What a strange coincidence. The last time that I visited Holcomb’s, it was when we were considering a move from Georgia to Ohio. Four years later, we were finally planning to leave, but with Tennessee as our goal. Then, I wanted to spend some weekends driving around, making more passes at the areas of this state we hadn’t really visited much. That’s what has been going on this year. And so, one Saturday in April, an absolutely glorious, sunny and mild Saturday, Marie and I took our son for a terrific country drive, and started our trip at the original location of Holcomb’s, near the town of White Plains.
The Holcombs opened this location in 1971 and it is famous all around the state as the restaurant with the sawdust dining room. Our son was completely fascinated by it, and could hardly concentrate on eating his stew and chips because this was so new and so strange to him. The store in Greensboro came a decade later; all of the smoking and cooking is done in the White Plains location and driven to Greensboro.
Marie had a sandwich and I ordered a plate with stew and slaw. The meat is cooked in the sauce, which is a light tomato-vinegar-pepper blend. I absolutely love this sauce. I wasn’t mad about the stew, I admit, as it is always a little thinner here than I like, but Holcomb’s remains a treasure, with tasty pork full of flavor. It might could use a little shake of the red pepper that they put on the tables, but not too much more sauce than what they provide. They balance everything just right.
The restaurant is maybe five miles south of I-20 below Siloam. If you’re traveling from Athens to Savannah, you can’t miss it. It was on one of those many trips that I took on this road bound for Savannah and Tybee that I first discovered it. Marie, who was making a very similar trips from Athens to Brunswick and Saint Simons then, and would continue doing so for many years after I left the Classic City, had many more opportunities to stop here than I did, but she hadn’t figured out how much she enjoys barbecue then.
Holcomb’s is a no-frills and wonderful experience. I have never been a regular, and I’ve gone years and years between visits, but I’m very glad that we started our trip here. I hope this place lasts forever.
Are you planning a barbecue road trip? You can see all the barbecue restaurants that we have visited for our blog (more than 380 !) on this map, with links back to the original blog posts!