Uncle Gus’s Mountain Pit Bar-B-Que, Decatur TN

“We’re an hour from home,” Marie said. “It would be just typical for you to really love that barbecue since we’re so far away.” I paused, fork hovering, wondering whether she’d be correct again. Continue reading “Uncle Gus’s Mountain Pit Bar-B-Que, Decatur TN”


C.F. Penn Hamburgers, Decatur AL

For the second stop on our trip, I wanted to visit the last remaining location of C.F. Penn Hamburgers, a very old chain that started selling slugburgers in the 1920s and grew to three or more locations in north central Alabama. A couple of my blogging buddies had visited the old storefront in Decatur, not, I must clarify, with glowingly positive reviews, but vintage places like this just should not be missed. Continue reading “C.F. Penn Hamburgers, Decatur AL”

Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, Decatur AL

Not for the first time, I was forced to consider the odd discrepancy between a phalanx of awards from major cooking competitions and the supposed awesomeness of what the winners of these competitions serve in their restaurants. Either the two are not anywhere close to being the same, or the judges of these competitions have an entirely different set of criteria than I do for what makes good barbecue. Of course, the written word often doesn’t have any nuance whatsoever, and I’m not saying that I’ve ever had a bad meal at a restaurant with one of those larger-than-a-child Memphis in May trophies, but I sure have had better. Continue reading “Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, Decatur AL”

Revival, Decatur GA

Comfort Food Weekend concluded with a trip to Decatur, where we enjoyed a mostly excellent Sunday lunch at Kevin Gillespie’s restaurant Revival, whose menu was inspired by Sunday cooking at his grandmother’s house. This place opened last year and everybody has said only nice things about it. Confident of a good lunch and still craving traditional comfort food after two days full of it, we made reservations and left for the aggravatingly long drive out that way. They can build a Braves Turnpike all along I-75, but they can’t build a flyover bypass to Decatur? A pox on politicians; no wonder we were late. Continue reading “Revival, Decatur GA”

Community Q BBQ, Decatur GA (take two)

Community Q, criminally, had slipped under my radar. Since it opened in 2009, it received lots of attention and writeups from hobbyists and food lovers (Here’s our own report), but I hadn’t eaten there in quite some time – the last was almost two years ago, when Dale, a roadfooding friend from Rhode Island came through town on his way to Birmingham – and found myself curious to visit them again. Continue reading “Community Q BBQ, Decatur GA (take two)”

Mason Tavern, Decatur GA

You know how that first week after the time change, it feels like the middle of the night when it’s only seven o’clock? And how the rain doesn’t help? Well, a couple of weeks ago, Daylight Savings Time ended and Marie and I accepted an invitation to visit Mason Tavern, the newest restaurant from the Concentrics Group. It opened earlier this summer, on Clairmont in the same strip mall as Community Q. They’re aiming for an above-average “community gathering place,” and, with Chavez Hernandez, formerly of Saltyard, in charge of the kitchen, they’ve assembled a new Southern menu with many of the usual suspects in this category of late – hot chicken, pork belly, brunch – and a particularly interesting beer menu. All of the beers they have on tap are from Georgia brewers, which is wonderful. Continue reading “Mason Tavern, Decatur GA”

Hodge’s Bar-B-Que, Decatur GA

Exploring restaurants and writing this blog occasionally sees us finding quiet bits of history that really don’t seem to have been documented much, anywhere. Take Hodge’s Bar-B-Que on Candler Road, for example. I noticed the old place, on the left going north from I-20, while in the neighborhood many months ago, along with what turned out to be a much newer barbecue joint, Papa Joe’s. I flipped a coin to choose which one to visit first, and this place didn’t make it, so it went into the “when it’s convenient” pile, which is the much longer edition of the “go here, soon” document. Continue reading “Hodge’s Bar-B-Que, Decatur GA”