A couple days before we planned to be driving through Atlanta around dinner time, I asked Dustin at The Georgia Barbecue Hunt to recommend a good place for a quick stop. He suggested Heirloom Market. Our plans changed, and it looked like we would miss it, but in the end we decided to spend the night in Atlanta and were able to visit the next day for lunch. I'm glad it worked out, because this ended up being one of my favorite visits of the year.
This is a small place that shares a building with the convenience store next door. Seating choices are at the one table inside, a few stools along the counter running two sides of the room, or a couple chairs outside. We had a large group, so we fit in wherever we could- some of us eating family style alongside strangers, but staff and fellow diners both were super friendly. Here, you count yourself lucky just to have a seat.
Soon after we placed our order for a large combo of brisket, ribs and pulled pork, as well as a plate of wings, our meal appeared on the counter that separates the dining room from the kitchen.
Food was divided and passed, including our sides of thick cut fries, potato salad, collard greens and mac and cheese. All were good, showcasing Chefs Cody and Jiyeon's talents in combining Southern and Korean cuisines. Their minor variations made the sides exciting without straying too far from tried and true barbecue traditions. The creamy mac and cheese was by far the favorite. Meats were of course the star of the show, and none of them disappointed.
The chicken wings definitely had the most Korean influence. The tangy sauce complemented their smokiness for a good, if a little unusual starting point. Next I tried the brisket. The slices were fork tender and smoky with a nice crust. Large chunks of pulled pork went down easy, again well smoked and just the right amount of bark. It was great by itself, but I used this to sample the sauces. I liked best the table, a thick sweet sauce, and Hotlanta, which had more tomato and more heat. The ribs were a treat in themselves, their meaty insides covered by a generous layer of carmelized rub that could only be described as pig candy. They had a good amount of well-rendered fat that made them juicy and enhanced the flavor. Having the trifecta of hot flavorful meat juices, perfect smokiness and a complementary rub made these the best ribs I have eaten to date.
We left stuffed, with smoky fingers and smiles on our faces. I'm glad we didn't miss this, and neither should you if you're anywhere nearby. It's been along time coming, but I'm happy to give Heirloom my first 5 star rating-
FOOD RATING: 5 OF 5OVERALL RATING: 5 OF 5