Daddy’s Not Home
Myself and “Brother Fixin’s” set out for our monthly BBQ sampling adventure today and ended up a place that had all the markings of a great BBQ joint. I usually begin to judge a BBQ joint by the cars parked out front. If it’s all clunkers, no good or all BMW leases, no good. You gotta have that right mix of old beat up trucks, a couple with a company name on the side, a few that represent the cubicle rat (think 4 door Scion, Mazda, Honda) out for a workday bite and a few upper crust luxury cars. Look for the luxury car with a state representative or congressman tag and you know you’re definitely in the right place. I’ve dined back to back with Max Cleland more than once and Sonny Perdue exactly once at the now closed Harold’s BBQ near the Atlanta penitentiary.
Daddy D’z on Memorial Drive in Atlanta GA had a decent mix of cars and trucks but it was missing the luxury delegates. So immediately I am suspicious but we arrived early before the lunch crowd so I dismissed my first negative thought as a reaction to the multiple sirens screaming down the road. Rough part of town and the sign at the front door reminded you that anything not tied down would probably be gone when you returned from lunch. I didn’t need the sign to tip me off to that.
You’re reading this for the review on the BBQ though right? So, let’s get on with it!
I’ll skip the review of the interior because Brother Fixin’s has already done a fine job of that in his blog post. First on the table, served by our friendly waitress “Deb” was the Brunswick stew. Now I’m pretty harsh when it comes to judging stew because I’ve been on my own personal odyssey to define the perfect recipe for the last 4 years. I’ll be posting my current progress on that recipe in some days to come.
Daddy D’z Brunswick stew was nice and chunky with visible ingredients that let you know this wasn’t just their way of getting rid of leftovers. I hate when a stew has been minced into what looks like a health shake gone bad. Daddy D’z did not disappoint in the stew department. They paired it nicely with a towering piece of cornbread that had a visible crumbly brown crust on top. The cornbread was sweet and dense. If I had to be critical, I would only point out that maybe they were a little heavy handed on the oil in the mix. You can have moist cornbread without it being on the greasy side. All in all, the Brunswick stew with cornbread would have made a nice lunch on it’s own. You definitely want to order the large though if that’s all you’re having. Worth the stop just for the stew.
We tried a couple of the sides but they had a pretty large selection you can check out for yourself with this PDF of Daddy D’z Menu. We settled on the fried zucchini slices and a side of black eyed peas on Deb’s recommendation. I prefer vegetables al dente (firm to the bite) because that’s the way the Good Lord grew them, not mushy. The zucchini was lightly breaded and al dente within. Nice! The black eyed peas on the other hand were a little mushy and maybe the victim of a forgetful cook who salted them twice. Not terrible but not their best effort.
So, I’m sorry to report that things sort of went downhill from there when we reached the main course which was the sampler platter. It consisted of brisket, pulled pork, ribs and a unique item to Daddy D’z that was a pork stuffed wonton. I could break down and review each of these items but it honestly would not be worth my time. None of these stood out to me and would be a reason return. Like the black eyed peas, the pork was not terrible but it won’t find it’s way into my collagen insulated heart either. Just average.
We all have our bad days right, and I wanted so much to like Daddy D’z. A brief conversation with one of the servers and we found out that Daddy D wasn’t in the house and had been in Florida for a few days. That could explain a lot. Daddy’s not home.
I would go back and I encourage anyone reading this to go give Daddy D’z a shot. But if you’re wanting a guaranteed BBQ afterlife experience, this may not be a risk worth taking. Next time I’m calling ahead to see if Daddy’s home before I go sniffing around.
Cracklin gives Daddy D’z 2 out of 5 pig tails.