Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pig Out!

The Georgia Pig
2712 U.S. 17 South
Brunswick, GA

If I were ever to get around to compiling a Suit757 Top Ten List of Barbeque joints across America, The Georgia Pig would be on it.

Yeah. This place is THAT good.

The Georgia Pig is everything a great barbeque place should be.

It’s a muddy-parking-lot roadside shack under the towering Georgia pines. A dilapidated log cabin with a warped floorboard front porch.

Once you push in the creaky wooden door, you enter a haze of hickory smoke so thick you can barely see the assortment of Elvis posters and dancing pigs on the far wall.

The moment the perfume of slowly melting pig fat and hardwood meets your nostrils, your stomach will commence an impatient growl.

The chop, chop, chop of the pit master’s cleaver rendering the tender pig meat is the only soundtrack you will hear.

Yep. The Georgia Pig looks, smells and sounds like an old Southern BBQ shack right out of central casting. This place is THAT good.

Better yet, it tastes that good too.

The pork is smoked right there behind the sauce jar-laden counter. Generous hunks of tender pork are then chopped into bite sized pieces right before your eyes, placed on a fresh sesame seed bun and spritzed with a splash of that famous Georgia Pig sauce.

But wait a minute. You’re not ready yet.

Just when you think your growling stomach can’t stand another second of anticipation, your barbeque sandwich undergoes one more crucial step.

The pit master places the sandwich on a well worn “sandwich press” that warms it up a bit, flattens it to manageable thickness and toasts the bun. Both top and bottom toast to a perfect crisp that combined with the soft pork and runny sauce, produces one of this world’s (or the next) most exquisite culinary textures.

Warm toasty bun. Soft smoky meat. Sweet moist sauce.

Yeah. This place is THAT good.

The Georgia Pig sauce is a bit of a departure for this corner of the Southeast coastline. Most BBQ shacks in these parts serve a peppery version of a South Carolina mustard-based sauce.

But at The Georgia Pig, you get a sweet tomato based sauce. Not too thick. Just thin enough to permeate the pig meat.

It’s good stuff. I bought a jar of it on the way out, still warm from the vat they were brewing in the kitchen.

The baked beans are four star too, loaded with even more pork. (Beans always earn an extra star for meat, in Suit757’s book.)

Of course the most intriguing side dish is Brunswick’s namesake – Brunswick Stew.

When in Rome, you know?

Of course what if there was more than one Rome? Do as WHICH Romans do???

Brunswick, Georgia and Brunswick, Virginia have had centuries running dispute over which Brunswick originated the famous dish.

Suit757 hasn’t been around long enough to settle the argument.

However, I have to admit that Virginia has a more compelling story involving a group of politicians, a hunting expedition, a few unlucky rabbits and a creative-minded slave.

Interestingly, the Georgia Pig’s stew is closer to the Virginia version than most of the Georgia stews I’ve had.

Thinner than the mish mashed hash served at other Georgia BBQ shacks, the Pig’s version has a wide variety of vegetables to compliment the shredded pork. Lima beans, carrots, tomato, corn and peas, it was like vegetable soup with barbeque mixed in.

The only knock on The Georgia Pig I can see is the glum attitude of the staff.

Besides “The King” and some fiddling pigs, the rest of the décor consists of hand-scrawled signs barking orders to the customers about what not to do. No dogs, no sauce outside, no standing by the counter, no pictures (oops, as Rick Perry might say).

The cleaver guy is a bit surly. The lady at the cash register is all business – and a bit impatient with those pesky I-95 tourists who pass through her restaurant.

So, okay. This isn’t the Whistle Stop Café. If it is faux Southern hospitality you are after, try the Cracker Barrel up the road.

But if you can appreciate barbeque that breaks into Suit757’s all time Top Ten, you’ll feel right at home at The Georgia Pig.

Yeah. This place is THAT good.

Rating: Bought the Shirt!

Georgia Pig on Urbanspoon

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