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 The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers!

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ULVER

  • Total Posts: 226
  • Joined: 8/22/2003
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Fri, 07/10/09 6:33 PM (permalink)
Who woulda thunk!?!
 
 This was my first dine-in at Williamson Bros. BBQ in Marrietta. Several times before, I had obtained take-out, and was extremely happy with both the pulled pork and Brunswick stew.
 
The dine-in experience started off nicely enough, as the restaurant has an authentic, "homey" Southern feel to it. The huge woodpile out front, has always been reassuring.
 
A friendly young gal arrived after several minutes, and took our drink order. Sweet tea for me, but dear ol' mom asked for coffee. Several more minutes passed, which I attributed to making a fresh pot. Not so, as I learned later.
 
Anyway, tea arrives and so does the coffee. Complete with a nice lipstick smudge!The waitress was off and running, before we could bring it to her attention. We put a napkin to work, and didn't even mention it, when our waitress returned for our order---several more minutes later.
 
Mom had a pulled pork sandwich with potato salad, and I tried the pork plate with cole slaw and Brunswick stew.
 
Shortly, mom had her potato salad in front of her, and I had my cole slaw. The sandwich, pork plate, and Brunswick stew were M.I.A.
 

 
After several more minutes had passed, and the hot items were nowhere to be found, I decided to try my cole slaw, which of course was getting warmer by the minute. Looking for the pepper, I found a huge container, with an opening a small rock could pass through. How one is suppose to apply said pepper, is somewhat baffling. I had to wipe off my tea spoon, and carefully sprinkle as best I could.
 

 
Finally, the sandwich and the pork plate arrived. My pork was swimming in a house sauce, that I did not request to be applied. There was a house hot sauce sitting on the table, that I had planned to use. If the menu advised that the plates came in this fashion, I could have ordered it dry. The plate was definately heavier on sauce than meat, too.
 

 
Going from bad to worse, was the "stew." Make that soup! A thin, watery, thimble-sized portion that was nothing like the smokey goodness, I was taken home several times past.
 

 
I literally ate two bites of pork, and asked for the check. Mom was ready to go, as well. The waitress cleared the table of basically untouched food, but didn't inquire if there was a problem.
 
After paying, I was just going to leave, but literally ran into the manager on the way out the door. I asked for nothing but an explanation on several things.
 
First, I was told the lipstick smudge happens from time to time, as it is maybe the hardest substance to purge during cleaning. The magnum-sized pepper container, sans a shaker-top, was something the owners had decided on. Same with bringing cold sides out first, and all hot items out later.  This why there was such a lag in receiving drinks, placing an order, and receiving the food. The wait staff have to multi-task, including rounding up the cold sides, while the kitchen prepares the hot items.
 
I'm still shaking my head over that one... I personally care for my meal to be served as one course, thank you very much.
 
She also could not explain, why they offer several sauces, but the plates arrive with the basic variety, and in an amount that seems excessive to me. As for the stew being thin and tasteless, she suggested that maybe the cook, had watered the mix down too much, on this batch.
 
She was cordial. She was concerned. She insisted on giving me a gift certificate to cover the full expense.
 
I will give Williamson Bros. another dine-in chance. However, after this fiasco, Harold's (reviewed on this site) is firmly in first-place, when it comes to Atlanta dine-in Q.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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#1
    rumaki

    • Total Posts: 967
    • Joined: 3/1/2008
    • Location: Minneapolis, MN
    Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Mon, 07/13/09 9:51 AM (permalink)
    Interesting report, but I'm not clear why it was a "terrifying" experience.  I thought you were going to say you found a dead mouse or razor blades in your food, or something.
     
    #2
      The Travelin Man

      • Total Posts: 3698
      • Joined: 3/25/2003
      • Location: Central FL
      Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Mon, 07/13/09 10:55 AM (permalink)
      Wow!  That is terrifying.
       
      #3
        Born in OKC

        • Total Posts: 428
        • Joined: 4/11/2005
        • Location: atlanta, GA
        Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Mon, 07/13/09 9:47 PM (permalink)
        I've had better luck at that Williamson's in times past, but my preference for GA style BBQ would be Harold's at present (love that cracklin' cornbread) and Dreamland, the Alabama import is better still.  Fat Matt's is good but you will find the ribs could have been trimmed.   Not just trimmed better, but trimmed as in trimmmed at all.

        For Texas style BBQ you might try One Star Ranch but their meat is generally not smoked enough to really be called Texas style. 
        Stay away from the  S -  places:  Shanes, Slope's, Sonny's, and Swallow in the Hollow is not much better. 

         
        #4
          wanderingjew

          • Total Posts: 7386
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          • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
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          Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Mon, 07/13/09 10:19 PM (permalink)
          Born in OKC


          I've had better luck at that Williamson's in times past, but my preference for GA style BBQ would be Harold's at present (love that cracklin' cornbread) and Dreamland, the Alabama import is better still.  Fat Matt's is good but you will find the ribs could have been trimmed.   Not just trimmed better, but trimmed as in trimmmed at all.

          For Texas style BBQ you might try One Star Ranch but their meat is generally not smoked enough to really be called Texas style. 
          Stay away from the  S -  places:  Shanes, Slope's, Sonny's, and Swallow in the Hollow is not much better. 



          I'll admit that sometimes I may not enjoy a restaurant as much as others, and vice versa, but the only thing I almost ended up with at Harolds was food poisoning. I never tasted anything so RANCID in my entire life. I have to impore  others to STAY AWAY!! Oh yes, their brunswick stew and cracklin cornbread was really good. The BBQ sauce if thats what you want to call it, tasted like diluded ketchup.

           
          #5
            Born in OKC

            • Total Posts: 428
            • Joined: 4/11/2005
            • Location: atlanta, GA
            Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Tue, 07/14/09 12:20 AM (permalink)
            wanderingjew said:

            I'll admit that sometimes I may not enjoy a restaurant as much as others, and vice versa, but the only thing I almost ended up with at Harolds was food poisoning. I never tasted anything so RANCID in my entire life. I have to impore  others to STAY AWAY!! Oh yes, their brunswick stew and cracklin cornbread was really good. The BBQ sauce if thats what you want to call it, tasted like diluded ketchup.

            Well, to each his own although the original location of Harold's, located as it is between the Federal Pen and the Stadium should be visited one just for the location.  So far as their Brunswick Stew is concerned, one of the ingredients is, or used to be, the bones from wich the meat has been cut to serve BBQ.  Seems an obvious idea but I don't know how many places do it.

            The suth side location of Harol's has closed, SFAIK.
             
            #6
              HollyDolly

              • Total Posts: 1065
              • Joined: 1/18/2006
              • Location: Schertz, TX
              Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Wed, 07/15/09 12:26 PM (permalink)
              I don't know about southern bbq, having never eaten at these places, and while I know there are lousy places where I am, I still think us Texans do the best Q, period.
               
              #7
                Born in OKC

                • Total Posts: 428
                • Joined: 4/11/2005
                • Location: atlanta, GA
                Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Wed, 07/15/09 2:03 PM (permalink)
                HollyDolly


                I don't know about southern bbq, having never eaten at these places, and while I know there are lousy places where I am, I still think us Texans do the best Q, period.

                 
                You won't get an argument from me.
                 
                I grew up in Dallas and still prefer Texas or at least Southwestern style BBQ although I have been in Georgia forty years. We almost surely eat BBQ at least once when we visit Texas.   Having said that, the local product with emphasis on pork can be good but it takes some getting used to (the style is quite different and beef and sausage are hard to find) as does Brunswick stew which can also be good. 
                 
                One of my friends here is a member of a BBQ team that has consistently  done very well in Memphis and at other competitions. They make good BBQ, period, and hang the differences!   My youngest daughter-in-law is from Alabama and her father also makes good BBQ, different from Texas but within the parameters for Southeastern BBQ.  IIRC the Williamson family, whose Atlanta operation was panned at the start of this thread are neighbors of her family.
                 
                Dean's is still another good local BBQ place and one with a very traditional product.  IMO their Brunswick stew is about as easy to like as any.
                 
                One thing, if you are in this part of the country, Big Bob Gibson's in North Alabama is worth driving out of your way for and Dreamland, mentioned above, is much the same.
                 
                A bad recent experience I had locally was at a place with steamed broccoli on the menu.   Should have walked when I saw that.
                 
                 
                 
                #8
                  Heartbreaksoup

                  • Total Posts: 407
                  • Joined: 10/13/2009
                  • Location: Atlanta, GA
                  Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Tue, 10/13/09 10:02 AM (permalink)
                  I've eaten at Williamson Bros. many times, and never had an experience anything like this.  However, the stew is incredibly hit-and-miss.

                  Big Shanty Smokehouse is my favorite in the area, and I also like Bar-B-Cutie in Woodstock.
                   
                  #9
                    chewingthefat

                    • Total Posts: 6097
                    • Joined: 11/22/2007
                    • Location: Emmitsburg, Md.
                    Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Tue, 10/13/09 11:25 AM (permalink)
                    The explination that the cold food comes out first while the hot food is prepared is laughable. Hey, it's a BBQ, everything Q wise smoked the night before or should be, and held, it takes about 45 seconds to put up any order for 2.
                     
                    #10
                      Michael Hoffman

                      • Total Posts: 17837
                      • Joined: 7/1/2000
                      • Location: Gahanna, OH
                      Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Tue, 10/13/09 1:35 PM (permalink)
                      As if you had any experience with that sort of thing.
                       
                      #11
                        saps

                        • Total Posts: 1551
                        • Joined: 8/18/2003
                        • Location: wheaton, IL
                        Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Tue, 10/13/09 2:00 PM (permalink)
                        How were the portions?
                         
                        #12
                          chewingthefat

                          • Total Posts: 6097
                          • Joined: 11/22/2007
                          • Location: Emmitsburg, Md.
                          Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Tue, 10/13/09 5:33 PM (permalink)
                          Michael Hoffman


                          As if you had any experience with that sort of thing.

                          I've dabbled here and there!
                           
                          #13
                            jojofez

                            • Total Posts: 5
                            • Joined: 8/15/2007
                            • Location: Marietta, GA
                            Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Wed, 10/28/09 11:34 AM (permalink)
                            I'm not a Williamson fan AT ALL.  Best in the area is BBQ-1 on Lower Roswell.  For dine-in, I like Spiced Right in Roswell Friday and Saturday nights (live blues!). 
                             
                            #14
                              ULVER

                              • Total Posts: 226
                              • Joined: 8/22/2003
                              • Location: Atlanta, GA
                              Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Mon, 01/18/10 7:37 PM (permalink)
                              saps


                              How were the portions?

                               The portions were nothing special size wise.  For the $$$, the actual BBQ was less than I receive at Harold's (reviewed on this site FYI).
                               
                               
                              #15
                                happyfoodie

                                • Total Posts: 4
                                • Joined: 1/20/2010
                                • Location: Los Angeles, CA
                                Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Tue, 01/26/10 2:41 PM (permalink)
                                Man that review made me sick to my stomach :(  I wouldn't have even accepted the gift card!  I wouldn't want to go back to the place after an experience like that...bleh :(
                                 
                                #16
                                  ULVER

                                  • Total Posts: 226
                                  • Joined: 8/22/2003
                                  • Location: Atlanta, GA
                                  Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Fri, 02/26/10 8:07 PM (permalink)
                                  I actually never used the gift card. That trip was THAT much of a turn-off.
                                   
                                  I did happen by "Old South" BBQ up that way. It was real busy and I was short on time, but it looked like a BBQ joint should. I plan on giving it a try.
                                   
                                  Anyone been there>?
                                   
                                  #17
                                    DoctorDan

                                    • Total Posts: 56
                                    • Joined: 4/29/2006
                                    • Location: Marietta, GA
                                    Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Sat, 02/27/10 9:03 AM (permalink)
                                    Yes, you should try Old South. They have been serving some of the best BBQ in the greater
                                    Atlanta area for over 20 years. It's close to my home, so it is always my "go to" place for BBQ. Great sliced pork sandwiches and ribs that are large and delicious.
                                    Doctor Dan
                                     
                                    #18
                                      Heartbreaksoup

                                      • Total Posts: 407
                                      • Joined: 10/13/2009
                                      • Location: Atlanta, GA
                                      Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Mon, 03/15/10 1:36 PM (permalink)
                                      Williamson Bros must have changed its stew recipe.  As mentioned above, it has always been hit and miss, but my wife brought me a bowl home after a dinner party there last week, and I swear the base was watered-down ketchup.  It genuinely was revolting, and I don't think I'll bother with them again!
                                       
                                      #19
                                        ULVER

                                        • Total Posts: 226
                                        • Joined: 8/22/2003
                                        • Location: Atlanta, GA
                                        Re:The Georgia BBQ Massacre: Terrifying Experience @ Williamson Brothers! Mon, 03/15/10 3:29 PM (permalink)
                                        DoctorDan


                                        Yes, you should try Old South. They have been serving some of the best BBQ in the greater
                                        Atlanta area for over 20 years. It's close to my home, so it is always my "go to" place for BBQ. Great sliced pork sandwiches and ribs that are large and delicious.
                                        Doctor Dan

                                         
                                        I plan to give it a try. How would you rate their sides? I always have to try a BBQ joint's stew. Harold's is my favorite. Especially with the cracklin' cornbread! A lost art!
                                         
                                        Also, have you had the potato salad and cole slaw? If they are out of a store-bought tub, I would pass. Anything homemade makes me happy.

                                         
                                        #20
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