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Who's your daddy?

Atlanta institution still gives good 'cue

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"It doesn't matter what you order, you won't be able to eat all of it," my friend grinned. His reference to Daddy D'z was meant as both a warning and a promise. On a recent hot spring day, I craved barbecue -- and the "D" was a no-brainer. It's won numerous awards from local and national media, which tout it as the must-eat destination for Atlanta barbecue. All that aside, it still has plenty of street cred. The dusty, hastily painted shack on the north side of Grant Park still packs in the crowds. Police officers, truck drivers, working class, white collar, black, white, gay, straight --all hunch together licking sweet, savory sauce from their fingers. As the sign says, it's a true "Bar-B-Que Joynt."

Inside, the place is neat and clean, with tables and booths lining the walls and lots of space to move around. And they need it for their Friday and Saturday blues jams.

What we ate: If you're feeling really hungry, there's the rib and chicken combo -- a quarter bird and four rib bones (dark meat, $11.29; white $12.29). I went for the sampler plate: six "Que Wraps," two ribs, pulled beef and pork with a side ($10.59). When it got to the table, I was sure I could eat it all. The Que Wraps are an interesting creation, something of a miniature egg roll with pork inside. Dipped in sauce, they were crunchy and fun. The smoked ribs are the real deal -- at once crispy and tender, with plenty of pink smoked meat on the bone. I could only eat one of them, but that was after inhaling a pile of the pulled barbecue (some of the best I've ever had) and eating all of my vegetables -- i.e. cheddary mac and cheese. My friends fared none too well either, after gorging on a plate of messy barbecue chicken and baked beans (dark, $5.79; white, $6.69) and lots of sweet cornbread. We washed it all down with iced tea.

Service: Our server was always there when we needed her, though without ever being intrusive -- filling up a glass of tea, plopping down a hot plate of 'cue and providing the moist towelettes to help us clean off.

Cheapest item: A small bowl of the Brunswick stew goes for $2.99; a half-dozen Que Wraps are the same price. Daily lunch specials are just $6.49.

Most expensive item: If you feelin' real fancy, get the ribs and shrimp -- $13.29 for more hog and seafood than you can handle.

Who to take?Looking to show your out-of-town friends an Atlanta experience? Well, this barbecue is the real thing l Atlanta style.

jerry.portwood@creativeloafing.com

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