Fox Bros BBQ, Courtesy Fox Bros BBQ
BBQ can have many meanings to many different people. We will not even begin to dissect the many different styles and regions often cited in BBQ conversations. Instead we will simply state that Atlanta offers almost every style of BBQ known to man, and most are exemplary. There are shacks burning hardwood for over half of a century, and there are glistening new shrines burning wood chips and cooking in huge metal boxes with rotating racks and more sensors than the space shuttle. We are most certainly proponents of "old school" as long as food prep and handling is safe and clean. But as always, QUALITY is job one, and we will endure significant failure in all other areas of experience if the product quality exceeds (our ridiculously high) expectations.
Fox Bros Bar, Courtesy of Fox Bros BBQ
A recently new entry into the "sauce" is L5P's Fox Bros BBQ. Twins, Justin and Jonathan, began serving pulled pork sandwiches between band sets at Smith's Olde Bar in Midtown Atlanta. Cult status soon followed, and a location on Dekalb Ave was transformed into their first restaurant. Fast forward an entire 12 months, and we find Fox Bros packing in the crowds from open to close, winning numerous "best of" awards, being a featured product in Whole Foods, and creating some unbelievable hype.
Smoked BBQ Wings, courtesy of the bittenword/Flickr
In the case of Fox Bros, where there is hype, there is smoke. Hickory smoke to be precise. Located on Dekalb Ave, just outside of L5P proper and bordering Candler Park, Fox Bros consists of two buildings - the main, and the shack. With all of the traditional fare, Fox Bros steps up the game immediately with creative and delicious appetizers. Smoked chicken wings definitely make the list with sloppy wet buffalo/bbq sauces that hits on all notes. House made blue cheese dipping sauce is the perfect compliment to these smoky, spicy, sweet, and toothy wings - some say the "best of" Atlanta.
Fox Bros 'Burger' - TFL
The bbq cheese fries are also outstanding. Topped with cheddar cheese, chopped beef brisket, fresh jalepenos, bbq sauce and served with a side of ranch, these fries will satisfy even the most demanding eater. Tater tots, and various other meat, sauce, starch combinations are available and the pimento cheese (all the rage in Atlanta) is made in house.
There are racks of baby back ribs, smoked chicken halves, ubiquitous chopped pork sandwiches, and Texas style smoked brisket. All of these are excellent variations, and the brisket is the best we have had outside of Texas. Our favorite menu item is the "burger" (pictured). This is a pile of all that's good at Fox Bros. First chopped brisket is piled onto a big sesame bun. Next follows the house made pimento cheese, thick sliced bacon, pickles, tomato, and a generous slathering of jalepeno mayo finishes this masterpiece. One hundred times over your lifetime will surely add to your cholesterol problem but the occasional "burger" is nothing short of bbq brilliance.
Fox Bros is seemingly always crowded and this keeps the food hot and fresh. Saturday's feature a Flinstone sized smoked beef rib that sells briskly - go early! Sides are large and well made, the bar is fully stocked. The brothers Fox are relatively newcomers to the Atlanta food scene, but we believe they are here to stay and a bbq force to be reckoned with.(404) 577-4030
1238 Dekalb Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
Decatur's Farm Burger
Some might think there has been a recent glut of burger joints to descend upon Atlanta. While TFL certainly agrees, getting a quality burger and excellent fries is not so easy. For some reason beyond us, we have Five Guys being the fastest growing franchise of 2009. We now have Doty's Yeah Burger looming, celebrity fave Flip, and Sweet Auburn's anamoly Grindhouse. We have yet to sample Doty's burger, hyped out over Flip, and a huge fan of Grindhouse - but still believing Houston's to be the best burger in Atlanta.
Into the burger madness enters Farm Burger, sister enterprise from Athen's Farm 255. Localist and sustainalist (is there such a word?), Farm 255's proprietors, much like are own Bacchanalia, take the farm to table organization seriously. Owning and operating a couple of local farms, Farm's owners provide the majority of beef, pork, and produce to their growing restaurant group.
Eating Right has never been Tastier
At TFL, we like to eat the best available. When we shop, we buy what looks best, not what we saw on TV yesterday. Burgers are no different. Locally sourced makes a huge difference in the burger wars. Once you have had freshly ground beef, cooked immediately, other burgers begin to resemble hockey pucks or worse. Farm Burger recognizes this as well; their house temp appears to be a nice warm medium rare (pic). Most other burger joints smash and flatten leaving no temp opportunity other than well done. This is what truly makes Farm Burger's product superior to most, and comparable to our benchmark - Houston's.
Garlic Herb Fries
And then there are the fries. For us, the fries are the lynchpin of the Burger restaurant. We don't really care how they are prepared, we simply want, in order of importance, Hot, Crispy, Seasoned, Creamy Centers, and served to maintain all of the above. We have yet to discover fries that compare to McDonalds except at the rare occasion when all the necessary steps are taken to deliver the exceptional french fry. Unfortunately, Farm Burger is no different. Offering fries, sweet potato, and onion rings - Farm Burger appears to not cook to order, and the end result is apparent. Soggy, luke warm, and sparingly seasoned - we hardly saw any parmesan cheese on our order, FB's fries need some work.
Bacon Cheeseburger with Housemade Pickles
At the end of the day, the burger at Farm Burger is one of Atlanta's best. The sides may need some work, but serving tall boy Miller's (the Champagne of beers) and Abita Root Beer, Farm Burger is here to stay and clearly an industry leader.
TFL Overall Rating: 4.1 out of 5 Stars.
First we want to state that we are smitten with all things Cliff and Anne. While they have diversified as of late - i.e. Abattoir
, Star Provision remains the most dear to TheFoodList.Org.
First and foremost, lunch should begin the begin. Do not try and walk through the store before you eat or at least order lunch, otherwise you will find yourself with a basket full of cheese and salumi. The sandwich menu is the heart and soul of the food, and one should always try, at least once, the Shrimp Po Boy and the Banh Mi (pictured).
Once you have satisfied your immediate cravings, you can focus on the bakery items. The cupcakes stare at you longingly, while the cookies are locked behind a glass jail. Skip the cakes, and free the cookies - go for the gingersnap or chocolate chip. If you are really hungry, add a side salad from the seasonal choices in the refrigerated case. Marinated mushrooms, beet salad, and cole slaw are regulars; seasonal fruit, legumes, and greens are offered according to availability. As most know, Clifford and Anne have a large farm south of Atlanta that provides many items for both the market, and their restaurants and whenever something is sourced from there, do not miss out.
After you have stuffed yourself beyond imaginations, proceed to the Bagdorf and Bronson coffee bar for a shot of espresso. Then enter Timthecheeseman's
cave. Included with all of the expected regulars, there are many handcrafted gems. Follow his twitter feed
for up to the minute arrivals and suggestions.
After the cheese comes the meat and seafood room. Start with Ahi tuna, sunchokes from the farm, throw in an Allen Brothers aged NY Strip, some Benton's Bacon, and some "cured-on-premise" salumi's. They also have lamb, veal, and chicken locally sourced and priced accordingly. Finish this room with some fantastic gray sea salt from France, and the best locally hand crafted soy sauce we have ever tried.Once back into the main area, collect some awesome picnic accessories, grab a loaf of fresh baked bread and your favorite bottle of wine. This should create the best home prepared meal you have ever attempted, and in turn the highest "one meal" grocery bill you have ever seen. To ease the guilt and create several meals from your visit, hit the refrigerated cases on the days that Fried Chicken and/or Asian glazed wings appear. Add the homestyle Mac n Cheese, and some cole slaw and you have another full meal. And no one will mistake that chicken for fast food. We think it is the best you can find in Atlanta, and they serve it cold.
Go often and frequently, and once in a while try the day's special sandwich. If the special is bay scallops or gulf snapper, do not skip. Again, $10 for a sandwich is expensive, but this is an academic example of "paying for what you get"!