Taters and Fixin’s together again – a review of Sweet Auburn BBQ
For the second “meeting” in a row, Brother Taters and Brother Fixin’s stepped up to plate with no support. As a result, they have been officially dubbed co-kings of the BBQ realm. Shhhh; don’t tell Brother Cracklin’ because he’s the only one who knows how to shut this site down. He’ll do it if he thinks he’s not in charge, so we all will just continue to pretend like he’s running the show.
As I was saying, Brothers Taters and Fixin’s moseyed down to Sweet Auburn BBQ to throw down some bbq. Nice location on the outskirts of Virginia Highlands, but we can’t seem to get it through our thick skulls to stick with the basics. Dance with who brung ya’. Don’t get too fancy – it’s bbq for crying out loud!! Idiots!!!!
We had another light turnout with spring break this month, hopefully we’ll get back to a full crew next month.
The first thing I noticed about Sweet Auburn was that it had a great smoky smell to it. The menu also had a good mix of traditional fare and some other interesting items.
We started with the pimento cheese wontons. These were very simple and very good. They may have been just a little too salty, but that’s easily solved with a cold beer.
I once again made the mistake of ordering tacos at a bbq place. I felt that it would give me that chance to review different meats since we were light on attendees. The Mexican taco came with brisket and was very good , but it didn’t seem to have a distinct Mexican flavor to it like cumin or chili powder. The pulled pork one was also good. This is where I feel like I made a mistake though. The pork was the best part of the plate, making me wish I had gotten more. The Korean taco also tasted great, but if you’re looking for authentic Korean flavor, you might want to bring your own kimchi. They seemed to think sriracha makes it Korean.
Finally, the ribs…. I was offered a wu-tang rib from brother Fixin’s, who is still on his mission to find Atlanta’s best rib. He did not find it here. The rib was not cooked well. It was chewy and tough, with a sriracha/sweet chili sauce. The whole thing seemed like the kind of rib you get at the end of a Chinese food buffet line.
Overall I’ll give it 3.5 cleavers. Probably higher if I had just gotten the pork, so maybe I’ll give them another chance if I’m ever down that way again.
I’m starting to get a little annoyed with myself. Why do I keep going away from what I like best? Now it makes sense to ask the server what they are known for, what dish they pride themselves on, that kind of thing. But when the answer is Wu-Tang ribs? What? Ex-squeeze me? Now you may not know that Sweet Auburn is owned by a sweet man name Howard Hsu. As a result, the restaurant boasts an Asian flare to southern cooking. But as you will see, it wouldn’t have mattered here. I’ll blame the lack of attendance – we can’t try everything on the menu when there are only 2 of us ordering, so I can’t do a laundry list of the things that were good – I have no idea! So I’ll just say my quest for the holy rib took a bad turn, and I’m getting so discouraged. Is a good rib that hard to produce?
We try to point out the positive here at brothersinslaw.com, so there just isn’t much I can say. The ribs were tasty; i.e., the flavor was pretty good. The cheese fritter things were awesome. Absolutely delicious. The ribs were cooked 77% as long as they should have been. That’s a high C right? Slightly better than average??? Ok, maybe 65%. Glad I’m not a teacher or they’d have to implement “No rib left behind.”
I did like the atmosphere – kind of Midtown neighborhood chic. But as proven, that doesn’t make everything on the menu a good meal. 2.5 cleavers. Could be my lowest yet. I am a ship without a rutter – oh bbq gods please guide me to greatness next month so that I may in turn guide my brethren . . .