Thursday, December 1, 2011

Heirloom Market BBQ, Richie Eats Too

This blog is titled "Richie Cooks," but it should be acknowledged that what I cook, I also eat. From time to time, I tend to eat things I do not cook as well. I feel that I must share with the world my discovery of Heirloom Market BBQ.

This local business is a short distance from where I live, and thank goodness. I first discovered this establishment about two weeks ago. I was intent on finding a place close to me that served good food outside of the norm. I found Heirloom on my phone, and minutes later my roommate said to me, "Have you ever heard of Heirloom barbecue?"

Turns out, I had only 5 minutes earlier. Taking this occurrence as a sign from the gods of local food, I decided I had to go. My girlfriend and I went a few hours later, and I proclaimed at the one communal table there that I had eaten the best mac n' cheese of my life. And I certainly had. I would have missed the place if I hadn't been paying attention.

This wonderful local business is nondescript, and that is part of its charm. It is connected to a convenience store off Aker's Mill, and you would probably expect it to be more visible, knowing its reputation in the area.

 All that said, I must express my new found love of Heirloom Market barbecue. I am a big barbecue lover, and I've tried a few places around my area. So far, nothing compares to Heirloom. They have all kinds of different BBQ and sauces. In the great debate of the "best" kind of regional BBQ, you can pick your poison at Heirloom. They have an array of different sauces and cuts, and you are welcome to make your own best combination.

When I tried their pulled pork sandwich for the first time, I ended up combining their Carolina and Memphis sauces together. Another acclaimed BBQ place off of Lower Roswell and Johnson Ferry Road (BBQ One) simply did not impress me. I heard of this particular place for years, used to work at a restaurant down the street from it, and when I finally tried it about a month ago, I found nothing to write home about. Moreover, their popular mac n' cheese was nearly tasteless and bland. On the other hand, at Heirloom, upon my first and second visit, I was throughly impressed.

The first time, I had their pulled pork sandwich and mac n' cheese. Today, I had the Wednesday special of Korean Fried Chicken with the same mac n' cheese side. I've heard so much about the greatness of Korean fried chicken, and I decided today that I had to try it. It was great. The skin was crispy and the chicken moist. The sauce was great as well and seemed to get spicier as I went. Their mac n' cheese is so incredibly good that I went home with a pint of it and had some more with dinner. An employee at Heirloom told me that they do not bake their mac n' cheese, digressing from many conventional recipes for such a dish.

Even with their departure from the most traditional recipes for this side, I could eat the stuff with just about anything or just by itself. Overall, whether its their sides or their main BBQ dishes, Heirloom has it down to an art and science. There's something great about sharing a meal with someone else across a large table and talking about how great the food is. Regulars and newcomers alike, Heirloom satisfies them all.

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