Here’s yet another long overdue chapter about a good place in the Atlanta area. Spiced Right is a restaurant that I’ve enjoyed a good deal more since their ownership changed in the early 2000s. In many previous chapters, I’ve mentioned how I used to have an old, ugly, Geocities page about Georgia barbecue restaurants. A reader had encouraged me to visit Spiced Right at what was at the time their only location, in Lilburn. So I trucked on down from Athens and did not enjoy the meal very much. It was my first experience with a barbecue buffet, and, while I can no longer remember details, I did not enjoy the taste of any of the meat. I was, on the other hand, really taken with their gigantic collection of sauces – a collection perhaps rivaled today by Buckhead Barbecue Company in Smyrna – but decided against making a return visit.
Around 2007, I noticed that Spiced Right had opened a new location in Roswell and gave them another chance. Now under new management, they elected to dispense with what I perceived at the time to be their most distinctive features: the sauce collection and the buffet. With only one sauce, a thick, sweet, and dark red tomato-based variety, they blew the doors off my old memories, serving up a simply superior plate of pulled pork with a strong, smoky flavor.
In time, it slipped off our radar, as many do, resurfacing sadly when word got out about a catastrophe at their Roswell location. The flat-roofed building packed on too much rainwater weight during a very long and heavy storm and the ceiling collapsed, putting them out of business for many months, and leaving the blues acts who perform on Friday and Saturday evenings looking for new venues. Now back in business and armed with a second, hotter sauce for the tables, they sounded like a place that we needed to try again.
An online buddy of mine who goes by the handle “Wanderingjew” was in town for Labor Day weekend, traveling through Charlotte, Columbia, and Atlanta on a terrific eating tour from his home base in Rhode Island. He wrote me for some recommendations and I hoped that we could get together. You always feel a little nervous when you make a hometown recommendation for somebody out of state, don’t you? Fortunately, he really enjoyed his meal. This was proven even more so later in the weekend when we got together with our buddy Tory, who had come to town from Nashville for Dragon*Con, for supper at Farm Burger, and her eyes rolled back into her head with pleasure and she set to demanding that our server personally see that a fourth location is opened in Nashville immediately.
I almost had my usual meal of pulled pork, fries, and their wonderful and unique corn souffle, but decided that I was due to try their ribs at long last as well. They did not disappoint at all. They smoke over hickory here, and these ribs are done just perfectly, with just the right mix of bark and a little toughness. I was not mad about their hot sauce, preferring this location’s original dark red. Marie and the baby also ate well – their slaw here is just characteristic enough to distinguish it, in a very good way, from similar mayo-based recipes – and our friend from Rhode Island really liked the pork. It was really nice to meet a fellow Roadfooder, and although we couldn’t hang out for long, as he had another buddy waiting up the road in Alpharetta to show off a brewpub, it was a good visit.
Spiced Right opened their third location earlier this year, meaning this really has been a busy time for them, what with rebuilding Roswell and getting this one ready. This location is in Suwanee, and occupies a former Shane’s Rib Shack. None of them are exceptionally convenient to us, although we probably will consider going back to Roswell one weekend evening to hear some live blues.
Other blog posts about Spiced Right (all three locations):
My BBQ Blog (Apr. 24 2008)
Buster’s Blogs (Aug. 29 2009)
BBQ Biker (Oct. 20 2009)
3rd Degree Berns Barbecue Sabbatical (Jan. 30 2010)
I Just Ate This (May 20 2011)
Burgers, Barbecue and Everything Else (Aug. 2 2012 – Andy ordered the same meal that I did!)
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!