Eating barbecue during a heat wave makes sense. Pulled pork sandwiches somehow taste even better when you are already sweaty, perhaps even smelling of wood smoke. This apparently means we should eat a lot of barbecue over the course of the extended forecast (in brief…hot, followed by hotter, followed by Christmas). So the timing was right for the next stop on The Never-Ending and Remarkably Slow Barbecue Tour with my old friend, Richard.
Richard and I have been crossing paths for almost thirty-five years though we didn’t met face to face until we were suite-mates during our freshman year at Sewanee in the fall of 1983. He reminded me today of that first meeting. He walked into my dorm room to introduce himself, and I said I knew he had gone to Camp Maxwelton because I had seen his name written on the cabin wall each morning where he had scrawled it in a ten–year old hand right next to where I had slept several years later. So even though we were never there at the same time, that camp was the first place we crossed paths. Apparently cabin graffiti has its purposes.
Today we went to “Sam’s BBQ 1” in Cobb County, Georgia. It was a great choice. The barbecue was excellent, if a little dry (my common complaint), and the sides–fried okra and beans for me, collards and brunswick stew for Richard–were tremendous. While I prefer places that don’t even bother with tomato-based “Kansas City-Style” sauce, they had a good vinegar-based sauce though it was not as “sharp and tangy” as the bottle promised.
The food was excellent as was catching up with Richard. If we average about four BBQ stops a year (our number since I moved to Atlanta last June), I figure we will be busy on our tour for another thirty-five years or so, and then maybe we’ll start over.