Updated: Jan 9
We were down a man this week. Trailhead George was trapped in a Zoom call, the modern equivalent to a PowerPoint in motion. The five other Trailheads (Guy, Steve, Roy, Brad, and Patrick) hiked on for our other brother deposed in digital video limbo.
We had a short hike on Atlanta’s newest trail, Lake Charlotte, south of the city in the warehouse district as the planes descended from the sky on their way to Hartsfield-Jackson. We inspected the remains of a fireplace, and low walls as Elvis and Fio scampered off-trail to sniff at God-only-knows what. We circled back to the beginning, having earned a barbecue reward at minimum mileage.
Our lucky winner was the venerable Daddy D’z The BBQ Joynt on Memorial Drive SE this week. We are partial to any barbecue place that calls itself a joint, and we’re enamored with a joint brave enough to spell it “joynt.” We also loved that there’s a sculptured joke at the entrance, a metal pig with the message “I’m dying for Daddy D’z The BBQ Joynt.” Who doesn’t like a swine who does wordplay?
We were on the early side, and the place was quiet. The friendly woman behind the counter greeted us. She said she had bought Daddy D’z a while back, and we could tell she was proud. Roy noticed a sign behind the counter: “This isn’t Burger King. You’ll have it our way.” Okay, then, we ordered. Let’s have it.
Daddy D’z features a broad menu of barbecue favorites: chicken, beef, ribs, pork, shrimp (Shrimp??? This ain’t New Orleans!), and sausage–– the meats are smoked on hickory and oak by hand––Que Wraps, wings, tenders, onion rings, fried mushrooms, fried green tomatoes, even mozzarella sticks. And when available, lamb ribs and turkey ribs.
Then there are the sides. More sides than you can shake a fork at––green beans, corn on the cob, potato wedges, baked beans, slaw, black-eyed peas, cabbage, potato salad, candied yams, fried zucchini, mac ‘n cheese, collard greens, red beans & rice, fried okra, and broccoli casserole. Whew.
Oh, and fried pickles. Steve swooned and ordered some for the table. Steve’s the best.
And desserts. Lots of desserts (cakes, pies, cheesecakes, pudding, cobbler). But you need to remember to save room for those, and we didn’t. We’re pigs.
We know what you’re thinking–– uh-oh, The Cheesecake Factory menu conundrum––how can any restaurant offer such a varied menu and still be good? Let’s see.
First off, the fried pickles. They were incredible. Tart and tangy dill spears dipped in a light batter and fried to golden perfection. This is what cucumbers aspire to become.
For the main event, we ordered the rib tips, beef brisket, sausage, pulled pork, collard greens, red beans and rice, black-eyed peas, baked beans, slaw, Brunswick stew, fried zucchini, and candied yams (why isn’t this side offered at more places––yams are a killer side).
Trailheads raved. We bandied about superlatives as we scarfed our meals. Guy loved his rib tips, Brad and Roy crowed about their brisket and its exceptionally flavorful bark, Steve loved his sliced sausage, and Patrick was a fan of the pulled pork, although he felt like it could have been pulled a little more. Bitch, bitch, bitch.
The sides were also hits. There were props to the Brunswick stew (“Now, that’s how I like my Brunswick Stew,” one very picky Trailhead said), collard greens, baked beans, slaw, fried zucchini, red beans & rice, etc. And we were big fans of the cornbread. A slight burn on the edges gave this light, sweet muffin some swagger.
Bottom line: this joint, excuse us, this joynt is for real and is a must-visit for barbecue fans. One-stop, and you’ll know why Creative Loafing, Food Network, USA Today, The New York Times, AJC, and Atlanta magazine have all praised Daddy D’z. You can add Trailheads to its list of fans.
Rating: Four Ribs*
Daddy D’z BBQ Joynt
264 Memorial Drive Southeast
Atlanta GA 30312
*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.