After my extended weekend in Houston, I was back on the road two days later. This time I was driving to Atlanta and catching a plane to D.C. I know that driving six hours to catch a flight sounds odd, but I really despise the puddle jumper from Jackson to Atlanta, also I can have dinner in Atlanta.
At the suggestion of my sister and her boyfriend Aaron, I made my way up 400 to Roswell, Georgia for barbeque at Swallow in the Hollow.
Marketing itself as a barbeque restaurant/country music with a motto of “if you can make it homemade, you do make it homemade”, it didn’t help the Swallow that I was already skeptical of Atlanta area barbeque. The skepticism having come from Fat Matt’s on Piedmont Ave where the idea of good ribs are poor slabs that have been boiled and finished off on the grill.
Regardless of past experiences, Swallow in the Hollow was a fresh start for me and Atlanta barbeque. After being seated a few feet from the stage, I noticed that Swallow has some nice homely touches. Instead of traditional pneumatic door closers, each door was closed by either a weight & pulley system or simple bungee cords. The canoe full of beer at the bar wasn’t a bad touch either.
Enough background and atmosphere, it’s time to get to the important thing, the meat.
The first thing I’d like to point out is that my order of sausage is conspicuously absent. When the waitress told me that they were out of sausage, I was disheartened, but I soldiered on. Instead here is a full slab of baby back ribs with sides of mac & cheese and Brunswick stew.
Taking a good look at an individual rib, I can’t see any evidence of smoke penetration, and there was no hint of hickory smoke or any smoke at all. Oddly enough, the ends of the rack were moist, tender, and literally fell off the bone, however the middle was tough and a little dried out. I’m not sure how they managed to do that, but it’s a trick they shouldn’t repeat.
Moving on to the sides, I’ll start with the macaroni & cheese.
Standard fare here, it was nothing to get excited about.
Brunswick stew is always a mystery to me, and the version from Swallow at the Hollow was no exception.
There is no set recipe for it, and it just seems to be a tomato based soup with some veggies & meat thrown in for good measure. The version here wasn’t too bad, a little too watery and miles different from the version I would have at Martin’s in Georgetown.
The three bean baked beans,
Just ignore them and move on.
It may seem like I’m being unfair to the poor little Swallow in the Hollow, but I’ll be the first to admit that it is miles better than Fat Matt’s, in fact, I’d even come back to Swallow just to try the sausage. Before I forget, there was one thing that Swallow did expertly
The biscuits, seen here perched on rack of ribs, are like homemade versions of Popeye’s biscuits. More than a little greasy, you know you’ll pay for these biscuits later in life, but you just don’t care.