Mac Lab, Duluth GA

There was one hitch in our trip to Athens, recounted over the last three chapters. I had hoped that we could go with our fellow blogger Sandy from Bella Vivere, who also attended UGA. It’s always really fun to spend time in Athens with somebody who went to school at a different time; you get to share similar and yet radically different stories. Sadly, she had to work, and suggested that we meet for dessert in Gwinnett County on our way home. Continue reading “Mac Lab, Duluth GA”


Old McDonald’s Bar-B-Que, Buford GA (CLOSED)

I have a very soft spot in my heart for Bob Burley, who ran Old McDonald’s Bar-B-Que from 1982 to 2008. When I first started writing (badly) about barbecue – this was when I had a lousy Geocities page about barbecue – I tended to just walk into a restaurant, eat, leave, and write a pompous paragraph, learning nothing and imparting less. Mr. Burley was the first person to take a few minutes and explain his process. Eventually, I started inquiring from other people about the food I was eating, learning more about traditions and styles, and having my preconceived notions upended, and then I quit writing about food for eight or nine years. Continue reading “Old McDonald’s Bar-B-Que, Buford GA (CLOSED)”

Praise the Lard BBQ, Buford GA

There were a couple of barbecue joints in Atlanta’s northeastern suburbs that had been waiting for us to visit for such a long time. To be honest, once upon a time, we had thought that we’d be going up I-985 / US-23 a little more frequently than we do, heading north to visit Tallulah Gorge, and we’d stop into all these places along the way. But we eventually reasoned that the gorge is no place for a little one, particularly one as rambunctious as ours, and so we are not that way as frequently. We’ve stopped by most of the barbecue places (but not all!) in Gainesville and further north at least once, but closer in to Atlanta, we have left some gaps. So one Saturday last month, I asked whether Matt and his wife would like to meet for lunch at Praise the Lard. Continue reading “Praise the Lard BBQ, Buford GA”

Taqueria Los Hermanos, Lilburn GA

I keep telling myself that Marie and I need to do a better job covering the northeastern suburbs (and the southeastern ones, and the southwestern ones, too…), but we just don’t get out that way very often. Well, a couple of Saturdays ago, my real-world job called on me to work a festival near Tucker, and I looked around for some lunch suggestions. I wasn’t specifically looking for Mexican, but the road ended up taking me a few miles north of Tucker to try something that came with a good recommendation. Continue reading “Taqueria Los Hermanos, Lilburn GA”

Catty-Cornered ‘cue in Conyers GA

A few weeks ago, I was driving through Rockdale County and saw the original location of Pippin’s Bar-B-Q. I chewed on the possibility of stopping for a moment. It was true that I did not particularly enjoy their satellite store in Covington when I stopped there in November of last year, but I reasoned that some places are better at the original than in secondary shops. Also, I’m almost never in Conyers, so I might as well pull over. Continue reading “Catty-Cornered ‘cue in Conyers GA”

Best BBQ Cantonese Cuisine, Duluth GA

A couple of months ago, Marie and I had the pleasure of meeting the founder of Tin Drum Asiacafe, Steven Chan, after admiring his work from afar for a few years. We got to talking about food in Atlanta, and the authenticity – or lack thereof – of Chinese cuisine in America (see my recent story about the book Chop Suey, USA for more on that subject), and he invited us to join him and his wife for dim sum at what he contends is the best and most authentic dim sum restaurant in the Atlanta area. Marie sadly wasn’t able to make it in the end owing to a work commitment, but Bella Vivere joined us at Great Wall Supermarket one Saturday last month. Continue reading “Best BBQ Cantonese Cuisine, Duluth GA”