Updated: Nov 4, 2021
From our hike in Morningside, Trailheads convoyed across town into the area between East Lake and Oakhurst to Lake & Oak Neighborhood BBQ, a joint founded by renowned chefs Todd Richards & Joshua Lee. They describe their food as “crafted with soul” and smoke meats on Big Green Eggs. Our friendly waitress apologized and said they didn’t allow dogs on the patio. Elvis and Fio threatened to call their lawyers and file a discrimination suit, but we intervened.
With the guidance of BA Albert, our guest Trailhead, the macho men moved a couple of tables together on a strip of lawn above the patio. We were accommodating to our litigious canine crew. The waitress was an angel and happily complied.
Guy ordered every appetizer offered for our sampling while we surveyed the menu, which is impressive: smoked brisket, pulled pork, catfish, smoked wings and chicken, ribs––just about every meat but spleen (which we’re not big fans of anyway). We placed our lunch orders and enjoyed the apps of deviled eggs, catfish dip, a cheesy concoction with pulled pork, and fried green tomatoes. All four food groups were covered.
The deviled eggs were a hit with deviled egg fans. I don’t eat eggs, deviled or otherwise, since my tragic egg salad incident (let us never speak of it again). We all loved the fried green tomatoes––our idea of healthy fare. The cheesy pulled pork combo was good, and the catfish dip was tasty but garnered no raves from our panel of discerning palates. Let’s get on to the main event.
The star of the show was the beef brisket. Brad got a loaded version of the sandwich, two slabs of Texas toast with chopped brisket, grilled onion, smothered in cheese, and topped with a fried egg for good measure. He called his first bite “memorable” and said he’d order it over and over and over. That’s shorthand for he loved it... and was ready to start a serious relationship. Brad also raved about the collard greens, as did Steve. Guy called them “A #1,” and Roy said they were “transcendent––whatever that means.”
I think it means he liked the collard greens—a lot.
Roy, Guy, and I ordered pulled pork sandwiches, topped with brussels sprout and cabbage slaw served between two slices of TX toast, only toasted on the outside (why?). It was good but not “transcendent.” Guy wasn’t impressed with the Lake & Oak barbecue sauce. I agreed, and we wanted more than one sauce choice. We, the pork eaters, had brisket envy. After hearing the rave reviews for the beef, Roy got a pound of brisket to go––dinner solved. Smart move, Mr. Transcendent.
Trailheads raved about all the sides. Steve thought the barbecue wasn’t as tasty or have the deep smoky flavor of some other BBQ establishments we've tried, but the sides were the stars––vegetable baked beans, creamed corn, collard greens, deviled eggs, and fried green tomatoes all shone. I had the potato wedges, and they need more time in the fryer hot tub, but the spice on them had a nice kick.
Unfortunately, when we finished grazing and gobbling, we were too stuffed to sample desserts. Just reading about them was orgasmic.
We all agreed our waitress was the best human ever. She accommodated our tailed members, was flexible, patient (never Stooge-slapping any of us), and she kept the ice tea and Arnold Palmers flowing. Both beverages were exceptional. Our fantastic server smiled and spread her good cheer throughout our meal, giving us incredible service we didn't deserve.
We’re fans of Lake & Oak. The parking is free and easy, the atmosphere is welcoming, and the menu deliciously accommodates both meat lovers and vegetarians deliciously. Elvis and Fio liked this place so much they’re not taking legal action. These pups need to learn how to chill.
Rating: Four Ribs*
Lake & Oak Neighborhood BBQ
2358 Hosea L Williams Dr NE, Atlanta GA 30317
*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.