Updated: Nov 4, 2021
Three Trailheads gathered for our latest outing at the recently opened Westside Park. George is still in Oregon, Steve was working (working???), and Roy had to take his cat to the vet’s office.
While this venture was more of a walk than a hike, Brad, Guy, Patrick, Fio, and Elvis were scouting trails for our upcoming Subscribers Invitational Outing in a couple of weeks. If you’d like to join the Trailheads for this special event, subscribe to this site, and we’ll give you the skinny so you can lace up and go.
Westside Park is a beautiful greenspace developed around a 300-foot-deep quarry filled with water. The walking trails will eventually connect to the Atlanta Beltline’s Westside Trail northern extension, the Westside BeltLine Connector, and Proctor Creek Greenway. The paths offer some incredible views of Downtown and Mercedes Benz Stadium.
The intrepid Trailheads put in well over 10,000 steps and decided they’d earned some barbecue. Roy joined our lunch at Rodney Scott’s BBQ on
Metropolitan Parkway SW, just south of downtown.
Rodney Scott is a rock star in the barbecue world. He cooked his first whole hog barbecue at age eleven, and he’s been perfecting his technique ever since. In 2017, Rodney opened his Whole Hog BBQ restaurant in Charleston, SC, and the culinary world’s taste buds took notice. Bon Appetit magazine picked it as one of the 50 best new restaurants in the U.S, and in 2018, Rodney was awarded the James Beard Foundation’s Award for Outstanding Chef Southeast.
Rodney’s kind of a big deal.
The pitmaster opened another Whole Hog BBQ restaurant in Birmingham, then brought his hardwood smoke magic to Atlanta. It opened in July and is beautiful, spacious, spotless, and comfortable. Rodney’s crew serves with a smile, and the menu has something soul-satisfying for everyone.
Guy ordered the catfish and raved about it. The batter was light, tasty, and fried to crispy perfection (that’s my raving, not Guy’s–– he said something like, “It’s yummy to my tummy!”). Brad got the rib tips and shared one with all of us, who were looking lustily at his tray and licking our chops. The tips were nibbles of smoky deliciousness. Patrick went for the pulled pork sandwich and loved its flavor. He said the meat was as tender as a first kiss (he’s a silly romantic). Roy ordered the pulled pork plate and said it should be called “the heaping mound of smoky, tasty, pulled pork plate.” Ever the adman, he is.
Rodney’s sides also received gushes of praise. Roy said the collard greens were
some of the best ones ever to hit his belly. Patrick and Guy chased their hushpuppies down their gobs with pure delight. Brad was a huge fan of the mac ‘n cheese and baked beans, and the coleslaw disappeared faster than a one-hundred-dollar bill on a crowded sidewalk.
Trailheads were very impressed with Rodney Scott’s sauce selection. You can adorn your smoked meats with four different delectable flavors. The Carolina vinegar-based variety packs a peppery punch, and the tomato-based sauce is sweet and sassy.
Since Roy recently learned he was allergic to tomatoes, he avoided the red sauces and went straight for the Alabama White Sauce. The sauce of his homeland. Designed for chicken, it is good on anything. Pro tip: it’s not on the table. Ask nicely and tell them Trailheads said you had to try it.
Being a good husband, Roy got a pound of rib tips to go for dinner. He’s a smart man.
We’ll be back, Rodney. Keep those embers glowing.
Rating: Four Ribs*
Rodney Scott’s (Whole Hog) BBQ - Atlanta
668 Metropolitan Pkwy SW, Atlanta GA 30310
*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.