Friday, August 20, 2010

Where There's Smoke, There's Suit420

13th Street Barbecue
Columbus, Georgia

On this particular day, you could find me in my home state of Georgia, driving around Columbus.

It was the day after a Republican runoff for Georgia’s 2010 Governor’s race, and, as usual, there wasn’t much of a choice between the candidates. They were both just typical run-of-the-mill, I-love-government-when-I-control-it conservatives. But hey, should we really expect anything else from the Republican Party?

I mean, should we actually expect them to adhere to their supposed belief in free markets, private property and liberty. Not hardly.

A tad disgusted, Suit420 was starving. The hotel breakfast that morning was horrible, so I hadn’t eaten all day.

You would think since I was in my home state that I would know a good place to eat.

But I was in Columbus. And that’s a place I’ve only been once or twice in my life.

Having a couple hours until my meeting, I decided to ride around and see what I could find.

There were small cafes that caught my attention. Small burger joints. A couple of pubs. A strip joint. You name it.

I didn’t know what to choose.

And then I saw it.

Smoke on the horizon. And being Suit420, I instinctively headed in that direction.

Which turned out to be the best decision I had made all week.

I cut through several parking lots heading toward the smoke. I knew it wasn’t a building or a house. My guess was that it was BBQ.

And that’s exactly what it was.

13th Street BBQ. A small place about the size of a McDonalds or a Burger King. But in the back there was a huge smoker and stacks of logs.

Not being the BBQ expert that Suit69 or Suit757 are, I called Suit69 to ask his opinion.

Suit69 said that smelling smoke at a BBQ joint is a definite plus.

So I decided 13th Street BBQ it was.

As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed a sign claiming that they were home to the “Original Pork Chop Sandwich.”

Now, BBQ I don’t know a lot about.

But I do know pork chop sandwiches.

And aside from my dad’s summer time grilled ones, the best I’ve ever had was in Binghamton, NY, at a small hole in the wall and it was called a Spiedie.

Now, on a hot summer day in the South, smells in the air carry really well.

So as soon as I opened my car door, the smell of the wood, meat and smoke hit my nose and made my stomach scream “hello pork chop sandwich.”

It was a little before noon so the place wasn’t crowded yet.

Walking in, I found the color scheme interesting. Everything was red and white checkered. It was a really simple place, which I liked. No fancy drawings on the wall. No fancy decorations. Just a plain and simple Southern bbq joint.

I walked up to the counter curious as to what I should order. The menu had just about everything BBQ you could want.

But since they claimed to have the world’s “Original Pork Chop Sandwich,” I decided I had to go with that.

So I approached the counter, and was pleasantly surprised to find all girls, except for one guy who appeared to be the owner, working in the back.

And they were all cute southern girls.

I also found it neat that they had a newspaper style menu that you could take with you. The menu had advertisements from local businesses in it, which was also a neat concept.

Once I ordered the Pork Chop Sandwich and some good ole sweet tea, I was even more shocked. The sandwich and chips were only around 5 bucks.

And it was in front of my in less than two minutes. "Fast food BBQ," I thought to myself.

I grabbed my plate, a menu and headed to the corner to sit and try the sandwich.

The sandwich was amazing. The meat was thick and very smoky looking. The outside was brown from the smoke.

I didn’t even put ketchup or bbq sauce on it because the smoky taste was so damn good. Of course, Suit420 always likes smoke, but this was a different smoke.

Each bite got better and better. The meat was cooked perfectly and wasn't dry at all.

And it was good quality meat. Some meat gets where it doesn't chew good, but this meat had hardly no fat and chewed perfectly.

It was the perfect pork chop sandwich.

I gobbled my sandwich down pretty fast while I watched the place fill up.

Obviously, this is a local place where everyone – from the town doctor to the farmers to the businessman – comes to eat at lunch.

My last bite was hard to take.

Not because I was full. But because the sandwich was so good I wanted more.

In fact, the smoky taste stayed in my mouth for the next hour or so. It was a great after taste, and made me crave more pork chop sandwiches. And yeah, Suit420's mouth usually taste like smoke, but not this kind of smoke.

Moral of the story -- where there's won't always find fire.

But you'll usually find good BBQ, and if you're lucky, Suit420.

Rating:  Instead of buying the t-shirt, I settled for another pork chop sandwich.

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