Location: 4427 Towne Lake Drive, Woodstock, GA - 770.924.9491 - website
Parking: Located in a Publix Shopping Center. Plenty of parking.
Menu: Bar-B-Cutie Menu
Style: Hard to pin down. Probably best described as corporate. Reminded me of Shane's Rib Shack.
Sauces: Three vaguely Kansas City style sauces - Mild, Sweet, and Spicy.
Service: Counter service with meals delivered to table. Drink station and refills are DIY.
Cooking on: Couldn't tell. Cooker not visible from dining room and didn't see one out back.
Backstory: First location opened in Nashville, TN in 1950. Over the next 40 years the location grew into a 300 seat restaurant. Bar-B-Cutie began franchising in 2004. The website lists a total of 17 locations in Tennesse, Ohio, Texas, Georgia and.... three locations in Valencia, Spain???
Our Selection for the Day: Chopped pork platter with cole slaw, mac-n-cheese, BBQ bread. Sliced brisket platter with brunswick stew, potato salad, and BBQ bread. Two kid servings of chicken fingers and fries. The kids weren't feeling the BBQ love this day.
Bar-B-Cutie is a clean, family-friendly restaurant decorated with a hard accent on pig memorabilia and Americana. The staff was very friendly and attentive. As far as the mechanics of front of house, Bar-B-Cutie gets an A. The sense that I got from our lunch was that this was a great place to bring the family for a meal. What seemed to be missing was a personal flair. Another thing that I noticed was missing was a smokey aroma. When I go out to eat BBQ, I want to be knocked over by the smell of smoke when I walk in the door. Much like Shane's, smoke seems to be an afterthought instead of the prime focus.
Our food arrived pretty quickly and our server warned the kids that their chicken fingers were hot. Surveying the four plates in front of us, the kids fried baskets looked the most appetizing -fresh from the fryer. The pork and brisket had that grayish color and lack of smoke ring that seems to be common to most franchise BBQ. There was no discernable bark on either the pork or the beef and little to no smoke smell or flavor. My brisket was dry and the pork was mushy like it had been held in a steam table. The brunswick stew was interestingly odd. I'm not sure how Nashville likes their stew, but I would call this stuff vegetable soup. There was not much meat and a whole bunch of veg that I'm not used to seeing in stew. The broth was mild without any hint of smoke or spice. The rest of the sides were lackluster. Everybody tried them and pretty much left them alone after the first bite. All of this said, I recognize that a lot of people out there really like this kind of food. The success of Sonny's, Shane's, Famous Dave's all point to the enormous market of people that enjoy this style of cooking. And for what it is, Bar-B-Cutie does a damn good job of presenting it in a clean and welcoming environment.
from back to front - mild, sweet, spicy
Each table comes with a six-pack style holder with the 3 sauces, ketchup and regular hot sauce. It's a nice presentation. I couldn't discern much differrence between the mild and sweet sauce. They reminded me of store bought Bullseye style sauce. The hot BBQ sauce had a nice back heat but didn't really differ from the mild and sweet except for the heat. A NC style vinegar sauce would have been a welcome addition to the six pack.