Good small town, Ma and Pa barbecue is hard to find nowadays, replaced by new-age chain restaurants. The relationship between table and kitchen is no longer personal. This isn’t the case with Andy’s B-B-Q on U.S. 441 south, in Eatonton. From their furnishings to their fare, it’s all friends and family here.
The restaurant had a strong Coca-Cola theme. The wood paneled walls were adorned with different country décor. Signs reading “if you’re smoking then you better be on fire” were hung around the restaurant. Pictures of the owner’s family and friends surrounded the checkout counter. The table cloths were a picnic-style red and white checkers pattern. Rumor has it the décor is always changing. I overheard one diner saying that they change the decorations periodically. All this country-like closeness had this city girl feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. I couldn’t wait to taste the food.
The menu has the usual barbecue foods. For appetizers they have fried pickles, fried okra, fried squash and potato skins, to name a few. However, they have a few unusual choices like cheese sticks and hot shrimp. Besides the barbecue there are sandwich options like a BLT ($3.50), grilled cheese ($3.25) and the smoked turkey for ($4). They also have a smoked ham sandwich ($4), a fried chicken sandwich ($4.50) and a ribeye steak sandwich for $7. They offer a variety of wraps, including grilled chicken, steak and BBQ, all between $6 and $7.50. Salads and burgers are also available, all between $2 and $8.75.
I ordered the corn poppers ($2) and the fried dill pickles ($5.50) for my appetizer. Then I ordered the half a rack of ribs plate ($14) with the French fries and the Brunswick stew. I also ordered a BBQ sandwich for $3.75.
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The barbecue itself was exceptional, with a bit of spice. Both the barbecue and the ribs had this bite that I adored. This barbecue is the best I’ve ever had. The ribs did have a large amount of fat on them. However the flavor was still good. For my sides I had french fries called Andy’s fries. They were fresh cut but they weren’t crispy and I like my fries crispy. The Brunswick stew was amazing. It was hearty and the taste was right on. I loved both of the appetizers I chose. The corn poppers are cream corn that has been fried — soft cream corn inside a crisp bite. The mix of textures is my favorite. And the fried pickles had a great batter on them.
Mix the great food and the friendly atmosphere and you have yourself a friendly, hometown, down-to-earth restaurant — something that the world needs a little more of. I’ll frequent back to Andy’s just for a barbecue fix.
3 1/2 stars
Health rating: 100
Address: 441 south, Eatonton
Handicap accessible: Yes
Payment: Credit, cash
Price: $2 - $23