Atlanta

P. Red’s – Finally Great Cue Comes to the Westside

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Gotta love barbecue restaurants - the only places with cut-outs of the animals you are about to eat.

My husband and I have enjoyed watching our neighborhood turn into a trendy one for dining. Thanks to the pioneers at Bacchanalia who in 1999 stunned people by moving from Buckhead to a converted meat-packing plant in the not-yet-named area now known as Westside, many other restaurants followed suit.

Since then we’ve seen the addition of Tacqueria del Sol, West Egg Café, Ormsby’s, Bocado, Miller Union, Figo and JCT Kitchen, just to name a few. But one thing we’ve been missing. Good barbecue.

But now we’ve got it and we’re loving it. P. Red’s Barbecue took over a nasty old building on Chattahoochee Avenue and renovated it into what a good ‘cue place should look like, with wood piled up front, cut-out pig on the roof and a mish-mash of decorations on the interior with a particular focus on airplanes and cowboy regalia.

We visited last weekend, making it in just before the 8:00 closing time. We got two dinners, one with pulled pork ($9.50) and one with a half rack of St. Louis ribs. ($13). Each order comes with two sides, so we each choose the Brunswick stew, and also got collard greens and fried okra.

Now it’s been my experience with barbecue restaurants – and I have a LOT of experience all over the country –  that a few dishes may be really good, but something else just ain’t that great. And usually it’s the Brunswick stew. It is very hard to find a decent Brunswick stew. They are often too watery, too spicy or lack any flavor. Well P. Red’s tastes just like the one I make and love, so my Crockpot may get a rest for a while. The pulled pork was piled high and the ribs were tender and tasty. There was more than plenty for both of us. My husband has a man-size appetite so the fact we had leftovers gives you some idea of the portion sizes.

The fried okra and collard greens were very good as well. If you’re not a cue fan you can opt for a vegetable plate, which of course could include mac and cheese, as it is a vegetable below the Mason-Dixon line. Other barbecue dinners include pulled chicken and beef brisket. Next visit we’ll be trying the jalapeno bread, which we somehow overlooked in our excitement.

All their meats are cooked over hickory wood and are available in bulk as well. P. Red’s also does catering, promising a true Southern experience.

P. Red’s is at 999 Chattahoochee Avenue, 404-350-0008. Hours are Monday to Saturday 11-8.

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