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.
post edited by tfrielin - 2011/06/21 11:17:09