Location: 12635 Crabapple Rd. Suite 210, Milton, GA 30004 770-993-4227
Parking: Located in a mixed use residential development directly on Crabapple Rd. Plenty of parking available. Make sure to note the address as the restaurant can be a little tough to spot on your first trip. Milton restricts vendors ability to use roadside signage.
Sauces & Rubs: Recently,Grand Champion made their Kansas City and North Caroline sauces and Pork and Chicken rub available for purchase at their restaurants. My favorite is the traditional NC sauce. The Sow Dust is a complex pork rub with a nice heat to it and a sweet finish. The poultry rub is very different with a strong herbal flavor.
Service: Counter service. The Milton restaurant's food service area is built into an attractive butcher block counter. Customers are able to see their food as it is prepared. The front of house staff is very attentive, offering refills and picking up finished trays.
Cooking on: The very first thing customers see as they enter the restaurant is a shiny, new Southern Pride built into the wall behind the food service area. I really like the idea of putting the cooker right out in plain view as opposed to hidden out back in a smoke shack.
The Vibe: Grand Champion Milton feels very different than the Roswell location. Natural light floods the space. The room feels open and clean. Three picnic tables outside provide a great outside dining option. The walls are colorful and the blackboard menus are a great addition. The open kitchen gives a communal feel to the room. I really love the new restaurant. It feels like a great step forward in terms of conceptual development and brand maturation.
Our Selection for the Day: Owner Robert Owens put together a sampler plate that included pulled pork, brisket, sausage,and ribs. Our sides for the day were their award winning mac & cheese, collards, cole slaw, and bbq beans. Desert was the pear & cranberry pie pictured below. Everything was delicious.
Fun Fact - Daniel Vaughan, prominent BBQ blogger and soon-to-be author on Anthony Bourdain's new Ecco publishing imprint visited Grand Champion in Milton the same day I visited. Following him on Twitter that day, Daniel visited Dave Poe's, Fatt Mat's, and Grand Champion Milton and proclaimed GC's pulled pork to be the winner of the day with Poe's coming in a close second. Check out this instagram photo of what he got at GC. It looks like they really rolled out the red carpet.
Verdict - Grand Champion is a strong addition to the growing Milton dining scene. Food and service are consistent with their Roswell location which is no easy feat.