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Three bites: Smokin' Pig, York St. Deli
Smokin' Pig

Smokin' Pig BBQ

While waiting for new tires last week, I headed out with Ms. TJ to Richmond Hill to sample Smokin' Pig BBQ -- which came highly recommended by Sean at Goodyear. MY Jumbo Pulled Pork Sandwich was mildly smoky, moist and tender -- just my expectation when chowing down on the quintessential Southern sandwich. Sauce, correctly, is served on the side -- and I became enamored of the so-called "House:" sauce -- a mustard based red sauce that's simultaneously tangy and mildly sweet. My side of homemade potato salad was dead-on delicious. Breaking from regional tradition, this style was rich with egg yolks; the big hunks of tender white potato were loaded with flavor. Ms. TJ happily munched thorough a nicely creamy mac-n-cheese and a helping of the most traditionally prepared green beans I've had outside of my house.
I heard the phrase "banana pudding" uttered and went back for what turned out to be a shareable portion. Rich, soul-satisfying and chock full o' crispy vanilla wafers. It's well worth the drive and I can't wait to go back to sample the ribs.

3986 Highway 17 (I-95 and 17 next to Chu's Amoco)Delete - Merge Up/736-7850

York Street Deli

First, know two things: It is not on York Street and it's not a deli. It used to be both, but now this deli-turned-meat-and-three is virtually invisible on a spur orad off Ogeechee Road. Mapquest and Google maps has it placed incorrectly. Simply, go south on Ogeechee Road and take the first left past Tremont Avenue. What you'll find at this lunch joint is a steam table loaded with wonderfully homemade dishes that change daily. On my visit with a bunch of friends, I had shrimp Creole -- which was loaded with big, sweet shrimp, lots of tomatoes and seasoned with a savory trinity of onion, celery and carrot -- mirepoix. Sides of butter beans and an audaciously velvety helping of okra and onions hit the spot. But then, I heard it again: banana pudding. Same idea, different recipe than Smokin' Pig -- and equally decadent. Unlike the pudding heavy version at the BBQ joint, York Street Deli's take on this dessert is loaded with big slices of fresh banana. It's gotta be good for you, right! Hard to find, good for the soul -- I wish they were still downtown!

114 Horizon Park Dr./ 236-5195

Upcoming tastings...

I'll be on hand to talk about the beer pairings at a dinner Oct. 20, 6:30 p.m. at Sol, 1611 Habersham St. Six beers, five courses -- a nice variety of domestic craft beer, some of which are of very limited availability. "Spicy" is the theme of the menu being prepared by Sol's chef. $50 pp, call for more information or reservations, 232-1874. The talented painter Thomas Arvid will be guest of honor at a Nov. 6 wine dinner at 700 Drayton. Arvid is celebrated for this moody still life works that depict the world's great wines. This gourmet, seven-course dinner will be paired with wines from Duckhorn Vineyards of Napa Valley. 7 p.m., $125pp, call for reservations, 721-5002.