Adams Bar-B-Q, Cartersville GA

I confess that doing this as long as I have, some names and dates and towns get all confused and I miss some places and misidentify others. Once upon a time, I misheard some information and was not aware this restaurant was still in business. We passed it on our way to Rome and I decided that we’d swing by and see about a midday snack on our way home.

The Adams family has been operating restaurants since the 1970s, but interestingly, all of their present press material dates the opening of this one to 1997. According to Bill Grabbe’s long-dormant Gentleman’s Guide to Swine Dining in Georgia, however, it was 1997 when they moved to their present location.

Interestingly, the Gentleman compared the style of Adams to the long-lost Old Hickory Barbecue in Mableton, and, scrolling down his page, I see that he actually has a small review of that restaurant. That was where the Wallaces and the Hudson family first crossed paths, and, after Old Hickory closed in the 1990s after a run of at least four decades, O.B.’s BBQ moved one of their locations – there were four – into the site at 499 Bankhead / Veteran’s Memorial. O.B.’s closed that store in 2010, selling it to a new operator who named it J-Bones. That didn’t last very long; a Mexican place called Rancho El Molcajete is there today.

We arrived after the Friday lunch rush wiped them out and before the kitchen could start getting dinner together. This is a popular place! Marie figured on a small banana pudding, but they were out. She asked for potato salad and was stymied again. Our server seemed to be a little new to the job, since each of these stumbles had to be uncovered on separate trips to the kitchen, rather than getting a definitive answer on what they could provide. Marie settled on a slice of pie. Our server went back to check yet again and returned with thumbs up.

The chopped pork was pretty good. It was dry and not especially smoky, but it had a mild, pleasant enough flavor. It really needed some sauce, and the house sauce is a vinegar-tomato blend that you often see at some of the older Georgia restaurants. I notice that since I asked for my meat dry, it didn’t come quite the way that the Gentleman described some years back: “The pork is pulled or coarsely chopped and served swimming in a watery, orange vinegar sauce with some pepper and spice.” That sounds quite similar to the Wallace-Hudson style to me, although the meat had a much milder flavor than what I know of Wallace’s, and the sauce is not quite the same, either.

Overall, this wasn’t bad, but not a real standout. Around Cartersville, I think I’d rather give Scott’s Walk-Up another chance the next time we are in the area before returning here.


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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3 thoughts on “Adams Bar-B-Q, Cartersville GA

  1. When I lived in Cartersville, I recall that Adam’s fries their hot dogs in oil as opposed to being grilled or boiled. The slaw dog was my order of choice when I dined there.

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