Smokin' Gold BBQ

Frequent listeners to the radio show I do on WSB Radio will be familiar with the segment we do call "Restaurant Matchmaking" where we get calls from listeners who tip us off to great spots around town that aren't always on the food critics' radars. One such place is Smokin' Gold BBQ located in Lilburn. So, I gassed up the car and headed up I-85 and you know what? Sure enough, I struck gold.

Daniel and Laurie Dieterle are husband and wife team who started years ago in Dahlonega entering BBQ competitions as a thing lead to another and now you can enjoy their award-winning barbeque in a little red barn-looking joint on Lawrenceville Highway near Tucker. Their menu declares their mission is "to give a delightful BBQ experience that you will enjoy and tell your friends and family about."That's what I am here to do!

Like most Georgia BBQ, there is no specific style but rather a mix of all the best ones:Texas brisket, some sauces from the Carolinas, Chicago-style rib tips and Kansas City burnt ends.All the meats I tried were spot on and hardly needed sauces but for me, the stand out was the burnt ends.Fairly unusual here in the Atlanta metro, burnt ends come from the "point" half of a smoked brisket and are discarded by many chefs.The ones that know what they are doing turn this into the best piece of meat on the cow in my opinion.Done right they are smokey, crunchy and caramelized into what they call "bark" on the outside. Daniel offers large cubes of the meat with gorgeous bark every Friday and right now this is my blue ribbon for burnt ends in the city and absolutely worth a drive from anywhere.

Also, every side dish I tried was top-tier-from the vinegary collard greens to the creamy mac-n-cheese to the corn casserole that could stand in for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert in one bite.

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