Thursday, May 9, 2019

Boogie's BBQ

BBQ 117 – Boogie’s BBQ
Nürnberg, Germany

Boogie’s BBQ in Nürnberg is the only show in town. Not only in Nürnberg, but it literally is the only real show in the whole country. When I moved back from Alabama, I scoured the internet to find some, no, rather any, BBQ joints in my vicinity. The closest one I could detect is this one, which is about 200 miles away – and that makes a plate of pulled pork now and then a somewhat time consuming and expensive affair. I only have time to go there once or twice a year. So, I am living in BBQ diaspora now. Boohoo, cry me a river.
Although, the real problem here is not so much the distance that makes satisfying my instant cravings so damn near impossible, at least on a regular basis. No, the real problem is that Boogie’s BBQ ranks among the best I ever had – right there with my favorite joints in Alabama, Tennessee and Florida. Those guys in Nürnberg know how to smoke a hog. No wonder, the founder and owner of this place comes from Memphis and he brought all the knowledge with him to Germany. The pulled pork is tender, juicy and has an exquisite smoke flavor. The burnt ends are marvelous as well, and the brisket is just heavenly. They serve the meat with a quite solid bun of bread, not the American style soft variety. And that is a good thing, because with the solid bun you can put more sauce on it, without having to deal with a disintegrating, sloppy mess after five seconds. And sauce you will put on – they have four flavors, one hot, one fruity, one smoky, and one vinegar based. I always mix the hot one with the fruity one, but the other two are also very good. Of course, you don’t need to eat the bun at all and just devour the meat. But quite frankly, I prefer to soak the bun with the sauces, put the meat on it and eat like a pig, including the stains on my shirt and in my beard.
They serve the usual fixins as sides, and the potato salad is just great, and all other sides are good to very good. Meals are not really cheap compared to some BBQ restaurants in the States, because it is a novelty restaurant here in Germany, but I think the items are quite fairly priced for the quality and quantity you get.
Two more bonus points for this place are the very friendly and cheerful staff, and the basic layout of the restaurant. It has all kinds of US memorabilia on the walls, the tables have red and white checkered cloths, the background music is a mix of classic soul and blues songs, and you can even purchase T-shirts with their logo on them. If that place was suddenly beamed away to the BBQ in the southern US, it would fit right in.
So, for me it always is kind of a pilgrimage when I go to Boogie’s BBQ. I just hope and pray that it keeps on serving us poor sinners for a long time to come. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Dave Poe's BBQ

BBQ 116 – Dave Poe’s BBQ
Marietta, Georgia, USA

At lunch time, the line of customers stretches the whole length of the entrance way, which is a good 30 feet long. It is always a good sign, if the locals seem to like a place.
Fortunately, I was there right at when they opened the place. before that tidal wave hit.
The restaurant is located in one of those typical strip malls at a busy street that you can find in every American city. Right next to it is a Waffle House, which may serve as a beacon to Dave Poe’s BBQ, because you have to look kind of hard to find it driving by.
It is not even a small place, with maybe twenty tables and booths for four customers each, but there are no flashy signs, no advertisements, and the like to alert you that you are about to pass BBQ heaven. There is only the name of the place in big letters at the front, and it also says “Wood Pit Barbecue” near the top of the building.

And the sign does not lie. To jump ahead to the main reason to go there, the pulled pork I had definitely came out of the wood pit. It had a marvelous smoky flavor, it was tender and even came with some very crunchy bark. Hands down, one of the best pork I’ve ever had. Needless to say, that it was also very tender and juicy. At first, I thought it to be a shame to pour sauce over it – until I took a taste of it. Heaven. Well rounded, thick and red, clearly vinegar based but also tangy and a little sweet. Perfection in a refillable plastic bottle. The potato salad was superb, too. Only the cole slaw was a bit too watery for my taste – some more salt and pepper and maybe even some more vinegar would make it more to my liking. The pulled pork plate came with two slices of pickle and a Texas toast, which I drenched in the heavenly sauce after everything else was gone and basically used as dessert to that really splendid meal. For all that, plus a cup of unsweet tea, I paid about fourteen bucks, which falls in line with the price level in the greater Atlanta area, I guess. It was worth every penny, though.

As for the atmosphere there – very clean, very bright and very straight forward. I wouldn’t call the interior “modern”, and it certainly is not the coziest place you can imagine, but I liked the college sports decorations, including the long line of trophies at one wall, the old license plates on another wall, and the wooden floor and walls overall. A special shout out goes to the Bama sign (RollTide!) next to the UGA sign at the counter! It surprised me a little bit to find those two arch rivals next to each other, because clearly this neck of the woods is UGA country. I failed to ask Mr. Poe, who personally took my order, for the significance of the two signs. Well, I was hungry at the time and had to catch a flight later that day. But whenever I return, this will most certainly on my bucket list of things to do.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Williamson Brothers Bar-B-Q

BBQ 115 – Williamson Brothers Bar-B-Q
Marietta, Georgia, USA

Christmas Lights. It is March, and there are Christmas lights all over the place. Not those garish red and green ones, but the slightly less annoying white LED chains. Outside at the building, and inside surrounding the booths and the tables. I decided to think of it as unique and quirky – but seriously folks, I know you are from Bama, where this would qualify as “normal”, but now you live in a somewhat more sophisticated place near the big, big city of Atlanta, so is this really necessary?
The rest of this restaurant looks like a pretty standard family eatery. They got booths and tables, it is very clean and sparsely decorated, the interior is made of wood and it really looks and feels like a very charming and cozy place.
There is also an open pit in the middle of the restaurant, where you can watch how the meat is smoked. This also has the great effect, that you smell it all over the place. Very nice atmosphere there, and also a very friendly staff.

That said, lets get to the food. As usual, I had the pork plate, which came with a Texas toast and two sides. In must say, for all the show with the open pit and all, the meat was somewhat disappointing. Yes, it was tender and juicy, but it lacked any wood smoke flavor entirely. It was bland. But it served well as a basis for the superb sauce. A thick red mélange with a little kick to it, the sauce is undoubtedly the star of this place. The sides were also outstanding – both the cole slaw and the potato salad were savory and with the right amount of tartness.

With an unsweet tea I paid almost sixteen Bucks, which is a bit steep in my book for the quality and quantity that was served. Big city prices, I guess.