If you're looking for a last hurrah for summer, take a quick trip up Interstate 75 to a little joint off exit 198 called High Falls Bar-B-Que and Beverage. It's not a fancy place, but then again, what good barbecue place ever is?
After a morning at the water park down the road, we decided to treat ourselves by trying some local smoked meats. High Falls Bar-B-Que seemed like a neighborly place to hang out and recharge for more water sliding. In fact, it was so neighborly that two children who couldn't scrounge up enough change for the candy dispenser were about to come straight over to our table to see if we might have enough. At that same exact moment, grandma told them, "Don't you dare," and steered them to their table without missing a beat.
Inside, you walk up to the counter and order, then wait for someone to bring it over to you. We ordered the barbecue plate and the smoked chicken. The coleslaw was a highlight of the plate, and we wolfed the fluffy French fries right down. I tore my chicken up and left nary a scrap of leftovers. The barbecued pulled pork was good and moist. It had a nice smoky flavor to it, not too strong but a great accompaniment to the sauces.
The sauces were an interesting element of the restaurant's approach. Instead of putting it on the meat (which I believe is against the law in the South), it's in squirt bottles on the tables. Labels such as "Carolina" and "Vinegar" let you mix and match your own special sauce. I like mine sweet but hot, so I mixed a couple to my liking.
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An interesting side note: as I researched the restaurant, I found it listed on another newspaper's blog for Georgia's best barbecue joint. It wasn't in the article itself, but someone had sent a comment in that High Falls was one of the three best barbecue places to try in Georgia.
There are a few desserts available that certainly look homemade, and salads are available for the lighter eaters. Now with gas prices leveling off, High Falls is a good distance for a mini-trip vacation. There's a High Falls campground, you can take a hike on the Ocmulgee River Trail, and there's even a horse trail if you're interested. New developments are spouting up all over and it's fun to just get in the car and explore.
If it's been a while since you've seen High Falls, take a little tour one weekend and give High Falls Bar-B-Que a try. Just think about it; doesn't scouting for the perfect barbecue place during weekend day trips sound fun? Happy hunting, and I wish you good adventure and good food.
High Falls Bar-B-Que and Beverage
5047 Highfalls Road
Two and a half stars
Phone: (478) 992-6616
Hours: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Payment: Cash, credit card
Price range: $5.95-$10.95
Children's menu: Yes
Vegetarian selections: Yes
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Noise level: Low
Health code: 96