Archive for April, 2011

BBQ Thursday- Smoakies Bar-B-Que, Crisp County, GA

Smoakies Bar-B-Que

I have traveled down Hwy. 257 south a thousand times in my life, passing Smoakies Bar-B-Que each time as I travel into Cordele on my way to I-75. For reasons unbeknownst to me, I have never stopped. Maybe it’s because I always stopped at AB’s in Hawkinsville, Scott’s in Cochran, or waited until Tifton or Valdosta to eat ‘cue. My wife has been on me to try this “cute little place outside of Cordele” for quite some time. It just so worked out that she and I could meet there earlier this week, and I will not make the mistake of waiting so long to dine there again.

Smoakies Bar-B-Que, referred to simply as Smoakies from here on out, is a small block building in the middle of nowhere outside of Cordele, GA on Hwy. 257. On the outside of this block building is a mural of a tree with a bear in it. There’s a rough parking lot with a billboard outside announcing you’ve arrived. If you’re not a native, it’s probably an easy place to cruise on past. That’s probably the main reason I’ve never stopped before. The smokehouse is out back and you’re greeted by two palm trees in big pots as you enter. There’s also a Pepsi machine outside, though I’m not really sure why. As I sat in the parking lot, or whatever you call it, I couldn’t help but notice the amount of folks pulling in and out. I thought to myself that we must be in for a treat.

The service at Smoakies was absolutely top notch. As soon as we walked in, a man, presumably the son of the original owner, greeted my wife and I and told us to have a seat. What stuck out to me was that this gentleman was wearing a starched white shirt and a tie, along with his blue jeans. He was a very gracious host, very kind and eager to serve. We had tea on our table instantly. He also mentioned that his mom makes a fresh batch of banana pudding every morning. I told him to go ahead and plan on bringing us out a large portion after we had the ‘cue. It seems that this is a multi-generational business, completely family run. I don’t know this to be fact, but that was the assumption I made.

After glancing at the menu, we ordered. I had the usual- sandwich, stew and slaw, while my wife opted for a plate of pulled pork, onion rings and stew. Lucky for me, I got to eat most of hers after I finished mine.

So…on to the meal. The food was brought out really quickly. The tea was just good ol’ South Georgia sweet tea. It wasn’t overly sweet, but just right. They offered a wide variety of sauces- a mild vinegar based, a mild mustard based, rib sauce and chicken sauce, both a little hotter. I had to try them all and decided that I liked the mild vinegar based the best. Purely personal preference; my wife liked the mustard based a lot.

The sandwich was very good. They did not have any sauce on their meat, which I like. Don’t mess with the meat, let the patrons do that. It was moist, tender, and very good. The sandwich was plenty for me, and I didn’t even order the large. I topped it off with a touch of the vinegar based bbq sauce and couldn’t put it down. While it wasn’t the absolute best bbq I’ve ever had, it definitely ranks up near the top. The meat was very fresh and seemed like it had just been pulled. Again, I reiterate that it was very tender. On my personal scale of 1-5, I give it a 4.5. Simply put, it was good.

The stew was almost as good as I’ve had. My wife raved on and on about it. I told her she could rank it, and she began by giving it a 5! I talked her down a little, because it’s hard to beat Mrs. Gayle’s stew, which is the only perfect 5 I’ve ever had, so she conceded and gave it a 4.5. I probably would have given it a 4.25, but that’s being picky. It was a stewy stew, mixed well and very consistent. I could have eaten more, given the chance.

I was also very impressed with the slaw. Slaw, when done right, can really compliment a bbq meal. This slaw was done well. It wasn’t runny, nor was it too thick. I’ll judge their slaw on a comparative basis- though it wasn’t as good as their ‘que nor their stew, it was as good as any slaw I can remember at a bbq joint. That said, I’ll gladly give their stew a 4.75, a really strong rating! It was the perfect complement to a sandwich, stew and tea.

After demolishing my plate and cleaning up my wife’s, our gracious host brought out the banana pudding. I am here to tell you, that was possibly the best banana pudding I have ever had (sorry, grandma.) You could tell that this gentlemen’s mother puts a little extra love and care into her desserts. It was simply  outstanding. I rarely give out a perfect rating for anything, but this fine lady deserves a 5 of 5 for her banana pudding. If you are ever in the area, even if you’re not hungry, do yourself a favor and stop in for a bowl of her banana pudding. You’ll thank me later. I could go on and on about how good her pudding was, but you get the point.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable visit to a quaint little barbecue joint in rural South Georgia. The atmosphere was excellent, exactly what you envision when thinking about a small ‘cue joint in rural Georgia. Small block building, family run business, a dozen tables inside, it was ideal. Smoakies gets my overwhelming approval, and I strongly encourage you to make a stop by if you’re ever outside of Cordele. It’s not 2 miles away from I-75, Exit 102, so you don’t have to travel too far off the beaten path. However, it seems as if you’re in the middle of nowhere when you arrive. The service was perfect, and you could tell without a doubt that you were in the South. I can’t wait for my next chance to stop at Smoakies Bar-B-Que. Do yourself the favor and drop in when you can.


Chicken Wing Tour

In case you haven’t seen it, the Coach Richt/Coach Fox road show kicks off today in Savannah. They’ll be travelling the state on an eleven stop trip. The full schedule is here.


Some very early NCAA Baseball Postseason Projections

ESPN’s Jeremy Millis has the Diamond Dawgs spending the postseason close to home - at the Atlanta regional against Georgia Tech with the other two teams being Georgia Southern and Indiana.

With the NCAA prefering in-state rivals like UGA and Tech, Florida, Florida State and Miami and South Carolina, Coastal Carolina and Clemson to knock each other out instead of one region dominating the College World Series, odds are the Dawgs will have to go through the Yellow Jackets at some point.

Lugnut Dawg

Lewis Grizzard Wednesday – Khadafy

Colonel Khadafy — The No. 1 El Freako

Throughout history there always has been at least one nut case loose who is trying to play havoc with the rest of the world.
There was Attila the Hun, of course. Great guy when you got to know him, said his best friend, Leroy the Hun, but he was bad to sack cities and rape and pillage.

(The term “rape” I am familiar with, but I’ve never quite known what you do when you sack a city or pillage whatever it is you pillage. I slept through most of the ancient history courses I had in high school.)

In more modern times we have had Hitler, Idi Amin and the Duvalier boys from Haiti.

But the No. 1 el freako in the world today has to be Col. Moammar Khadafy of Libya, who is so nutty he spells his last name six or seven different ways.

I’m not certain what it is Col. Khadafy wants. Attila the Hun wanted to rape, sack and pillage. Hitler wanted to rule the world.

Col. Khadafy apparently wants to be a large pain in the world’s behind. (I’m not certain where the world’s behind is, but Libya certainly would be one of my first guesses. New Jersey wouldn’t come until much later.)

If that is what Col. Nutso wants, he is doing a very good job of getting it. He’s in the papers most days, he’s on the tube most every night, and he has gotten so much attention as the world’s bad boy, he has become a household word. Like “toilet.”

I have observations about how we should handle the Colonel and the Libyan situation.

First, I think we should launch an investigation into the fact that Col. Khadafy looks very much like the baseball pitcher, Joaquin Andujar. We all know after watching the World Series last year in which Andujar, then with the St. Louis Cardinals, set a World Series record for throwing temper tantrums a la Khadafy, not to mention beanballs.

Could it be that Joaquin Andujar and Col. Khadafy are the same person? Have you ever seen them photographed together? If they are the same person, then all we have to do is get a few Marines to hide in the opposing team’s dugout one night and when Andujar-Khadafy walks in, the Marines could beat him with fungo bats until he promises to go back to Libya and hush.

Also, we could send him a year’s supply of Tylenol, or spread a rumor he has AIDS. We could send Frank Borman to run his personal finances, or we could get Dr. Jan Kemp to sue him.

I heard former Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, who might even become our next president, make a speech recently. He told a joke that isn’t a bad idea of how to handle Khadafy, either.

“One morning,” Baker began, “President Reagan called his aides and wanted them to bring John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate him, to the Oval Office.

“When Hinckley arrived, the president said he had forgiven him and would order his release.

“Hinckley was overwhelmed. He said, `Thank you, Mr. President. Is there anything I could do to repay you for your kindness?’

“The president said, `Well, there is this one little thing.’ He took a folder out of his desk and pulled out a picture of Col. Khadafy.

“He said to Hinckley, `See this guy? He’s dating Jodie Foster . . .’ “

UGA Recruits Involved in Theft at Butts-Mehre

Well if run ins with the law weren’t bad enough among current UGA football players, the phenomenon has now extended to UGA recruits.  Two Carver HS (Columbus, GA) recruits CB Deon Bonner (2012) and Marquise Hawkins WR (2013) were arrested for stealing items from the UGA locker room.  Bonner is one of the top secondary prospects in the state of Georgia for 2012 and Hawkins was ranked by many as the top WR prospect in Georgia for 2013. 

Hopefully, these losers will be taking their talents to some other school.  I’m sure a thug like Trooper Taylor will welcome them with open arms.


Final G-Day Observations

First of all, major Dawg kudos for FINALLY moving the game out of the Masters weekend…and the record G-Day crowd of more than 43,000 fans showed.

From an offensive standpoint, it’s tough to take a lot away at most skill positions. With each team being divided by players picks on G-Day, you have a scenario of Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason having to throw to a group of receivers that they may not have gotten a high amount of work with during spring camp. The similar case is on the offensive line, where you are mixing and matching guys away from a mixture of what was used in spring practice.

With that said, it should be an interesting summer of offensive speculation. With Branden Smith getting a few touches on offense and scoring a touchdown, it’s now worth noting more than ever that if 100 percent healthy, Branden Smith NEEDS to be seeing snaps on offense.

While G-Day isn’t a full barometer of spring practice, it doesn’t help Carlton Thomas’ stock that he fumbled twice, though he did later score a touchdown…especially with that Crowell guy coming in.

Defensively, probably nothing got the crowd more energized than the big tackles made by Alec Ogletree and Kwame Geathers.

The biggest story, though wasn’t who was playing, but who wasn’t.

Isaiah Crowell, Ray Drew and other incoming freshmen were at G-Day watching, and during the game, CSS’s feed on the jumbotron showed clips of some of the incoming class – not that anyone is looking ahead or anything.

The best thing about G-Day is that is marches the off-season forward, closer to a summer of Bulldog Club stops, Preseason Camp and a HUGE opener against Boise State.

Lugnut Dawg

Catching up with Tim Worley

A nice read on what he’s up to these days….

Old Times There Are Not Forgetten…Especially In Athens

Oh, yesterdays over my shoulder, so I can’t look back for too long

There’s just too much to see waiting in front of me, and I know that I just can’t go wrong.

            -Jimmy Buffett, “Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Latitudes”

As I related the other day, I had the wonderful experience to get to see the new Butts-Mehre renovations.   It was a great time, but I noticed something while walking around.

Let me first preface this by saying I love Georgia Football history.  My heart flutters each time I hear the trumpet solo belt out the beginning of the “Battle Hymn” from the southwest end zone.  I get goose bumps just thinking about it.  Moore-Hodgson-Taylor Flea Flicker.  Appleby to Washington end around pass.  I feel a shiver up my spine every time I see Herschel knock Bill Bates on his rear.  All of these plays happened before I was a glimmer in my daddy’s eye.

I listen to Larry Munson’s greatest calls on my iPod. 

Like all of you, I have several books I am looking at right now in my office that are UGA football/history related, with Vince Dooley’s autograph in one of them.  I think it is great that we have a rich tradition and history; unlike Florida, who doesn’t believe that SEC football was invented prior to 1990.

But as I was walking around Butts-Mehre, I thought to myself, “Does the shadow of Vince Dooley, Wally Butts and Hershel Walker loom too large?” 

I mean there is one thing to celebrate the past and appreciate your traditions.  Florida unveiled statues of their Heisman winners outside The Swamp, and Auburn is planning on doing the same.

It is another thing to see countless books written about the 1980 season 30 years ago. 

I want to see more great plays from now…and the last two seasons those have been few and far between. 

I had this debate with Ucheedawg over lunch, and he disagrees with me.  He also disagrees with me in thinking that Georgia is going to be good again sometime soon.  We have seen that Mark Richt and Mike Bobo’s track record with quarterbacks who start their freshman years, the next few years are pretty good.  Aaron Murray is as good a QB as any other in the SEC next year, so there is reason to believe that there are going to be lots of good memories in the coming years.

I am ready to start relishing great moments now and tomorrow, not great moments thirty years ago. 

And thank goodness for Belue to Scott, because if it wasn’t for that, we would all be celebrating great moments from the 1940s.


If You Weren’t Sold On Aaron Murray Before…

Not only is Aaron Murray the best quarterback in the SEC (or the best one that isn’t suspended from Spring Ball), he also does neat stuff like this:

Great work Aaron!


Don’t Tell The ACCPD

I have some insight in the recent locker room thefts.  It was me, but I didn’t steal any iPhones, and I returned what I took.  Why Corbindwag, you may ask.  Well, here you go…

A couple of weeks ago, I found out I would get to participate in a tour of the Butts-Mehre building, and get to see Coach Richt.  I was understandably excited about this opportunity and a dream come true.  There were five of us that got to go on the tour, and at the conclusion of the tour we would get a signed picture of Coach Richt. 

One day, I stopped by a gas station on my way home from work, and lurking around the hot dog machine was a large, slug-like man.  He beckoned me over to the corner of the store where I saw it was Charlie Weiss.  Coach Weiss told me that he knew I was going to the Buttsmear building (he didn’t know any better).  Coach Weiss told me that he wanted to research how a College QB played wearing a glove, since Tom Brady wore one.  He wanted John Brantley to try one out this summer, but wanted a glove that was already broke in.  Coach Weiss told me he wanted Aaron Murray’s glove, since it was the only QB south of Pittsburg to use a glove.  He promised that Florida would throw the Cocktail Party and give Georgia a victory-a small price to pay for good information, I guess. 

The day I had been waiting for had finally come true!  We were off to see the new Butts-Mehre renovations.  Coach Richt walked out and greeted us.  At first he was very solemn and quiet, and walking kind of gimpy.  But he then sprang to life and welcomed us in with open arms. Before we could go in, we had to sign all kinds of waivers and confidentiality agreements. 

Then we were off!  It was a place that Coach Richt said was of his creation, right out of his imagination.  It was impressive to see the managers getting items ready for the day’s practice.  If there were ten of them there were 1000!  All wearing matching clothes and folding towels, and all humming the UGA Alma Mater.  Our first stop were some offices, and we got to see Suzanne Yoculan’s private bath room.  One member of the party went in to use it, and before Coach Richt could stop it, the toxic smell of Don Leebern’s doo doo knocked him out.  He had to leave.  There were 4. 

The next stop was the laundry room.  Again, dozens upon dozens of managers were tossing dirty towels down a laundry shoot.    One member of our group got a little anxious when he saw Aaron Murray’s used practice jersey, and actually fell down the shoot trying to retrieve it.  We were a party of 3. 

Then we went to the locker room.  We were told that this was top secret stuff, and there were personal belongings of the players here.  I walked by Aaron’s locker, and there it was.  The glove.  I hate that glove.  The thought of Aaron Murray ever wearing it again, combined with the memories of the annual hangover from the Cocktail Party made me a crazy person. I took it. 

We then walked in a room where Katharyn and some of the other Watergirls were mixing up a new flavor of Powerade.  Some type of new red flavor.  Good to see they are doing their part to help us win the 4th Quarter.  One other guy and I were thirsty, and we took a swig.  I guess I have had my shots more recently, because due to this stuff being in the experimental stages, the other guy had an allergic reaction.  He broke out into hives and turned red as a strawberry.  He had to go the the Health Center.  There were 2.

The other member of the tour and I went into the media room.  We got to sit up at the head table where Coach Richt gets to sit during his press conferences.  This guy had a big ego, and just stayed there looking into the cameras, imagining what it would be like to have all that press attention.  So, we had to leave him. 

So Coach Richt walked me at the door and was busy changing into his practice clothes.  He said he appreciated my continued support, but he really had to go.  He was terribly busy, and there so much to do and so little time to do it.  I then asked for my autograph picture, and he then turned to Evil Richt.  He said I violated the rules of the agreement I signed due to illegal sample of the new Powerade,  and as punishment I had to forego all my prizes.  Heartbroken, I decided to leave.  I was going to really give Charlie Weiss the glove now, and help him boot that jerk out of Athens.  But then I had a second thought, and realized how wrong that was.  Trading one victory against the Gators wasn’t worth seeing them and John Brantley do well every other week.  I wanted to beat Gators legitimately, and not stoop to Jim Tressel levels. 

I walked back to his office and placed the glove on his desk.  He sprang to life and told me it was all a morality test, to see who would do the right thing.  I asked about Charlie Weiss and out came Mike Bobo, wearing a fat suit a la Mike Myers did for Fat Bastard in Austin Powers.  Oh joy!  Coach Richt thanked me and he gave me a great gift-he let me see the whole world…of Georgia football.  I got to over to the great glass windows and look down.  They were about to start practice.  I got to go down and watch the practice up close and personal.  It was a great day and a great experience!!

Note:  The above account is true, except for 99% of what was written.  Actually, the only true part is I did get to tour Butts-Mehre and saw practice.  It was very, very cool.  Some observations from the day:  Marlon Brown couldn’t catch a cold in Alaska, Aaron Murray has some huge guns, and though I questioned Alec Ogletree’s move to LB, he is a stud.  He is huge.  Towers above everyone else.  I was most impressed by Ogletree. 



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