REVIEW: Sweet Auburn Barbecue, Poncey-Highlands, Atlanta
Sweet Auburn Barbecue fits like a glove from the moment you walk in. There’s a really cool vibe of a neighborhood restaurant that’s coupled with a rocking beat of hipster music providing a contrast that hits home with us.
For early on a Sunday evening, we were surprised at the crowd. We were shown to a nice booth that we found to be very comfortable and were soon greeted by our server. Straightaway we had refreshments and ordered the Pimento Cheese Wontons. Now this is different from any pimento cheese appetizer that we’ve ever had before and we loved the originality displayed in this dish. If you can envision a crab-stuffed wonton and then just replace the crab with pimento cheese, you’ve pretty much got it. A nice bacon marmalade with sweet Thai chili sauce rounds this dish out. I’m telling you – its off the chain. Melanie found the sauce a bit too spicy for her, but I was in heaven. DO NOT FAIL – you definitely have to get this when you visit.
Creatures of habit, Melanie got the Smoked Wings and I ordered the Pulled Pork Plate. We also got a half a rack of baby back ribs to share along with Potato Salad, Brunswick Stew, the Mac N Cheese, and a bucket of Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread. Yes, we live dangerously but its a sacrifice we have to make for our readers.
I’m really wondering why they even put BBQ sauce on the table, because the meat is too good to cover that flavor with a sauce. That’s probably the best pulled pork I’ve had in quite some time. Melanie enjoyed her Smoked Wings also. Those ribs though, were just fantastic. The meat was tender and flavorful. I liked that it was juicy and not bathed in sauce. While not a dry rub, what sauce that was there was fully baked into the meat and over-the-top delicious.
The Potato Salad had a subtle horseradish kick to it that I really liked. Melanie thought the Mac N Cheese was awesome. The surprise was how good both the Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread and Brunswick Stew were. The Brunswick Stew was the freaking bomb – almost as good as Melanie’s homemade version. The flavor was almost identical. The Brunswick Stew is filled with meat and vegetables that does honor to a traditional Brunswick Stew like your grandmother made. The Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread was mild enough for Melanie to enjoy and she thought it was some of the best cornbread ever. Not only was the cornbread awesome, the Sorghum Butter accompanying it complemented it so well you could eat all of it if the portion size was not so plentiful.
Sweet Auburn Barbecue serves up a fantastic meal that redefines traditional Southern BBQ. There are menu options that provide both Southwest and Asian fusion options to let you slice and dice it however you like, though purists won’t be disappointed. That small-town unassuming yet hip urban ambience will draw you in, but the food and the awesome staff will keep you coming back to Sweet Auburn Barbecue time and time again. Guten appetit!