For the first time in a long time, we had a full crew of six Trailheads for a pleasant hike in Brookhaven on the Murphey Candler Park Trail, a beautiful spot by a lake reflecting the trees showing their fashionable autumn colors (golds, oranges, and reds are in this fall). While the hike was not taxing, our demented guide Guy led his minions into overgrown areas that were undoubtedly chigger paradise in the hot summer temperatures. Our sadistic hike leader also drove us across muddy, mucky marshes where we braved fields of deadly quicksand.
Much to Guy’s dismay, we finished our journey with six living Trailheads. Surviving was cause for celebration, so we headed into the deep south of Brookhaven and sampled Dixie Q. Thankfully, no Confederate flags were flying here, but we were concerned about the “Q” in the name. We didn’t hear any Q conspiracy theories, so we were happy (although the Rolling Stones were playing that night, and who knows–– JFK, Jr. might join them).
We got a whiff of smoke aroma from a chimney when we parked—a good sign for any barbecue establishment. Smoke is cheap advertising.
Dixie Q’s interior is welcoming, and you’ll feel right at home (but please wipe your feet, they don’t know where your soles have been). Trailheads commandeered an outside table, and although it was a cloudy day, our friendly server Brittany brightened things with her sunny disposition and excellent service. She brought Fio and Elvis water bowls, and the tailed Trailheads were smitten with her.
Dixie Q has an extensive menu serving beef brisket, pork and ribs, chicken wings, sliced turkey, sausage, and even salmon. For the hoity-toity set, they even offer a Quinoa Bowl so you can get your daily requirement of goat cheese, arugula, and quinoa. We started with a couple of bowls of their homemade chips, which were incredible: crispy, crunchy, and dusted with a spicy seasoning giving the Russet potato slices some attitude.
On to the main event.
Roy is a good boy sticking to his diet and ordered salmon, which he called “stellar,” and said he would have gladly paid $30 for the dish in a white tablecloth restaurant (those places are always more expensive because they must bleach the tablecloths). He had a side of Brussel Sprouts which he described as sweet, salty, and crunchy. Roy liked the Creole Cole Slaw, but it was hardly an epic moment in cabbage history.
Steve was a bigger fan of the slaw, declaring it tasty, and he loved his pulled pork. He said the sausage was good but it paled in the company of his pulled pork. Guy agreed, but they deemed the sausage a worthy link.
Patrick ordered the “smoked wings” (extra crispy) and brisket chili. The wings were excellent but lacked a distinctive smokey flavor. The brisket chili was soupy, not hearty, but had a nice flavor and some pop. According to a plaque in the window, it earned a second place award in some chili competition. So there.
The brisket eaters (Brad, George, Guy) liked their orders but commented the meat was a little fatty. Or maybe they were commenting on each other. The collard greens were well-liked “they’re not overly salted and have a good flavor.” The mac ‘n cheese was a little milky and didn’t sport a crusty roof. Brad likes a hardtop on his mac ‘n cheese.
We all agreed the meats didn’t have as much smoke flavor as we like, but the sauces kicked up the heat and were good compliments.
Bottom line, we liked Dixie Q and loved Brittany.
Come on in and sit a spell.
Rating: Four Ribs*
2524 Caldwell Rd NE, Atlanta GA 30319
*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.