The Beacon, Spartanburg SC (take two)

When we first visited the Beacon in February of last year, we were a bit overwhelmed by just how huge, wild and chaotic it was, and that’s despite very old familiarity with Atlanta’s similar Varsity. The spectacle of the Beacon makes for a real experience, and we could not wait to get back and give it another try. Continue reading “The Beacon, Spartanburg SC (take two)”

3 Lil’ Pigs Bar-B-Q and Dari Spot, Gainesville GA

Boy, I just had no luck whatsoever with 3 Lil’ Pigs. I read about the place over at Buster Evans’ terrific barbecue blog earlier this year and was excited to go to Gainesville and try their chicken mull. So Marie and I went up in June and learned that they were closed on Saturdays. After the trip that we took to Chattanooga, Matt stayed overnight with us, just to have a guys’ break and play some Catan, and I took him home the next day, allowing us the chance to finally give them a try. They don’t serve mull any longer. The young fellow at the window was apologetic, but explained that they were throwing out too much of it to continue offering it. Can’t win for losing, can we? Continue reading “3 Lil’ Pigs Bar-B-Q and Dari Spot, Gainesville GA”

Hot Thomas Barbecue, Watkinsville GA

Many years ago, Hot Thomas ranked among my very favorite barbecue restaurants. When I lived in Athens, I would drive over to Watkinsville maybe once a month to get a chopped pork plate. Then I moved away and they hit a run of bad luck and closed for a while. Actually, I sort of found out the hard way, by driving over here on two or three occasions in the 2000s and finding only disappointment where there should have been great barbecue. Continue reading “Hot Thomas Barbecue, Watkinsville GA”

Bill’s Bar-B-Q, Hull GA

I have totally done Bill’s an awful disservice. I ate there once, maybe twice, back in 1993 or 1994, and I decided that I liked other, nearby, places better. It’s about a fifteen or twenty minute drive from Athens, depending whereabouts you are, north of the town of Hull and south of the somewhat larger town of Danielsville. This past Saturday, I decided it was long overdue for a return trip. Continue reading “Bill’s Bar-B-Q, Hull GA”

The Beacon, Spartanburg SC

The high point of our trip through the Carolinas came with the seventh stop. We’d enjoyed some pretty good eating experiences along the way, but the most fun and most different pleasure of the tour came at a very famous restaurant in Spartanburg called The Beacon. I had heard this place referred to as similar to Atlanta’s legendary Varsity, but that doesn’t really begin to explain how wild and awesome it is. This is absolutely a place that everybody in the southeast should try at least once. Continue reading “The Beacon, Spartanburg SC”

The Butt Hutt, Athens GA

I’ve been absolutely fascinated by chicken mull since we first discovered it back in the spring at that fundraiser up in Danielsville. It really shines a light on my deficiencies as any sort of food writer, doesn’t it? I lived in Athens for a dozen years and, despite the “think global, act local” bumper sticker, I never heard of the stuff for a decade after moving. That said, it’s certainly not a common dish in the region, nor is it even really known far and wide under that name. Wikipedia has an entry for it, but there it’s called Southern chicken stew. They may not make it with squirrels or turtles anymore, but mull is one of the region’s last, best-kept secrets, and not very many restaurants keep it on the menu. Continue reading “The Butt Hutt, Athens GA”

Chicken Mull, Danielsville GA

One by one, I walked up the chain of command at the Danielsville Volunteer Fire Department until I got to Chief Perry. He’s in his late fifties, a big guy, wearing a yellow apron with his name on it. He told me what the heck I was doing here, and I told him I sure was glad I came. Continue reading “Chicken Mull, Danielsville GA”