The brothers fly away – to The Nest in Kennesaw
The Nest in Kennesaw hasn’t been around that long. But it was a perfect place to hang out on a Friday. Outdoor patio, nice breeze, hickory smoke wafting from the smokers out front . . . Could this be hawg heaven in (sort-of) rural Georgia? Let’s ask the brothers, and one pledge who doesn’t have a nickname yet (so we will just call him Adam).
“The Nest” is a fresh concept in an area steeped with longtime BBQ joints that have earned their right to exist among the changing skyline and modern life of Kennesaw GA. They have the hipster appeal nailed but will it be enough to sustain the long haul? True, legendary BBQ is not trendy. It’s heritage and recipes attributed to ken folk long since gone onto glory.
Having been to all BBQ joints in the 15 mile radius, I was excited to try this newcomer. The important thing to me in trying a new BBQ place is to have self control that I don’t attempt to compare it to something I already know. I try and stick to the belief that it’s like meeting a new person who may teach you something new or it feel like an old friend you just met for the first time.
The Nest is a little quirky on arrival and if it were not for the smoke and accurate Waze help I may have driven right past it. Parking is in the back but the hostess station is in the front. Still under some construction so maybe that will change. Imagine two small houses bridged together with a huge deck and outdoor fireplace. This is The Nest.
We were promptly seated and given menus for both food and beer. I was there for the BBQ but if I’m going to drink beer it’s not just for the sake of drinking beer. I’d like to experience something new. That was an easy task considering they had 50+ options on tap. Our waiter was helpful in that regard and put me onto a good choice. The name doesn’t matter since craft beers come and go like Hillary campaign slogans.
My order was for a 1/2 rack and stew. Always keep it simple at a new place. Either ribs or a sandwich first time. But before that we had some appetizers. The wings were jamb up and if this was any indication of the remainder of the meal then I was in for a real slice of hog heaven. The wings were nothing short of perfect on their own without the enhancement of sauce. I would return just for the wings.
The ribs and stew came out in short order and perfect timing as the appetizers were almost annihilated. I believe the brothers ate them but maybe it was the flies that carried them off. Yeah, fly problem. I won’t labor on this point since the waiter and owner acknowledge it was true and they’re working on it.
Ribs were pretty great in flavor, tenderness, weight, girth and every other aspect except maybe a personal preference that the meat fell off too easy. Not a fair complaint but a personal preference that the point of ribs is that it’s a different eating experience than pulled pork. The meat literally fell off. Good, bad, your call.
Sauces come in two choices. Sweet or Spicy. Neither were great on their own but a mixture of the two seemed to be the best choice. Leaning more heavily on the spicy. Again, the wings and ribs really didn’t even need sauce though which is an achievement most BBQ joints never reach.
The stew was the huge let down of this meal. I can’t describe it other than meat soup. Just pulled meat in a broth. Nothing else really to say about it. Meat. Soup. Boring.
I’m glad The Nest is now a part of the growing Kennesaw dining scene. No doubt I’ll be back but they’re still working on growing out their baby chick fuzz into full length feathers ready to fly on some points. Cleavers: 4
The brothers went back to college for a visit to the Nest in Kennesaw. We were impressed with the equipment proudly displayed out front and liked the layout and their 47 beers I tap. The bourbon barrel porter was hard to pass up.
We grabbed a seat outside and ordered some apps. The pimento cheese was decent. It could have been a bit saltier and a littler sharper. The smoked wings were great. Nice flavor and cooked enough to give the skin some crispness. The menu looked promising, lots of classics and nothing too overly creative.
After learning my lesson from too many Cambodian spiced BBQ tacos, I went back to basics. Pulled pork sandwich and some Mac and cheese. The pork was good; lots of smoke, not too dry, and not a lot of fat. The only problem was the sauce. They had two choices. The sweet was too sweet and the spicy didn’t have much flavor beyond the spice. I tried some kind of chemistry experiment to make a decent sauce out of the two, but never got it down. And I can’t stress this enough. Either make your own Mac and cheese or forget it. Boxed Mac and cheese has no place at a BBQ joint. Theirs was clearly boxed.
Finally, my last item would be the outdoor seating. I realize it’s outside and you’re in the elements, but I had never seen so many flies around the table. This was beyond one or two. Brother Nomad was so covered, Sally Struthers could have convinced me to sponsor him. They even acknowledged that they didn’t know what to do about it. Not a good look.
Overall 3.5. Great beers, decent apps, but bad Mac and bad sauces.
When I first pulled up to The Nest, I was delightfully surprised! Very cool place! No mistaking that it was a BBQ joint as the giant smoker was front and center. Seeing that got me in the mood for smoked meat in a hurry.
Then I had one of the best beers I’ve had in a while (Peoples Porter). Now I was really ready for the meats!
Then….the meat began to come out. The chicken wings were so-so. Not much flavor really. I ordered the brisket with a side of Brunswick Stew. The brisket was dry and overcooked although I could have gotten a poor cut. The stew left a lot to be desired as well. I liked the consistency, but the flavor was not the best.
I would definitely go to this establishment again, but would probably stick to craft beer and apps. I give The Nest 3 cleavers.
It is always nice to try a place close to home since Atlanta is so spread out, so I was super excited to visit The Nest in Kennesaw. Like nearby Marietta and Acworth, Kennesaw has done some work lately on increasing their foodie footprint on the local town square. And BBQ just fits on a town square in the south, doesn’t it?!?! At any rate, they were still doing some construction on the entrance, and you could still smell the new wood used to build the deck. I was ready to dive into some smoked meats, so let’s go!
The impressive smokers on the front lawn set the tone, filled with hickory and oak. And their little brother, a small fire pit off to the side, was proudly displaying the veggies of the day. It was a perfect day to sit outside, and after situating the wind tunnel fans so as not to blow our food off the table, we ordered beer and appetizers. My personal favorite was the pork skins, which Brother Squishy would have been proud of. I will pause to say that if you have never ordered pork skins at a BBQ restaurant, you are missing out. Just try it one time if they are fresh; you won’t be disappointed.
For my meal, the waiter talked me into the brisket to go along with my pulled pork, and I tried the veggies since they looked so good on the fire pit. My brisket came out in much better shape than Brother Nomad’s. It was moist, had good smoke flavor, and the fat had melted nicely into the meat to give it some extra flavor. The pulled pork was good too. Not the best I have ever had, but certainly better than some of the recent letdowns.
I am just so happy to have another good BBQ option near my house – I will definitely go back soon. 4 cleavers for this hombre.