JD’s Wood and Sauce Dilemma – a review of JD’s BBQ in Acworth, GA
JD’s had been on my list for some time, and when we finished our round of golf the other day and found ourselves less than 2 miles from downtown Acworth, well this was a no-brainer. I had heard great things, and couldn’t wait to check it out. I was with my father and two of his golfing buddies, so I’ll throw their opinions in too for good measure. Fair warning, though – my Dad got kind of cranky. We’ll see if you agree with his reason.
JD’s is just south of downtown Acworth, in it’s own building (looks like an old house), with the bbq pit around back. The special today was beef ribs, which the waitress tried (unsuccessfully) to talk me in to. I tend to shy away from beef for some reason, unless a place is known for their brisket. So I just went with some pork babyback ribs, and a side of fried okra and Brunswick stew.
The ribs were excellent! MAN it had been a long time since I have written that! They did have a splash of bbq sauce on them which was surprising, but fortunately they weren’t doused in the sauce. Spoiler alert – cranky Dad’s complaint was about something similar . . . The meat fell right off the bone – Kansas City judges wouldn’t be happy with this batch since there was no tug at all, but the meat held together nicely and tasted delicious. There was no smoke flavor, though. I found this odd especially after I had seen the smoking pit out back when I arrived.
The okra was great – I have had really good luck lately with the fried okra at different places. The Brunswick stew was tasty, but it was the mish-mash version of stew – kind of everything squooshed into a bowl like a porridge or something. Again – still tasty though. Everything polished off with a nice, cold Budweiser, and I would have to say I was very pleased with my meal. 4 cleavers! I won’t let comments from the peanut gallery affect my rating – they might have otherwise brought it down just a little.
Our friend Wilkie ordered the brisket sandwich. The man has never uttered a derogatory word in his life, so it was hard to gather how satisfied he was. He did eat the whole thing, so I guess it must have been pretty good.
I believe Howard had a pulled pork sandwich, and I didn’t hear him complain too much, other than that his Brunswick stew was cold (mine was not). So I think Howard left pretty happy as well.
And then there was my Dad. He ordered the pulled pork sandwich too, and when his plate arrived with his pork smothered in bbq sauce you would have thought that Hillary Clinton had just won the election. Words like “sin” and “shame” and “putting sauce on the pork before I taste it means you are hiding something” flew from his mouth. He wasn’t blaming the waitress of course, but I think he is right! BBQ is about the flavor of the meat, not the flavor of the sauce! After recovering from his initial disappointment, he picked out the non-saturated pieces and declared it “edible.” I peeked over later and he had pretty much finished the whole thing so it must not have been too bad.
As we were leaving, we noticed the pit master tending to his smoker, so I went over to talk with him. His name was Joey, and he showed me the beef ribs smoking on the inside, and I almost regretted not trying them. A good salesman would have given me some, but he’s not a salesman, he’s just in charge of the cooking. As we stood there, I noticed that my eyes weren’t on fire like they normally would be after standing around pluming hickory smoke, so on a hunch I asked him “what kind of wood are you using?” “Today we are using oak and cherry.” “bwbwbbbbwwhat?!?!?!?!” No hickory?!?!?!?! No wonder I didn’t taste any smoke in my ribs! He said they use hickory when they are cooking at festivals to attract people, but normally at the restaurant they use whatever they get from some dude down the road, mostly oak and cherry. And on that note we said goodbye, and headed home. Baffled, but full.