Wes Hennings never met a meal he walked away from and is an opinionated eater! Each Thursday, he shares the results of a business lunch he’s had with a colleague as a way to advise our business community on the good, bad, and the tasty across the CSRA. He doesn’t let ABD or the restaurant know where he is going and his opinions are his own. He grades the restaurants he visits on a 1-5 scale with “5” being outstanding. We call this our “Real Business Lunch Review”.
Food Quality: 4.5
Business Meeting: 4
Average Score: 4.125 out of 5
I’m going to make a confession. And it may cost me some readers who will no longer trust any of my opinions about food. But I have to say it. I’m just not the biggest fan of barbecue.
Wow. I feel a lot lighter now that I’ve gotten it off my chest. Let’s be real. I’ve had some great barbecues over the years. But there are a lot of people who think they do it well when many don’t. Also, everyone has an opinion. And it’s easy to serve to a lot of people, so it feels way overdone at conferences and weddings. Why tell you that? I just thought you should know that my starting opinion of a BBQ joint is to assume that it will be just ok.
But with that said, probably my favorite spot in town (even more than the famous house on the south side) is the BBQ Barn off Atomic Road in North Augusta. It’s an unassuming spot with a big heart and tasty food. But I was a little disappointed when the wife and I rolled up on a Thursday afternoon for lunch. That’s because the quality I’ve come to expect was not quite there.
The good of the meal? Our side dishes were on point. I loved the mac and cheese and baked beans, especially with extra meat included inside them creating a protein fest. But the meat on both of our plates (which is the reason you go for barbecue) just wasn’t as good as it could have been. The brisket was a little fatty, and the chicken was a bit tough, which makes a sandwich hard to eat. Plus, my wife had already been disappointed that the sandwich now only comes in a grilled variety, as the fried was discontinued.
You also don’t have to worry about the border battle between a Carolina mustard-based sauce or its tomato-based cousin from across the river in Georgia. They feature both in a mild and hot variety. And I was a little saddened that I preferred the Georgia version despite South Carolina being my adopted home (and the location of the restaurant after all.)
The faces were friendly, the service was quick, and the atmosphere was cozy. It’s generally a great dining experience on the Carolina side of the river. I had just gone in expecting this review to go one way, and I can’t rave like I had hoped about one of my favorite spots. Does that mean you shouldn’t go? Absolutely not. I definitely recommend it, especially if you’re one of those that crave barbecue on the regular. I just hope you hit it on a great day.
10298 Atomic Road