Getting Sauced the Southern Way
I recently had the pleasure of enjoying dinner and drinks at Smokebelly BBQ with a vibrant group of other Atlanta food writers and one of the owners, Chris Hadermann. Smokebelly BBQ, which is located on E. Andrews Drive in Atlanta, is a celebration of all things Southern, especially those that are smoked, sauced or fried and served with side of hospitality and charm. And unlike many others in the area, the restaurant has a large parking lot with ample complimentary parking.
Southern Proper Hospitality
This upscale barbecue restaurant is brought to us by Southern Proper Hospitality, the same team responsible for the popular Tin Lizzy’s, The Big Ketch and more recently, The Southern Gentleman and sister restaurant, Gypsy Kitchen, which promises authentic modern-day Spanish cuisine with additional influences from Moroccan and Indian influences. Gypsy Kitchen just opened a few weeks ago in the heart of Buckhead Atlanta, our city’s newest and most exclusive retail destination, and I absolutely can not wait to try it!
Belly Bites and Fixin’s
Wine and Swine
The last item to come around was the miniature smoked sausage corn dogs, and unfortunately I was so busy talking to Chris about his exciting new restaurant ventures, that I completely missed them. Darn! But I hear they were delicious. And we got to talk about wine and that’s not something I ever turn away from. Speaking of wine, I chose the California Zinfandel to accompany the main course. Southern barbecue tends to be bold, complex and full of flavor so I always look for a wine with those characteristics, preferably a red. My first pick would have been something more in-your-face, like a Châteauneuf-du-Pape or nearby Southern Rhône blend, but there weren’t that many options on the wine list. I’m probably in the minority and most people that go out for great barbecue don’t go there for the wine. But I’m always in it for the wine! This zin was nice, though, and unfortunately, I didn’t catch the label. It was smooth, balanced and not too spicy or too jammy. Most importantly, it paired wonderfully with everything that was to come. Did you think we were done eating?
The Main Event
Oh, and the sauce selection was endless! You know I’m all about the sauce, because it really can make or break a dish. And there were so many to choose from, including sweet, savory, spicy, mustardy, vinegary and even their own Cherry Cola concoction. Why not try them all? But the one sauce I was most looking forward to, because I just recently discovered it at the Taste of Atlanta food and wine festival a few weeks ago, was the Alabama White. Where has this sauce been my whole life? I grew up in New Orleans, studied in Mississippi, have been living in Atlanta for 15 years and somehow in the middle of all that there was this perfect sauce that I want to slather on absolutely everything! And I just recently discovered it, but I’m making up for lost time.
The Fine Print
Note: Although my tasty meal at Smokebelly BBQ was complimentary, I was in no way compensated for this post. These recipes and opinions are solely mine, and based on my own experiences. Experience the Southern charm for yourself, any day of the week, at Smokebelly BBQ.
128 E. Andrews Drive