Updated: Nov 4, 2021
After an arduous and bloody hike at Morgan Falls, we desperately needed some barbecue. The trees sent out their dangerous roots, booby-trapping the trail and exacting revenge for unsuspecting hikers. The roots did some damage to our intrepid crew.
The monsoon rains the night before didn't help, giving everything a slippery sheen. The pups loved it––there was lots of water to splash and swim in. But even Elvis and Fio took the long way around way around several Quicksand danger zones. The foggy vistas over the water were lovely. But enough of all that nature crap, we worked up our appetites and needed vittles.
We took our soaked, tired, and bloody, overheated bodies to Slopes BBQ of Sandy Springs. Actually, I was the only bloody Trailhead following a nasty spill softened by my metal water bottle. I crushed it. Everyone had a slip-sliding moment, but mine put me at death's door, or at least in the embarrassment zone.
As we drove up to Slopes, we noticed the tables and chairs outside, earning bonus points as we require outside seating for Fio, Elvis, and protection from the Delta variant. The dogs love to join us, and we enjoy their company. Delta, not so much. The people ordering at the inside counter were a mix of masked and unmasked. Trailheads mask and keep our distance from naked faces. The menu was typical smoked meat offerings with a long list of sides. And cobbler. We love us a good cobbler. But this day was not a cobbler day. We didn't want to slip into a food coma on the way home from overeating.
We tried many Slopes offerings. The ribs, brisket, pork sandwich, the combo. Fried okra, peas, slaw, and fries. Of the meats, the ribs poked out as best in show. Smoky, tender, juicy, crispy, and nicely sauced – they were terrific. The slaw was sweet, creamy goodness, with perhaps some grated onions for a bit of burn. And while the fried okra was not the fresh, fancy, up-market, whole okra pods from Fox Bros., we could have sat and eaten these little morsels all day. Okra popcorn. The peas were perfectly cooked. Like homemade. And the fries got a nice "Mmmmm." The sides were strong.
Both sauces were good. We suspect the sweet sauce has a hint of mustard (based on the coloring). Not a full-on South Carolina recipe. More like an SC vibe creeping over the state line into Georgia. The hot sauce wasn't simply a tarted-up version of the sweet sauce like you'll find in many barbecue joints. This baby had a distinct flavor profile and a reasonable level on the Scoville pepper scale. It gave the taste buds a good smacking. Both sauces were pretty darn good.
A kind Slopes lady brought us a to-go cup we filled with water for Elvis and Fio, a nice touch and appreciated by the furry TrailHeads on a hot and humid day. Elvis is a big fellow, and if he doesn't stay hydrated, he gets surly. Hmm, that might be Steve. He's not so big, but he does get twitchy when he needs water.
A loud, obnoxious fellow was sitting down from us, using his outside voice to its maximum volume. We're not sure what he was saying, but he kept on saying it. We wondered if he ever ate or just got his order to go so he could keep jabbering at his companion. Even the dogs covered their ears. We hope this blowhard isn't a regular.
Slopes have been a mainstay in Sandy Springs, and they had a good crowd. We enjoyed our time here and wished we weren't so tired––we couldn’t perform a proper evaluation of their cobbler. Did we mention Trailheads like cobblers? It's a bit of an obsession, and some people wonder if we only hike for the barbecue or eat barbecue so we can hike.
Consider it a mystery we're still working to figure out.
Rating: Four Ribs*
Slope's BBQ Of Sandy Springs
200 Johnson Ferry Rd, Atlanta, GA 30328
*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.