Sunday, October 09, 2011

Southern Soul BBQ- St. Simons Island, GA

Probably the most famous of bbq joints I have visited and reviewed so far, Southern Soul has become somewhat of a legend in southeast Georgia after being featured on the show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in 2010. It burned down shortly after, but was quickly rebuilt and again open for business.

Passing by while heading to the beach on a sunny Saturday morning, we were teased by the scent of smoking meats that lingers around the mid-island traffic circle where Southern Soul is located. Our lunch plans were made well ahead of time, and after a morning of sun and fun we made our way back for a mid-day meal. While circling the building in search of a parking spot, we caught a glimpse of owner Harrison Sapp making his rounds between the array of smokers in front and back of the restaurant.

A long counter takes up most of the single dining room inside the 1940s era gas station, though there are several tables along the wall and to the left as you enter. There was a line to order but it moved quickly, giving us just enough time to study the menu board and decide what we were having.

Our hungry group of three shared a two meat combo of pulled pork and sliced brisket, plus the daily special, a rib sandwich combo which was four ribs, bread, fries and a drink. This gave me a good opportunity to sample a variety of meats. Our sides with the combo were collard greens and Brunswick Stew.

The ribs were the one disappointment of our meal. While they had OK flavor, they were barely warm and seemed a little undercooked. I imagine since this was their special and they had been extremely busy all lunch hour, they might of had a hard time keeping up with demand.

The pulled pork and brisket, by contrast, were shining examples of bbq perfection. Both had an incredible dark red smoke ring. Moist strands of pork pulled apart smoothly with a light stab of a fork and quickly disappeared. The brisket was also moist, and tender enough to be easily cut with the side of a fork. The light rub and oak smoke gave it a distinct flavor. Though I usually focus more on pork bbq, I have to say of the brisket I have tried this was absolutely far and away the best.

While the meats didn't really need any sauce, I did try them and they were all great, especially the Sweet Georgia Soul. Both it and the Hot Georgia Soul had intense flavors that worked well with all the meats. They were so good I ended up buying a bottle of hot to take home.

Even the sides were more than just an afterthought. The collard greens were good, but the Brunswick Stew was exceptional. This local dish is done perfectly here, a well spiced stew of meat, beans and other vegetables that could be a meal in itself.

Paired with an ice cold glass bottled Cheerwine from the cooler, this meal was an excellent addition and will rank high on my list of memorable bbq experiences. It is definitely not to be missed if you find yourself anywhere near the Golden Isles.


Southern Soul Barbeque on Urbanspoon


Wilfred Reinke aka @OshawaOgre said...

I really enjoyed your review. I visited Southern Soul Last February and your review reminded me of the good time I had there.

If you click on my name it will link you to the review that I did.

One of my favorite BBQ Joints for sure :)

Caleb said...

Thank You, I read your review when you visited and if was one of the reasons I decided to make the trip.

Happy to report I enjoyed it as much as you did!