Mac’s BBQ, Warm Springs GA

The small town of Warm Springs suffered a huge blow last year when the beautiful Bulloch House restaurant was destroyed in a fire. We visited it once in the blazing hot summer of 2010 and had a pretty good meal. The owners have relocated to a smaller facility and hope to rebuild the beautiful old house, but it may be a long time in coming. The Bulloch House had been one of the major tourist draws of this town. Kids on field trips who had come to town to see FDR’s “Little White House” often visited. So did church and civic groups, and of course many of the bikers who have used this nice country as a quiet little getaway for many years. Even scaled down, it’s still said to be pretty good, but some other restaurants have really stepped up to take up the slack.

Warm Springs boasts a nice little strip of antique / junque shops and a promisingly silly wax museum, and it’s been home to a little barbecue place for about twenty years. It’s called Mac’s and it operates from a little trailer identical to the one used by Real Pit BBQ in Greenville AL.

The meat is dry and pretty bland, but happily it comes with a choice of sauces, and the hot sauce is really terrific. Go back to what I was saying a few chapters back about how a good sauce might can rescue some so-so meat, but when you cook in the sauce, anything can happen.

The flavors here mix together very nicely. I think it’s important to serve the meat dry for precisely that reason. As mentioned in previous chapters, I elected to sample the barbecue on this tour “as-is” rather than ask for it dry as I usually do, curious what I might find as far as sauce mixtures. So no, the meat isn’t a real standout – it’s smoked in a steel upright, built into the trailer – but along with the sauce, it’s not a bad sandwich at all.

I enjoyed the stew even more than the barbecue. This was really tasty, rich and flavorful, the best stew that I enjoyed at any of the three stops on the trip that served it. I had Rien Fertel’s new book The One True Barbecue with me, and I read that for a while in the nice open air, enjoying the mild weather, and then I took a long walk, enjoying the really nice town of Warm Springs. It’s a great little getaway from Atlanta, and with some pretty good barbecue to enjoy for lunch. I’d recommend going before the summer gets too miserably hot.

Are you planning a barbecue road trip? You can see all the barbecue restaurants that we have visited for our blog (more than 370 !) on this map, with links back to the original blog posts!


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