And no, they didn’t just release a new special menu item that is so F-ing delicious that I felt the story must be told.
I know that is usually the criteria for this section, but D.B.A is different. The improvement of this barbecue joint from day one to now is so vast, I couldn’t let it go unmentioned.
Part of the problem at the beginning was an unfair start, unable to use smokers due to city or landlord orders (not sure which one is the culprit) that caused a major disconnect with diners. That’s a lot like finding yourself in the boxing ring against a heavyweight with your hands tied behind your back.
And perhaps a little bit was a learning curve, trying to figure out barbecue at a larger scale.
But that was then and this is now. Today, D.B.A has two Southern Pride Smokers in the kitchen, and owner Matt Coggin has pulled off the single greatest turn around of a barbecue joint I’ve ever witnessed.
The item that has been most surprising to me is the smoked brisket. The most difficult item on any menu. The sandwich arrives chopped brisket unless you make a point of it to tell your server you want it sliced. Most places ask.
But that snafu is easy to forgive because the brisket is consistently smoky and tender with a nice bright purple ring, the kind of purple ring only a deep penetrating smoke can leave behind.
Pulled pork is about as good as you’ll find anywhere, and the ribs are worthy menu adversaries as well.
The one item that stood out to me when Coggin first opened D.B.A is still on the menu, a side of roasted, creamy grilled Texas creamed corn, studded with little bits of bacon.
A very oven-warm white cheese honey butter corn muffin might possibly be among the single greatest bites I’ve eaten all year. Something about it was so perfectly moist, so warm and so comforting to the soul. A single bite that proves to me this food is prepared by someone who is passionate, someone who cares, someone who loves food.
D.B.A Barbecue has come a long way over the past 5 years or so serving some of the best barbecue in Atlanta. And now that I’ve become a fan, I can’t wait to see where Coggin will take this place over the next 5 years.