Thursday, August 25, 2011

Best bargeque in Georgia

Dean's Barbeque, established 1947

Mr. Dean opened his barbeque joint in 1947. His son, Roger, kept the business going after Mr. Dean's death and Roger has recently retired, but his sons and nephews and nieces are keeping the Dean family business going. This is the heart of America.

This is one of our favorite places to eat. It looks like a hole in the wall, but... It is absolutely the very best barbeque in Georgia! Well, I think it's the best barbeque I've ever eaten.

Several years ago PBS filmed a special program on Georgia barbeque and Dean's was one of the featured establishments. You can always tell the tourists, because they are the ones with the cameras. We find that amusing.

They only serve pork barbeque, which is cooked over an open outside pit. There are only two left in the entire state of Georgia.

The small frame building with the "OPEN" sign in the window is the original structure. The pit was to the right, but open. When EPA laws kicked in they grandfathered in the establishments that had open air pits, thus allowing Mr. Dean to keep his open pit. The pit is now covered in the screened room to the right of the original building. At any given time you can see all those hams over the hot flames from the hickory wood fire.

When you enter Dean's you are always greeted with a friendly, "Hey, y'all, how are you doing today?" We are always asked, "Do you want your regular today?" As they are writing "2 sandwiches, 2 chips, Yahoo, Diet Coke. "That will be $10, please."

They do have barbeque plates available with an order of barbeque, cold slaw, pickles and a slab of white bread. Oh yes, they have homemade cake if you want dessert. Today I read the menu on the wall and I was looking at the beverages, which reads,

"Regular Tea"
"Yankee Tea"
"Mason/Dixon Tea"

I had never noticed the Mason/Dixon tea so I asked Barbara (the lady behind the counter taking an order from another regular customer) about it. She replied, "it's half sweet tea and half unsweetened tea." Mason/Dixon tea is what I order, when I drink tea, because they have really sweet tea. The pieces of cake on the counter are homemade peanut butter cake and chocolate cake. Yum.

You always see someone you know when you eat at Dean's. Everyone from lawyers, dentists, judges, vets, doctors, law enforcement officers, neighbors, pastors, teachers, local business owners, and many, many life-long residence of the area, all of which are frequent customers at Dean's. We have even encountered the owners of Chick-fil-A and their families enjoying the barbeque (you can't eat Chick-fil-A EVERY day). This is also a favorite place of NASCAR participants and fans.

Orders can be takeout, but you miss part of the experience by not eating in the dining area. This dining room was not part of the original 1947 structure, but was added in the late 1980s. Before the dining room was added there were picnic tables where you could eat under the huge oak trees, but if it was rainy or cold you ate in your car. I'm serious, in your car. The picnic tables are still there if you want to eat outside under those old oak trees.

There are only basic accoutrements on the simple tables in the dining area; napkins, hot sauce and their own homemade sauce. If you want a straw you get that at the counter when you place your order.

This is a very popular eating establishment for all the locals for miles around Jonesboro.

As you approach Dean's, this is what you see, the old buildings with the Dean's old home place in the background. This is certainly part of "modern" history for Jonesboro, GA.

Dean's Barbeque is located about a mile south of downtown Jonesboro on Highway 3. They are closed on Sunday and Monday.


Sadie said...

You can tell it's good by the number of cars in the parking lot.

NellJean said...

Thanks, Tee, for a little trip back in time. I've eaten Melears since I had Deans. Wish I could eat there again.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

This looks like a great place. I think the hole in the walls are the ones that know what real bbq is all about.

I love the old houses around Ga Tech. I bet your grandma's house was so cool. It's so pretty there. I just hope all the frat houses don't ruin them.

the jake said...

Wait a sec, you have pictures of the place so wouldn't that make you one of those tourists? HAHAHAHA! I miss you two crazy kids!

Tee and Hubby said...

Wouldn't we be exempt from being a tourist since we normally eat at Dean's once a week?