Ya'll know that I am full up on my Southern Pride (No, not that kind. The south will not rise again). That means I know my sweet teas, my accents, and my BBQ. One step into the deep southeastern part of the US and you'd think that all anyone ever ate was BBQ and peach cobbler. You wouldn't be totally wrong. There are a LOT of BBQ joints in Georgia. Add the neighboring Carolinas, Texas and Alabama with different styles of sauces and servings, and you've got a lot to taste! New to downtown, Smokebelly BBQ offers premium real southern bbq with an array of sauces and family friendly fare.
As soon as our family stepped in to the Buckhead restaurant, I recognized the real antique southern decor (totally thrifted, found and treasured) and warm farmhouse style. Mason chandeliers, weathered wood tables, soft leathers and stainless steel accompanied the live music corner. I happen to love the southern farmhouse style, and would decorate my home like this in a flat second!
The pre-prohibition style drinks were refreshing and just what we needed after battling Atlanta traffic into Buckhead. I had a real watermelon and rum drink while Hubs chose an old-fashioned, served with a smoked cherry (the best part).
Right as the drinks are served, you can expect old-fashioned pork rinds. I'm not even sure how to describe what they are, other than puffy snacks that are literally cut from pigskin. They're deep-fried, but nutritionally, contain 0 carbs, 17g of protein, and 9g fat. That's 9x the protein and less fat than potato chips.... so better for you than chips and salsa! I don't like them myself, but Red tried one and LOVED it. (Doesn't fit the picky eater template, does it?!)
Smokebelly's menu, at first glance, has everything you are looking for... mac n' cheese, baked beans, brisket, pulled pork and chicken, sandwiches, salads, and some of the most uniquely southern appetizers I've ever had, such as the sausage corndog balls on a stick! Or the honey glazed, goat cheese-stuffed Peppadew peppers. All regional, all amazing, all the taste I wanted with just enough difference to be a premium appetizer with no kitsch.
The staff is relaxed but professional, and completely knowledgeable regarding all of Smokebelly's fare. They are quick to recommend drink pairings, popular appetizers and are so nice! Hubs loves to ask a bunch of questions about the most popular dishes and best drink pairings, so Smokebelly was most certainly the place for him.
Being a family blogger, I make sure that the restaurants I visit are family friendly if Red is in tow. Despite the upscale BBQ feel of Smokebelly, they are equipped with high chairs, cute kids menus (which would please anyone!) with crayons and a kid-friendly atmosphere. You won't be disappointed or feel challenged if you brought in your brood.
Now let's be frank for a moment. I'm a saucy girl. BBQ sauce, that is. And Smokebelly has a sauce bar. There are seven sauces displayed, and you can have as many and as much as you like. Three standard sauces sit at your table, but the cherry cola sauce is killer; I could use a straw for that one! The rest of the menu is fabulous - you can't go wrong with the pulled pork or brisket, and make sure you snag some mac n cheese before you finish. Portions are large, so get your to-go container ready!
If you live in Atlanta, set aside some cash for this taste of southern cooking. You'll be glad you did!
Disclaimer: My family was hosted for a meal at Smokebelly BBQ, and we ate until they rolled us out the door! All opinions are my own.