I’ve been on a sabbatical recently. I had good intentions of posting some thoughts on the signing class, but as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. By the time I got to a place to do a post, others more informed provided better written and more thought out analysis than I could have offered.
Plus, there just isn’t that much going on this time of the year. Unless, of course, you want to talk about the terribly mediocre and disappointing basketball season, which I don’t.
Or I could talk about the Braves front office continued attempts to destroy the once proud franchise, but I don’t want to go there either.
But, life is starting to slow down a little bit, and I wanted to get back in the saddle. To get out of this self-imposed exile, I decided to get back to our roots.
This blog was started some six and a half years ago, primarily to talk about UGA football. We chose the name “The Grit Tree” to pay homage to Lewis Grizzard. And a once-weekly feature of the blog was reviewing different barbecue joints across Georgia and, when travel allowed, in other states. Lewis was fond of good pig pork, and so are we.
The barbecue reviews have gone the way of the dodo. This is for two reasons:
- Honesty compels me to say we got lazy (I could lie and say that important things like raising a child and work have caused the distractions, but I use my precious daughter as an excuse to get out of too many things as it is, I won’t cast this burden on her), and
- Sadly, I haven’t been anywhere new.
When we started this feature, I traveled a lot around Georgia with my job, and each small town I visited I tried a new place. I was new to the job, and everywhere I went it was the first time. Well, I don’t hit the road as often as I did, and if I do, chances are I’ve already tried barbecue in the place where I am going.
But sometimes, circumstances bring you to a new place, or at least new to me.
Last spring I was driving on I-85 and saw signs for Sprayberry’s Barbecue, and being a Lewis Grizzard aficionado, I wanted to stop at his favorite barbecue joint. But sometimes, traveling with a two year old doesn’t allow you to stop, even if it is for a worthy cause such as paying tribute to Lewis.
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in Peachtree City, and I had an evening to myself. I knew I was close to Newnan, and fortunately was only 15 minutes away from a Sprayberry’s location. My decision on where to dine became a no-brainer.
So, without further ado, my review of Sprayberry’s Barbecue…
I must start off by saying this isn’t the original Sprayberry’s, and after talking to the manager, was disappointed to learn the location I dined at was never even visited by Lewis Grizzard. This one had the charm of any other restaurant, a stone’s throw off the interstate and next to a Wal-Mart, Applebees and Hooters.
A dubious way to start my meal…
I must first say this, before I go any further with my review:
If Sprayberry’s is good enough for Lewis Grizzard, then by God, it is good enough for me.
I looked over the menu, and I am glad I did. When I go to a place to review it, I usually get the same thing each time to provide consistency in my review: pulled pork, Brunswick stew, Sweet Tea.
But one particular menu item caught my eye: The Lewis Grizzard Special. Barbecue Sandwich, Brunswick stew, and onion rings.
But, life doesn’t take me over that way often, and I had company, so I decided to splurge a little bit and branch out. We ordered a half rack of baby back ribs as an appetizer. If I was going to dine at Lewis Grizzard’s restaurant, I was going to get the full experience.
The ribs were amazing. I prefer a dry rub on my ribs, and these were coated in vinegar sauce. I can’t say I’ve had ribs with a vinegar sauce. I’ve had sweet wet sauce, but not vinegar. It could have been too much vinegar if that is not your thing, but I really enjoyed them. Sorry, no picture. We ate them pretty quick and they got gone in a hurry. The ribs were fantastic; very tender.
Then the Lewis Grizzard Special came out. It was a mountain of food.
Maybe I was expecting a near religious experience. Maybe I had built it up too much in my mind where anything wouldn’t have been as good as I had expected it to be. But it wasn’t that great. The pork was just “eh”, and the stew was mushy. The onion rings, much like the rest of the plate, just weren’t very flavorful.
It was serviceable. I went home full. But I went in expecting a 10, and I got a 5.
If I am in the area, I will go back. I will try the original location, and try it a lunch time when people say barbecue restaurants are at their best.
Getting the ribs again would be worth it.
But if you go, and I suggest you do if you are a fan of Lewis Grizzard, go in knowing you are going for the experience and the opportunity to pay tribute to a fine American and not for the quality of the cue.
Sprayberry’s has two locations in Newnan. Visit the website to see more info.