Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q, Douglasville, Georgia

Nancy and I recently went down to Birmingham for Sammy Horwitz’s bat mitzvah.  We decided to fly to Atlanta and rent a car, which saved us some money and, more important, gave me the opportunity to try another barbecue place.  My limited research — I was looking for a place that cooks exclusively with wood — led us to Williamson Bros. in Douglasville, which had the advantage of being situated just off I-20.

Willamson Bros. is a big newish place that welcomes you with smoke pouring out of the chimney.  The interior features lots of stained wood, hunting and fishing trophies, and western gear — saddles and the like.  It’s a pleasant space, and the service is quick and friendly.

And they cook over wood.

wmson bros fire

Pork shoulders.

wmson bros butts

Sorry for the lighting on that one.

We had arrived at about 2:30, and we ordered promptly.  I opted for the two-meat combination — pork and ribs,

wmson bros j plate

with collards and black eye peas, and asked for the sauce on the side.

wmson bros j sides

Nancy ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with sautéed onions and green peppers,

wmson beos n plate

with cole slaw and potato salad.  Nancy also asked for the sauce on the side.

wmson bros salads

The food arrived promptly, and, as you can see, the portions are generous. I dug into the pork.  Chopped fine and left to sit for too long, it was dry and unappealing.  I tested the sauce on it, but it didn’t seem to help.  (They should follow the Eastern North Carolina practice of tossing the fine chop with some vinegar and pepper.  It works beautifully.)

The ribs, though — those three big meaty ribs — had an excellent smoke and pork flavor.  They’re nicely al dente, not tough, but you know you’re sinking your teeth into real meat.  They were a meal in themselves, enough so that I didn’t feel like fooling around trying to doctor the pork.  I ate them without sauce.  They didn’t need it and the sauces weren’t to my taste.  I tested the Original — sweetish and thick, but not badly spoiled.  I skipped the Honey.  Their hot sauce is vinegar-heavy, much like Crystal.  The big bottle of roughly ground black pepper is interesting, isn’t it?  I didn’t try any.

wmson brios sauces

Nancy liked her chicken a lot.  She reported that it was tender and juicy, and the peppers and onions set it off nicely.  The sauce that came with it was interesting.  It had a good bit of worcestershire sauce, and went well with the chicken.

The sides were … average.  Not bad, nothing to write home about.

Would I go back?  For the ribs, yes.  And they have some pies that really spoke to me … on my way out, alas.


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