18.6.09

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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.

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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.








3 comments:

Klary Koopmans said...

yes, yes. More of this, please. I must have been an American girl in a previous life. Or why would a picture of Sonny´s BBQ be tugging at my heart strings?

MEM said...

In the interest of further testing your heartstrings, I'll try to make sure I get to some real BBQ places when I'm here: independently-owned, highly personal, somewhat historic, etc. Ik doe m'n best, hoor...

d.duchhart said...

Hi Mark, rushing off to Berlin now where I will try to find some worst now that you got us going on the pork route...
Take care, hi to Mara.