Practically across the street from one of the oldest barbecue traditions in this part of the state, one of the newest has set up shop. They’re not like most of the competition, that’s for sure.
The very best meal on our road trip, by a country mile, was the last stop on the tour. Our friends Ric and Maggi, of whom we never see enough, strongly recommended that we meet them at Zombie Pig, a well-known food truck that opened its first brick and mortar location earlier this year. It is fantastic and incredibly popular. They warn guests that they plan to run out of meat every day, and we were indeed too late at 5 pm for either the brisket or the pulled pork. Just as well that the ribs and the pulled chicken are so darn good then.
This was one of those peculiar little road trips where I enjoyed each meal a little bit better than the one that preceded it, but the biggest leap in quality came right here at the end. I really enjoy the typical Columbus / Phenix City style of barbecue, which sees the meat simmering in the region’s usual mustard sauce, and most of the restaurants in this area have some kind of take on this style. But Zombie Pig’s owners, Brad, Juan and Dave, have started this venture after several years as a competition team, specializing in what they call a Kansas City style. The pulled chicken has a really dense dusting of a dry spice rub, and a variety of sauces available. Nobody else in town does it this way.
I wish I could tell you what to expect from the pork or the brisket, but I’ll gladly tell you that the chicken was just phenomenal. The ribs were certainly above average, really juicy and tender, but the chicken was easily among the best pulled barbecue chicken I’ve had in ages. That spice rub is something else. And while the barbecue places around Columbus are typically known for having mustard-based sauces, they have a few to choose from here, including an “ask at the register” bottle of an incredibly spicy hot sauce. That stuff is completely delicious, but they don’t leave it on the tables for a reason.
Ric and Maggi were really enthusiastic about Zombie Pig, and with good reason. We enjoyed catching up – we just never have time anymore, but it’s great to spend time with them – and I thought about just how many great barbecue places around Columbus and southern Alabama I’ve been to with my old buddy. He needs to come this way so I can introduce him to some Tennessee places.
But first, I think I need to find some places within a quick drive that are as good as Zombie Pig. There are some pretty good ones near me, but none this good so far. My last new Georgia barbecue restaurant before we moved has left a pretty high bar to beat. I would need to get on the road and start exploring eastern Tennessee barbecue, and soon!
Are you planning a barbecue road trip? You can see all the barbecue restaurants that we have visited for our blog (more than 390 !) on this map, with links back to the original blog posts!
14 thoughts on “Zombie Pig BBQ, Columbus GA”
Is there some reason you can’ tell us where the Zombie Pig and others are located? As in street address? Enquiring minds want to know but well, shucks, I’ve already gone past it because I haven’t the foggiest where it is.
I’ve noticed this since the change to Zomato…..which might be fairly useless without location information.
That’s true; we’re not affiliates with any service that provides addresses any longer. We do not use Zomato, as discussed in this story from last year. Adding insult to injury, within a month of that post, Zomato laid off their entire North American workforce, including all the good people that they’d kept on from Urbanspoon, so, honestly, forget those idiots. We also stopped using Tabelog since, to be blunt, nobody else does, and we send Tabelog far more traffic than they send us.
But to the core of your question, it didn’t occur to me there was a need, since I just highlight, right-click, and Google when I’m curious about a place. We’ll start doing that going forward. For now, Zombie Pig is located at 6201 Veterans Pkwy, Columbus, GA 31909.
I HATE Zomato! Why did they have to kill Urbanspoon? I use Yelp now but I’m not happy about it.
I also use Yelp, but only as far as “where is a restaurant.” I don’t read the reviews.
I just don’t trust Yelp reviews at all since they filter them. Urbanspoon was a more honest company and the links to blog reviews was a big help in deciding where to go.
The links to blog reviews were a big help in bringing us more readers! *grin
I also miss Urbanspoon because when we would visit a new city, I’d pull up the area’s leaderboard to see who the top local bloggers were, and get their insight on where we should visit. Zomato is pretty terrible for that, and sadly Tabelog never did create anything similar. Those were good times.
Thanks very much! I’ve been to many of the places you’ve reviewed. I drop the street address into Garmin GPS mapping software which creates a waypoint.
As for Zomato etc, I haven’t seen anything that would remotely replace Urbanspoon.
I hope this isn’t it for posts from Georgia restos, but I’m (grudgingly) looking forward to reading more about your new home.
Almost it for now! There’s one Georgia story coming next week, and there may be a couple of north GA barbecue places in the near future. We’ll see!
This place sounds really good. I almost always have pulled pork too, but you make the chicken sound so unmissable that I may have to try it first.
We hope that you love it! Let us know what you think.
While we’re piling on Zomato… their “near you” feature is completely useless because they never check reports of restaurants being closed and it takes forever to get one opened in their system. The Yelp people are way better and more responsive to customer input. I predict Zomato will close US operations before the end of next year.
You may be right. They clearly bought Urbanspoon just to get their Australian business. Managing the same level of detail over all the United States is clearly outside their present ability or interest.
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