Sonny's Barbeque

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tfrielin
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2011/06/16 11:24:50 (permalink)

Sonny's Barbeque

Is it just my local Sonny's here in Athens or has Sonny's changed their recipie?
 
The beef brisket used to be sliced like you'd slice a loaf of bread. But lately here it comes in long strips with the blackening on the top. Doesn't even taste the same.
 
Has Sonny's done something here?  Or is it just my local? It's not as good as I used to get in Tallahassee.
 
#1

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    ces1948
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/16 17:39:26 (permalink)
    I really couldn't answer the question about beef brisket as I don't believe I've ever had it there. That said Sonny's who I used to recommend to anyone that would listen is now strictly a hit or miss proposition depending on the location. We have three locations within 15 miles of each other. 2 of the 3 I don't bother with any longer. I always seem to get a good meal at the one in Stuart, Fl. Kind of odd because I would bet all three are run by the same same franchisor. 
    #2
    Large Man
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/16 20:05:36 (permalink)
    The one in Athens has gone down hill as has the chain as a whole. I still do go there for lunch as my favorites, the Bar B Que Shack on the Eastside, Backstreet in Hartwell and Bar H in Royston are only open Thurs, Friday and Sat. Sometimes gotta have the bar b que fix on a Tues!
    #3
    smokestack lightning
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/17 01:46:02 (permalink)
    I eat at them sometimes when its the best or only choices and I ahve been at the one in Talahassie and I find them barely ok.
     
    #4
    tfrielin
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/17 12:38:24 (permalink)
    The best and most consistent Sonny's in Tallahassee is the one in Market Square. The other two (on Monroe and way down there on Appalachee Pkwy) are inconsistent.
     
    But are they serving the sliced beef the same way my local Athens Sonny's started doing--long thin strips, blackened on top--instead of the tried and true (and better tasting) sliced like a loaf of bread sliced?
     
    I can't believe Sonny's would make such a potentially disastorous change.
    #5
    tfrielin
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/17 12:42:40 (permalink)
    Large Man

    The one in Athens has gone down hill as has the chain as a whole. I still do go there for lunch as my favorites, the Bar B Que Shack on the Eastside, Backstreet in Hartwell and Bar H in Royston are only open Thurs, Friday and Sat. Sometimes gotta have the bar b que fix on a Tues!

     
    If this Sonny's doesn't improve, I'll just keep driving on past it to Bogart and have lunch at Fresh Air Barbeque---the best in Athens.
     
    It's just that I actually do (or did) like Sonny's. I never had a bad meal at my favorite one in Tallahassee--the Market Square location, our usual local until we moved up here.
     
    Guess I'll have to make an inspection trip next time I'm down in Tallahaassee again.
     
     
     
    #6
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/17 15:50:21 (permalink)
    The other year when coming back from a Roadfood meet-up in Daytona at the Brickyard, I had planned to pick up to-go BBQ at Tom Jenkin's BBQ in Ft. Lauderdale.  It turned out that they are closed on Sundays, so I detoured to Sonny's in Davie instead.  It was ok (mind you I am not a BBQ expert).  I don't know how it compares with the other locations, or to the past.  I will say that the staff was very friendly and efficient.  There's one about ten miles south of me, but I'd rather patronize some of the indies around here.
    #7
    phatphil
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/17 19:35:40 (permalink)
    the one here in royal palm beach florida certainly changed for the worse recently, the brisket is like fatty bacon strips with little meat, i actually took the top bun off when the waitress brought it to the table to make sure there was indeed meat on the sandwich, the salad bar was disgustingly dirty and i have thrown in the towel on this chain for good. some of them closed like in hollywood and a few other ft laud suburbs
    #8
    tfrielin
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/18 09:41:15 (permalink)
    Fatty bacon strips---that is a good description of the new, but not improvved Sonny's sliced beef barbeque offerings. Have they gone nuts? This new bbq is awful---not the good Sonny's I used to crave.
    #9
    tfrielin
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/18 09:57:46 (permalink)
    I guess the name change from "sliced beef" to "brisket" on their menu should have tipped me off that they've madee a change. The sliced pork looks the same though--maybe I'll have to switch to that?
    #10
    fishtaco
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/18 11:21:53 (permalink)
    I have always thought Sonn's as very average.
    #11
    seafarer john
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/18 12:02:08 (permalink)
    It is my understanding that each Sonny's does it's own smoking and that's why the inconsistency between outlets. 
    We've had Sonny's BBQ sliced pork in a number of locations  in Florida (never thought to try the beef) and some have been very good and some have been close to awful. The only thing that is consistent seems to be the roll and the choice of sauces - and we've always had a good ice tea there.
     
    Cheers, John  
    #12
    tfrielin
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/19 16:04:53 (permalink)
    I posted my complaint and question to Sonny's website and got this answer---they have changed cuts of beef and it's just not the same. End of an era, I guess.
    #13
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/20 12:37:47 (permalink)
    So what did Sonny's beef change to?  Chuck/shoulder clod?  Or did they just tell you it was a different cut without going into specifics?
     
    Brad
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    MiamiDon
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/20 12:52:37 (permalink)
    They now offer "Sliced Brisket" and "Pulled Brisket" at the ones near me.  I don't know what it was before.
    #15
    phatphil
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/20 13:16:04 (permalink)
    and it takes alot of pullin lol
    #16
    Heartbreaksoup
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/20 15:19:28 (permalink)
    Not to sound like too much of a pretentious so-n-so, but I'm pretty sure that you good folk in Athens will find The Butt Hutt and Jot Em Down keep comparable hours to Sonny's and turn out a considerably superior plate of barbecue.  Have you tried them?
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    joerogo
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/20 15:43:18 (permalink)
    tfrielin

    I posted my complaint and question to Sonny's website and got this answer---they have changed cuts of beef and it's just not the same. End of an era, I guess.

     
    tfrielin, Because Sonny's is one of my go to places in Orlando, I emailed the company also.  No reply....yet.
    #18
    tfrielin
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/21 09:44:05 (permalink)
    joerogo

    tfrielin

    I posted my complaint and question to Sonny's website and got this answer---they have changed cuts of beef and it's just not the same. End of an era, I guess.


    tfrielin, Because Sonny's is one of my go to places in Orlando, I emailed the company also.  No reply....yet.

     
    Here is the reply I got from Sonny's---they have changed the cut of meaat on the beef and it is no longer as good as the old sliced beef:
     

    Mr. Frieling,
                    Thank you for taking the time to write to me about your recent visit to my Athens location. About a year and a half ago we changed the type of beef we use from a beef eye-round to a dry rubbed beef brisket. You are certainly correct that the two meats are not remotely similar. I have had a great many compliments on the brisket, but I have also had some complaints from the guests that were used to the eye-rounds. At this time there are no plans to bring back the eye-rounds. I will send you a card good for a free meal so you can give the brisket one more chance, or switch to a different meat that you might enjoy more.
                      Thank you again for taking the time to inform me of your concerns.
    #19
    tfrielin
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/21 09:59:14 (permalink)
    Heartbreaksoup

    Not to sound like too much of a pretentious so-n-so, but I'm pretty sure that you good folk in Athens will find The Butt Hutt and Jot Em Down keep comparable hours to Sonny's and turn out a considerably superior plate of barbecue.  Have you tried them?

     
     
    I'm not a big fan of Jot 'em Down, but admit I haven't been there since they moved to their current location.
     
    Butt Hut is good, especially their ribs.  Sides aren't great though except maybe the cole slaw. 
     
    Best local barbeque in Athens is Fresh Air.
     
    But, you know I always liked Sonny's.  For a chain it turned out pretty decent barbeque and I always liked the sliced beef over the pork. Plus sides were good and vegetarian wife could eat at salad bar or get the catfish. 
     
    But I guess now I have no alternative to switching to the pork or just abandoing Sonny's.
     
    Why do chains have to decline like this? Sigh...
    #20
    ces1948
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/21 10:51:42 (permalink)
    It's sounds like Sonny's is trying to stay with "it" in the BBQ world by serving brisket. I was and still am to some degree a big Sonny's fan and have eaten there I couldn't tell how many times over the years. You know it never occurred to me that they served BBQ beef. I have had a burger and and steak there a few times. Do many traditional southern BBQ places serve beef?
    #21
    tfrielin
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/21 11:13:21 (permalink)
    ces1948

    It's sounds like Sonny's is trying to stay with "it" in the BBQ world by serving brisket. I was and still am to some degree a big Sonny's fan and have eaten there I couldn't tell how many times over the years. You know it never occurred to me that they served BBQ beef. I have had a burger and and steak there a few times. Do many traditional southern BBQ places serve beef?

     
    My experience is mostly Georgia and Alabama.
    Barbeque beef is rare--pulled or chopped pork is the rule. Fresh Air here in Athens--all pork or chicken. Old Clinton Barbeque down the road in Gray is chopped pork but also turkey and chicken. Plus ribs. No beef. Also Brunswick Stew.
     
    That said, when I lived in Bainbridge, GA in South GA there were two short-lived places that served wonderful barbeque beef in the manner of (the erstwhile) Sonny's sliced beef.  One was on the Hwy 97 south--a place that has had many, many incarnations. In the early '80s it was Country Boy's run by one James Taylor. He served huge heaping plates of sliced beef. Sometimes he'd parade around the restaurant with the beef right out of the smoker and boy did that look good. Doubt I could handle the size of those servings today. But sadly, at some point he cashed it in and that golden era of barbeque ended.
     
    Then some years later in the '90s a Black man opened a hole in the wall barbeque place at the foot of the bridge going to West Bainbridge, near Elbverta Crate Co. He also served huge servings of sliced beef that he'd carve up right in front of you. Man, did I keep that guy in business that wonderful summer. But then one day I pulled up and he was packing the place up. Aghast I asked what he was doing and he said the Lord called him back to the ministry. Never saw him again. I thought the barbeque was doing the lord's work, but I could not convince him of that.
     
    Good times...
     
     
     
     
    post edited by tfrielin - 2011/06/21 11:17:09
    #22
    Heartbreaksoup
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/21 15:32:13 (permalink)
    tfrielin
    Butt Hut is good, especially their ribs.  Sides aren't great though except maybe the cole slaw. 

    Best local barbeque in Athens is Fresh Air.

     
    I'll grant you that Butt Hutt's sides are less than they could be, but that chicken mull that they serve makes a genuinely terrific side.  I've stopped in on my way out of town for a cup of that.
     
    Fresh Air's not at all bad.  Haven't tried Harry's yet.  Of course, the best BBQ is all twenty or so miles away from Athens: Bill's, Zeb's, Paul's and Hot Thomas.  Not really convenient for a lunch hour, and most are closed M-T-Ws.  Paul's, of course, is closed M-T-W-T-F and Sun.
    #23
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/21 16:16:46 (permalink)
    I had to look up chicken mull.  Evidently it's a NE Georgia specialty.
     
    http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-3394
    #24
    tfrielin
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/21 17:47:35 (permalink)
    Heartbreaksoup

    tfrielin
    Butt Hut is good, especially their ribs.  Sides aren't great though except maybe the cole slaw. 

    Best local barbeque in Athens is Fresh Air.


    I'll grant you that Butt Hutt's sides are less than they could be, but that chicken mull that they serve makes a genuinely terrific side.  I've stopped in on my way out of town for a cup of that.

    Fresh Air's not at all bad.  Haven't tried Harry's yet.  Of course, the best BBQ is all twenty or so miles away from Athens: Bill's, Zeb's, Paul's and Hot Thomas.  Not really convenient for a lunch hour, and most are closed M-T-Ws.  Paul's, of course, is closed M-T-W-T-F and Sun.


    I've been recommended both Zeb's and Paul's as exemplars of local barbeque, but haven't tried them yet--sort of out of the way I'm led to believe.
     
    And if by Harry's you mean Harry's Pig Shack---forget it. It is not worth a visit.

    Yeah, that mull substance is a north GA speciality. Haven't tried it either.
     
     
    post edited by tfrielin - 2011/06/21 18:48:27
    #25
    Large Man
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    Re:Sonny's Barbeque 2011/06/21 23:12:45 (permalink)
    Fresh Air in Jackson seems better to me than the Athens location.  Jot Em Down is ok.  Zebs isn't as good as it was 15 years ago.  The places the Hart's run in N Ga are  pretty good.   Mull is fabulous on a cool fall day.  I love to get pork in the southeast but if you love beef ( as your post leads me to believe) , I hafta admit the best I've ever had was in Texas.  They do a good job with it out there. 
     
    #26
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