Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fat Matt's Rib Shack in Atlanta, GA

After bidding adieu to JP and taking a four day break from the tour, I headed to Atlanta to visit some friends and try some Georgia barbecue. This wasn’t a planned stop on the barbecue tour, but I figured I might as well sample a few places while I was down there.

For being the largest city in the southeast, Atlanta is a relative disappointment on the barbecue scene. There are no legendary barbecue spots, so we made do with the best of what we could find.

Fat Matt’s is a really cool place near Buckhead. My friend Owen, his wife Amy and I headed there to drink some beer, catch up and throw down some ribs. Owen was the one who introduced me to Rendezvous back in high school, so our history of beer drinking goes back a ways. The d├ęcor at Fat Matt’s has that cool, bluesy feel to it, and on weekends they’re known to have some local musicians entertain the crowd.

Fat Matt’s serves up spare ribs as the specialty of the house. A lot of folks don’t like spare ribs because they have more fat and the top part has those weird ligaments that you awkwardly bite down on and then have to figure out what to do with. But like most things with a little extra fat, they have a great flavor. I ordered a half slab, which is more than enough for most people.

The star of the show at Fat Matt’s is the sauce. It’s the kind of sauce that makes you go looking for a piece of bread to sop everything up once you’re done and it works really well on the ribs. The ribs need the sauce because they’re slow grilled rather than smoked, thus not having a really good smoke flavor.

While Fat Matt’s isn’t going to win over any barbecue purists, its great for what we went for, which was drinking beer and catching up over some good food in a cool place.

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