyal customer base. I think that every Delta employee who could have fit inside the building tried to during our visit, and the staff seemed to know them all by name. Unfortunately, so many people arrived around 11:15 that at least one party got discouraged by the line and left. I hope they come back; they missed out on a good lunch.

Marie and I each had the chopped pork, which comes presauced with Pit Boss’s mild sauce. It’s a great mix; the meat is very smoky and full of flavor, and the sauce is incredibly sweet. However, there was a little more sauce than I would have liked, and I preferred the other table sauce, which was hotter, instead. It’s an odd case of very good food not quite prepared the way I would like it. For sides, we had Brunswick stew and fried green beans. Neither were exceptional, but perfectly good.

Honestly, I enjoyed the food at Hambones more, but where Pit Boss shines is just how incredibly friendly and upbeat and downright wonderful the staff is. At Hambones, which becomes similarly packed for a weekday lunch, I got the impression of the (somewhat larger) staff hunkering down for the madness, and was left to my own devices once my food arrived. The ladies on the front line at Pit Boss threatened to become overwhelmed with so many guests, but before things got crazy, we had a very good experience chatting with them and showing off our baby.

Interestingly, the staff was not able to clear up a little confusion about this place. There is (or was) a listing on Urbanspoon for a restaurant with the same address but a different name, Smokin’ Sam’s. I asked whether Pit Boss used to be that other store, and the girl said they were not, but that somebody else asked her that a few weeks previously. This space had once been the home of The Flying Pig in the 1990s, but never the disputed name. I wonder where that came from.

After lunch, as promised, I bought Marie a milkshake from Chapman’s. She got a double chocolate malted and I got the same amazing peach-n-vanilla malt that I enjoyed on my previous visit. Both were wonderful, but mine, honestly, was better. Would I lie to you? It was so much better that when we got back to my work to pick up my car, I realized that I had left my book inside. So I went to grab that and give a co-worker a sip. Man, Chapman mixes a good milkshake. I’m going to have to head back to Hapeville and eat somewhere else so I can justify another one of these.

5 thoughts on “Pit Boss BBQ, Hapeville GA

  1. I really love this place! Hambones has gone downhill sharply in my opinion (they have been cutting corners to keep their price lower than Pit Boss) and this is a much better option. There’s another good place, Barbecue Kitchen of College Park, nearby, but I prefer the Boss!

  2. After Flying Pig, Dean’s children, of the Jonesboro Dean’s BBQ, moved into the building. Greg worked there for a while as a cook and soon took over the business, renaming it Hambones. He stayed there a few years, out grew the building and moved around the corner to his present building.

  3. It looks like the timeline has since been revealed as:

    1990s: Flying Pig
    early 2000s: Flying Pig renamed Hambones
    mid-2000s: Hambones moved away, Smokin’ Sam’s moved in
    very soon after: Smokin’ Sam’s renamed Pit Boss, possibly after ownership change.

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