REVIEW: Twin Smokers BBQ, Downtown, Atlanta
It had just been a couple of days since our disappointing visit to Hometown BBQ. In continuing our support for Atlanta Downtown Restaurant Week, we wanted to head to Marietta Street and try Twin Smokers BBQ. Our quest for great BBQ is insatiable!
Like most spots downtown, parking is limited. It was Sunday night so I dropped Melanie off at the curb and parked in a creepy lot across the street. I’m sure during the week that one would risk booting by doing so, but on a slow Sunday night I decided to roll the dice (and won).
Once you walk in, you FEEL like you’re in a REAL BBQ joint! There’s a chalkboard with all of the menu items written on it (paper menus are also available if you’re blind as a bat or they’re too many people standing in front of it). You can see large stacks of wood proudly labeled to display their variety. We were greeted upon our arrival and felt welcomed by the staff. The two ladies who took our order were particularly friendly and very nice in answering our questions about the menu, even offering samples of items that we had questions about. Once we finished ordering and paying, we self-served our drinks and sat down at a table by the window.
One thing I would like to discuss is gratuity. Of course, in a full-service restaurant one should tip 20% unless there have been issues with the server. Note, this doesn’t mean your food was late or something was wrong with your food. I’m talking about being ignored by your server, drinks not being refilled, the server being inattentive or forgetting your dining needs or requests. 20% should be your norm, with 25% tip for exemplary service. If you are still tipping 15% you need to put down your dumb-phone and enter the new millennium. Servers work hard and the majority of their income is from tips. It’s a tough way to earn a living so please, please, please tips your servers and tip them well.
In a restaurant such as this that is not full-service, I generally tip 10%. Many people tips nothing at all in such an instance but I don’t agree with that. Many time, the staff will come by and offer to get drink refills for you, pick up your dishes when you’re finished, bring to-go boxes and other ways of serving you. Again, the restaurant business is a tough way to earn a living so be kind and generous.
We placed the small stand with our order number on our table and the food arrived promptly. I had ordered the pulled pork plate, with Brunswick stew and potato salad. Melanie had ordered the smoked chicken, macaroni and cheese along with cole slaw.
To accompany our meals was a single piece of white bread and this was one area that we felt needed improvement. From their menu offerings, I really felt this was not only BBQ but SOUTHERN BBQ. With selections like collard greens and pinto beans (really wished I could’ve eaten more but my strict diet won’t allow me that luxury anymore). Our suggestion is to offer sweet cornbread and ditch the white bread. Make sure it’s moist though and doesn’t get dried out!
The pork and the chicken were spot-on both in terms of flavor and portion size. Melanie couldn’t even finished her chicken and had to bring it home in a box. It made for a tasty snack later!
I thought the Brunswick stew had a little too much tomato/ketchup taste. Melanie’s suggestion is to add more BBQ sauce but I think it could use more meat, even ground beef to bolster it.
The potato salad was different but grew on me and I ended up finishing it all. This wasn’t your normal mustard/mayo potato salad. I’m not exactly sure what they did, I couldn’t put my finger on it, but they need to keep doing it.
The mac & cheese was different also. Instead of using the standard rigati pasta, they used rigatoni instead. Also you’re notice a nice sprinkling of parmesean cheese on top. VERY nice touch!
Melanie wasn’t exactly exuberant over the cole slaw, but I really like it. Like all of the sides, it was a little different that you would expect at a BBQ joint, but I LIKED that part of it. I liked the fact that they weren’t afraid to break out of that cookie-cutter mold and offer something that’s a little different.
We really enjoyed our time at Twin Smokers BBQ. The food was great. The staff was friendly. The atmosphere was authentic. And all this nestled in the heart of downtown? How cool is that? Guten appetit!