Sunday, April 19, 2009

Williamson Bros Bar-B-Q: Marietta, GA

This guest review is from Erik Pena. This place is huge. This was just one of the rooms. There was a moose over my table.
I was cajoled into getting AUCE but really it was only $1.50 or so more than the single plate. So I overate and liked it. I got: mac-n-cheese (very cheesy but ordinary, the bottle of sauce (nice tomato, sweet, zesty, peppery, soupy consistency. very good), toast (used it to soak up some stew, Brunswick stew (very good, but a little runnier than I like) and ... pulled pork and riblets. pulled pork was great crisp with tender, not dry great with the sauce. Riblets were even better.

You can find them on the web at

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Henry's Memphis BBQ - Roanoke, VA

It has been a while since my last review, but I am going to try and use some business trips to catch up on my blogging. On the way to Philadelphia, I decided to stop in Roanoke, VA for BBQ. I got a lead to try Henry's Memphis BBQ there. Typically, when a BBQ has the name of another city or state, and you are not in that state, it is not a good sign. "Authentic Texas BBQ" in Chicago, for example. However, since I trust my source, I decided to give it a try, and I am glad I did.

The nice ladies at the front of the place (where you order) said their brisket would be their recommendation. This took me back, because that is more of a Texas thing, and I would have thought ribs would have been their specialty. I ordered a combo plate with their brisket and pork, and BBQ beans and collards on the side with a roll.

The meat already came with Hennry's regular red sauce. I should have ordered it with no sauce. I was able to pull aside some of both meats and taste it without sauce and they both had a lot of flavor. There was not a lot of smoke in either (in fact I could not get any hickory or oak smell at all), but the flavor was very good, so I am not complaining. Next it was time to try all of the sauces.

I included Louisana Hot Sauce as a sauce here just because I sometimes like only that with pulled pork. It was very tasty with that. The South Carolina sauce was a mustard based sauce, but very sweet. It went well with the pork. I don't usually like that style, but this was very good.

The North Carolina style was more of a thinner, vinegar based. It had some spices in it, including celery seed. This is another sauce I am not typically fond of, but I liked Henry's version of this type of sauce better than others I have tasted. Henry's regular sauce is a red, sweet, Memphis style sauce. There is a hot verison of this sauce, called Henry's Habenero. I really dug that sauce because it had the right amount of heat. I wanted to purchase some of their sauces but they are not bottling it right now. They may start in the near future. If they do, I would get some and use it at home. All of these sauces work well with the pork. Their brisket came with sauce, but it really does not need any, and could have stood alone on its own flavor.

The BBQ beans were not baked, but they were not stock out of a can. It was doctored up with some onions and BBQ meat and other spices. The beans were tangy and sweet, a little more than normal baked beans, but I like them. The collards were cooked right. It came with hot vinegar already mixed into it. I would not recommend that they do this. I would recommend a little more fatback or ham hock, and a touch of sugar and those greens would have been perfect. I would generally like to add the hot vinegar myself to adjust to my taste. But they were not canned greens and were good.

I enjoyed the vibe of the place, and loved the big picture of Elvis on the wall (after all, it is Memphis style). It had a run-down BBQ place feel, but it was very clean.
There is a good meny selection and take out orders are welcome. You can find them on the web at

Overall, I would give Henry's a 7.5 out of 10. A few simple changes would put it to an 7.75, which as you all know is an extremely high number based on my completely subjective rating system. If you are traveling on I-81 or are near Roanoke, take a detour down 581 and find Henry's just past the downtown area. I will be back to try the ribs, probably on my way home on Friday. Henry - please bottle that habanero sauce. It's good.

-Big Daddy