So, we're in Atlanta, staying with Mara's parents in the house that used to be "ours" (and in fact still feels pretty much like "ours" because almost nothing has changed about it: same old billiards table, same old couches and beds, same old custom-osity of furniture, same old creative room-to-room paint jobs, ect ect ect).
A side effect of this is that, for better or worse, we are in our old stomping grounds: by car, there are only a couple of ways in and out of this neck of the woods, and each of them involves passing one or more nostalgic landmarks. Today's case in point: Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q.
If you're looking for guitar strings in East Cobb these days, your options are few and far between: I headed down to the Big Chicken, turned south on Highway 41 (yes, that Highway 41), and was looking for the now-defunct MARS Music (which I then remembered had already been gone the last time I looked for it) when I realized that A) I was hungry, and B) I was right in front of Sonny's.
Now, if you're a real BBQ person you'll cringe at this, but I used to eat at Sonny's all the damn time back in the 1990s. I knew that it wasn't the best BBQ in the world, but it was right on my way home from work, that's the only excuse I can offer.
After reading tons of negative reviews about Sonny's on the Google wire, I have some disturbing news: I think it used to be worse than it is now. In fact, I think I'm happy to report that either it has improved significantly or I have been so unbelievably BBQ-deprived for the last 7 or 8 years that I am under the illusion that it has improved significantly, either of which is fine by me. Today I had a pulled pork sandwich with their new hot sauce, which I thought was a solid improvement over what I remembered (if you click on the bottom picture you can check out the list of highly unnatural ingredients).
This sauce compels me to highlight the fact that Sonny's is a chain, and their BBQ sauces are very obviously not the result of some grizzled old pitmaster hunkering down over a hot stove, tweaking his decades-old recipe into perfection: these sauces are straight from the laboratory. Nonetheless, considering my recent lack of BBQ, this was a satisfying sandwich experience overall.
I'm planning a few more BBQ excursions while I 'm here: since Mara is ostensibly on a Pork Hiatus, I've got to get some pig somehows. So for the sake of comparison, I'll call this pulled pork sandwich a good, solid 6.0/10.0, with the strong caveat that this is my first BBQ sandwich in a long time: absence has almost definitely made my heart grow fonder.
This is an occasionally NSFW, mostly gluten-free kitchen notebook that also occasionally threatens to turn into something else and fails, thus remaining its same old cryptic and superficial self. These posts begin to fail to explain (start at the bottom).