Updated: Dec 9, 2021
Trailheads had their first subscriber invitational hike at Westside Quarry Park. We opened this stroll through Atlanta's largest park to people subscribed to our website traildheadshike.com (subscribe now if you'd like to join us in the future). We had ten special guests hike with us on a beautiful autumn day. Guy, Brad, Roy, Steve, and Patrick flew the Trailheads flag while George was away strolling the wide boulevards of Paris––he lives a very glamorous life. He broke our rules and did not eat barbecue post-hike. No, Mr. Fancy Pants George sipped wine and nibbled charcuterie.
Stateside, we enjoyed a wonderful hike with good friends and great conversations. As usual, we worked up an appetite, and a passel of twelve raced from the park toward the healing power of barbecue.
The brothers' Fox (Texan twins/pitmasters Johnathan and Jason Fox) are the Atlanta barbecue scene kings. They have their original location on DeKalb Avenue, attracting crowds like Beatles fans flocking to Shea Stadium in 1965. The brothers have concession stands at Mercedes Benz Stadium and Truist Park. Plus, a walk-away kiosk next to their catering operation at Armour Yards. The barbecue lords are also building a new smoked meat emporium in Brookhaven, opening next year. They've recently opened the Taj Mahal of barbecue joints in The Works on the Westside of Atlanta. This new space is almost 10,000 sq. ft., with plenty of parking and seating indoors and out.
Our dozen hikers and Elvis and Fio staked a couple of tables outdoor and set up camp. Chuck, our server, came and was the epitome of southern hospitality and exceptional service throughout our meal. Roy thought he knew his brisket order. Chuck told him how he would really want it. We liked Chuck.
In August, Trailheads sampled the original Fox Bros. on DeKalb Ave., and we were mightily impressed (here's the review). Would the shiny new joint live up to the original? Let's see.
We amused our appetites with a dozen extra crispy smoked wings, and they were exceptional—the best wings in town, in this guy's opinion. And in everyone else's opinion, we should have ordered two or three dozen. We'll correct that
The pulled pork was well-liked but did not rank in the top tier of our barbecue sampling. The brisket chili was incredible, as usual. It's the perfect marriage of spices and hearty beef that makes bellies coo in ecstasy. The chopped brisket was a little on the fatty side, with a good smoky flavor.
The sausage received rave reviews––it was the pick hit of this outing. The cornbread with honey butter and collard greens were also heaped with praise and vanished like David Copperfield when a check shows up. Brunswick stew was underwhelming, which was curious since it had received great reviews on DeKalb Ave. And the slaw did what slaw needs to do, offer a cool cabbage respite from scarfing meat down one's gullet.
So, what's our final verdict on the new location? Trailheads are originalists. If we had to choose, we would prefer the original DeKalb Avenue Restaurant to the swanky new Westside outpost. But we also believe you shouldn't judge any spot based on one visit. So we'll be back. And some sausage, extra-crispy smoked wings, brisket chili, and cornbread will be going down. We also agreed Chuck is an all-star server, and we'll ask for him next time around.
Fox Bros. certainly knows their way around a smoker, and all Atlantans are thankful they're tending the barbecue pits for us.
Rating: Four Ribs*
Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q Westside
204 Chattahoochee Row NW, Atlanta GA 30318
*About Our Barbecue Rating System
Trailheads do not claim to be food experts, epicureans, or sophisticated palettes. We are hungry hikers who attack a selected barbecue venue and ravage our way through whatever smoked fare and fixings they’re dishing.
Our reviews feature what we believe are the highlights of the menu we sampled. So our intent is not to trash talk the saintly folks who tend to smoldering smokers on hot, humid summer days. They are sacrificing themselves in the noble art of smoking meats and feeding the drooling masses. Many are independent entrepreneurs who are the backbone of this humming American economy.
Now that you know our standards, you may wonder why every barbecue place gets a four ribs rating. The answer is easy: we have acclaimed designers in our group, and they think the ribs graphic looks cool.
Who are we to argue? Enjoy.