Sunday, January 16, 2011

BBQ To Put A Smile On Your Face


Fresh Air Barbecue
1164 Highway 42 South
Jackson, GA
Visited October 20, 2010

Beer selection: None.

Food: As real as barbeque gets.



I have a theory about eating barbecue: sure, some barbecue is better than others, but there’s no such thing as BAD barbecue.

Come to think of it, that can be said about several of my other favorite activities too.

But I’m not going to let my uncharacteristic open mindedness about barbecue slow me down in my search for better or best!

As you come upon Fresh Air Barbecue on this two-lane road in rural Georgia somewhere between Jackson and Flovilla, you can’t help but notice this place is going to be one of the best.

Right off the bat, the sign says “Since 1929”. Fresh Air has been smoking pigs at this road side pit for 81 years. That just doesn’t happen if you don’t know what you are doing.

The lumber yard-sized piles of huge hickory and oak logs and the smoke billowing out the roof-top brick stack are more sure signs this is the real deal.

And you just can’t fake that sweet smell of the convergence of pig and hickory smoke that hits you as soon as you open the rental car door.

Yes, sir. Fresh Air has the look, smell and feel of a legendary backwoods barbecue pit.

My only complaint about my deluxe pork platter isn’t really a complaint. My pork, Brunswick stew and coleslaw were all delicious. It’s more a matter of personal preference.

Even us Suits can’t seem to agree on BBQ sauce. We’ve been know to have coat-tossing, tie-tearing, pants-splitting wrestling matches over this issue.

Georgia seems to me to have a BBQ sauce identity crisis.

Down in Brunswick, at the Georgia pig, they serve the most delicious barbecue sandwich on earth under a layer of lip smacking sweet tomato based sauce.

Other places out on the coast in Savannah and Woodbine serve barbecue with a mustard-based sauce, like they do up in Columbia, South Carolina.

At Harold’s smack dab in the middle of “Hotlanta”, they squirt their pork with a thin but sweet peppery concoction.

The Fresh Air sauce is none of those.

It’s a mostly vinegar sauce with just a touch of tomato, a lot like the Western Carolina sauces you find up around Lexington.

It was good, but my ideal sauce has more of a balance between the sweetness of tomato and the tang of vinegar. Virginians get it just right at Pierce’s Pitt BBQ in Williamsburg or out of a Sauer’s bottle in Richmond.

But like I said, that’s just Suit757 personal preference.

By any objective standard, Fresh Air’s pulled pork is excellent, no matter what kind of sauce you squirt on.

The green colored coleslaw was among the best I’ve ever had, refreshing, sweet and finely chopped, a perfect compliment to the vinegary tang of the pork.

The Brunswick stew was also top notch. No surprise, they serve the Georgia version here of mish-mashed meat and corn that packs powerful BBQ flavor.

So do I rate Fresh Air Barbecue the best ever, as others have?

No.

But like I said, that’s what is so fun about eating great barbeque. Even if it it’s not the best ever, you can’t help but put a big smile on your face look forward to doing it again.

Rating: Seriously Thought About Buying Shirt.
Fresh Air Barbecue Place on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. You're wrong!!! That sauce sounded perfect!!!

    ReplyDelete