We are the Champions – a review of Grand Champion BBQ
Well, you can’t always get everyone together for the monthly “meetings”, so only Brother Taters and Brother Fixin’s were able to pull themselves away from work to do their civic duty. I know the rest of the brotherhood was extremely disappointed to have to miss the March meeting, and they will be even more so after they read our review of Grand Champion.
When I heard Grand Champion came from the same school of BBQ as Sam and Dave, I was looking forward to giving them a try. I got there and early and had a chance to look at the menu. They stuck with the classics and didn’t try to outsmart themselves with too much creativity. Also, I noticed that it was kind of on the pricier side for BBQ. I got a plate of pulled pork, smoked chicken, two premium sides and an iced tea which came to about $18.
On to the food- the pork was great. Smoky flavor, nice bark, the fat had been picked out of it. I tried it with the KC style sauce which was a bit thicker than most places. As far as sides, the Mac and cheese was very mild and creamy. I would have preferred some more bite to it, either a sharper cheese or maybe some spice. And the Brunswick stew was good but not great. The base was more tomato and not enough vinegar. The best thing on my plate had to be the smoked chicken. It had a Powerful complex smoky taste and it was cooked perfectly. I only wish there had been more of it for that price. The KC and the Carolina sauces worked with it but it was great by itself.
One last thing I’ll mention is something that has been said before in previous reviews. Please stop with the metal trays. It saps the heat out of the food. The last few bites got cold before I could eat them.
Overall, I’ll give them 4 cleavers for good solid BBQ but they lost points for the food temperature and price.
In a previous review, I mentioned stopping by Grand Champion at Krog Street Market and being impressed with the moist pulled pork, so it was nice to have the opportunity to try the extended menu. But I’ll have to admit, the menu isn’t very “extended.” But this actually made my job much easier – with only 2 of us attending today, I would not have been able to rely on swiping some samples from other plates!
I ordered the pulled pork and rib combo – could this be the Holy Rib I have been searching for for so long? Grand Champion keeps their chicken and pork wrapped in Saran Wrap (all rights reserved) to keep it warm and moist, and that seemed to work. The pork was very tasty, and every bite had the tender, easy-to-chew freshness that is key when you absolutely HAVE to get the basics right.
And I have to say, the ribs were excellent too! Perfect tug, great char, and smoky flavor needing very little sauce. I was impressed. I can’t say they were necessarily served at The Last Supper, but I would absolutely order them again. Brother Taters hit the pig on the head, though. The chicken was FANTASTIC! Go back and read some other reviews – I can’t count how many times one brother or another has mentioned how good the chicken is at the restaurants we have reviewed. Is it that easy to smoke a chicken?!?!?!? Or am I just that easy to please.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the icing on the cake – made famous by Dave Poe and Sam Huff (I won’t start the argument of which of them actually tried this first), but the redneck lasagna was absolutely delicious. If you haven’t had that before at Dave Poe’s, Sams BBQ1, Community BBQ, Grand Champion, or any other Sam and Dave disciples’ restaurants, you haven’t lived. Mac and Cheese covered in brunswick stew. That simple; that beautiful. Oh yeah – I almost forgot. I had a beer too and if that ain’t how you do bbq, I don’t know what is. 4 cleavers.