Sunday, February 3, 2013

BBQ and Beans

One of my favorite parts of living in the South is the food. While I am not a greens and fried chicken kind of gal, I will take a fried green tomato alongside shrimp and grits any day of the week. I can't wait to see what types of NoLa goodies make their way to the big game parties happening tonight. What are you making for your party?

If there was one Southern food that trumped all others in my book, though, it would be barbeque. I just can not pass up that slow cooked meat, y'all (yes, Northern relatives, I sometimes say "y'all," ha!). BBQ is a Southern's soul food. It's a perfect year-round meal, but it especially goes well with tailgating, cornhole and beers.

Oh wait, it's not football season yet ;) But while I am at it, Go Jackets and War Eagle! :)

People in the South are really serious about their BBQ. There are all styles of making it, first of all. From Memphis-style to Carolina, they vary in the types of meat, sauce, rubs and how they are served. On top of that, there are the sides. Some love theirs with cornbread; others can't have it without mac n' cheese or okra.

For me, I don't think there is any one "best" style. I love trying all styles of BBQ, which is what brought me to Moe's Original BBQ on 14th Street in Midtown. 

When the team behind Moe's invited me out for a meal, I knew I needed to swing by, because their storefront has grabbed my attention every time I have driven past. Local ATLiens will know their space as the renovated Kool Korners. I love that the space, once know by the Georgia Tech crowd for the cuban sandwiches, is now known as a great spot to grab some BBQ.

Moe's has a cool history. Here's a tid-bit from their site:
Moe’s Original BBQ was founded by three Bama boys: Mike Fernandez from Tuscaloosa, Ben Gilbert from Athens, and Jeff Kennedy from Huntsville. After meeting at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, they instantly became friends and had a mutual interest in all things Southern: BBQ, blues, college football, and whisky.

In 1988, Mike hooked up with Moses Day in Tuscaloosa and began learning to fire roast meats. When Moses fired up his backyard barrel pit, everyone in T-Town knew where to go. The boys were lucky to learn from Moses and his distinct style makes up Moe’s original flavor of BBQ.

Even though I am an Auburn gal, I am willing to forgive them of their Bama roots ;) because their BBQ is really that awesome. The guys at the Atlanta location, including owners Brett and Preston and GM Glen (also known as Schaffer), set us up with a huge sampler spread so we could try everything out. From their smoked turkey breast to the pulled pork sandwich and ribs, Moe's has their BBQ down. I trouble picking a favorite style. The white sauce they offer up was a really cool twist on your usual red sauce. If you pick their "Bama Style" sandwich, it comes with the white sauce right on top.

Photo courtesy of Moe's Original BBQ
The other thing Moe's does really well are those sides that I was talking about. Whether you are a baked beans person or prefer the classic slaw, Moe's has what you are looking for. They also feature a rotating menu of special sides that change daily. Among others, we got to try out some gumbo (amazing) and black-eyed peas (also stellar). I personally really enjoy cornbread with my BBQ, and Moe's cornbread (seen above on the top left) was fantastic, too - a huge slice, fried up crispy in a griddle, if I had to guess.

The thing I really loved about Moe's is that their staff is just so gosh darn friendly. This is a place that would be clutch for hanging out and watching the game with a beer, talking stats with the owners. They make everyone feel at home. It's a little touch of college town, smack in the middle of Midtown. It would also make a great pre- or post-game stop for GA Tech basketball, since it's within walking distance of the coliseum. 

Many thanks to the team at Moe's Original BBQ for having us for dinner! Can't wait to swing past again soon -- I highly recommend that you all do, too!

PS. For my fellow AU fans, you will be proud to know that there is a Moe's located right by Toomer's Corner, too :) :)

Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary meal, but all opinions are my own.