Old Clinton’s BBQ
Let me preface this edition of bbq Thursday by telling you how I wound up at Old Clinton bbq.
I spent much of Tuesday on the road. I talked to my friend corbin and told him I would be going through Milledgeville around noon and I wanted to try a new bbq joint. My wife had my gps, so I searched for bbq on my smart phone to see what results came up. Several new joints popped up, but being only somewhat familiar with Milledgeville proper, I had a difficult time finding my way to a few of these. So, back to Corbin. I asked him to help me out, but he fell asleep on his job and forgot to get back with me. So after spending a brief amount of time circling Milledgeville looking for a new bbq place, I decided to just stop in at Old Clinton.
Now, I have eaten at Old Clinton’s before, at the Gray location, but it has been 7-8 years since my last visit. I had never been to the one in Milledgeville, and though it’s not the original joint, I decided to stop in.
I was there before the lunch rush, so the parking lot was fairly empty. This was my view when I stepped out of the truck:
I entered and was greeted by a friendly waitress who promptly took my order. I went with the usual- a bbq sandwich, stew and slaw. Within a couple of minutes I had my plate. $7 for the plate and a tea. I didn’t mind that one bit.
Adequate portion size, so I was pleased. I asked the Lord to bless this hopefully delicious meal and prepared to dig in.
I had a sip of the sweet tea first, and was well pleased. Not too sweet, but sweet enough. I drank two glasses. I also noticed that there was only one sauce. I tried a bit of it on my finger- it was a vinegar based mild-medium sauce. Not bad, nothing special, so I decided to try the bbq without it.
One bite in and I instantly knew I had made the right decision. That first bite was something special. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but what I received was simply delightful. The meat was tender and not fatty. You could tell that it had been cooked slow, probably overnight in a pit. They had a touch of their sauce on it that accented the meat perfectly. I try not to hand out too many over-the-top compliments when it comes to my bbq, because it takes a special place to match what I set the bar by- Fresh Air. But they had done it. On my personal point scale, they get a 5 out of 5.
There was plenty of meat on the sandwich. Just enough so that some falls out when you’re eating it and you’ve got a little dessert at the end. It was truly the first bbq I’ve tasted in several months that compares to Fresh Air. I had to restrain myself from eating the entire sandwich first (I’m the kind of eater who likes to take a bite of everything, not eat one portion, move on to another, then another.)
Still amazed by the bbq, I jumped into the stew. Maybe I was too high on the bbq still, but the stew wasn’t in the same league. The second bite was better than the first, and I continued to enjoy it. It was a touch soupy, but I can’t find anything wrong with the product. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just not as much as the ‘cue. I gave the stew a 4 out of 5, which is still a pretty strong rating.
The slaw was the only part of the meal that was mediocre. I wasn’t crazy about it. First, it was a smaller portion that I would have liked, but I can live with that. It was finely chopped into little chunks. Not a great flavor, but it wasn’t the worst I have had recently. To add perspective, I ate the entire portion, but it only received a 3 out of 5 rating. It was a little dry and just wasn’t on the same level as the barbecue.
I tried to eat slowly so that I could relish the entire meal and give the sandwich the respect it deserved. It was really that good to me. I’ve had bbq a dozen times the past month, and this was the best I had tasted. I washed it down with my second glass of sweet tea.
Bottom line is this- if you are passing through Milledgeville and want a very good sandwich, don’t bother searching. Go to Old Clinton. I promise you won’t be disappointed. It’s located on 441 between Little River and downtown. Can’t miss it. We spend some time at my in-laws lake house on Lake Sinclair during the spring and summer, and I guarantee you that I will be stopping back soon. Again, I try to not go over the top with my praise unless it’s Scott’s or Fresh Air, but this was a special sandwich.
Overall, this was one of my better dining experiences. I love eating bbq by myself so I can enjoy the meal and watch my surroundings. This joint provided just what I was looking for. I am glad that corbin let me down and that my wife had the gps, or I probably would have chosen a different place. But when I take the guys to the lake in a few months, you can find us at Old Clinton. Stop by soon, then tell me thanks.
p.s. If you have a place that we should try, let us know and we’ll stop by and do a review.
p.p.s. Here’s the view from the dock of my in-laws place. I had a few moments and decided to stop by. Lake Sinclair is without a doubt one of Georgia’s gems.