Dish of the week: St. Louis Pork Ribs at Dixie Q
In the last year or so, smoke signals have been rising from points all over Atlanta as more contenders enter the barbecue scene. There are indie newcomers like B’s Cracklin BBQ in Riverside , Hattie Marie’s in College Park and Loyal Q and Brew in East Cobb , along with the arrival of out-of-state chains such as City Barbecue and 4 Rivers Smokehouse .
We can argue all day over who makes the best ‘cue in these parts , but if we’re going to dive deeper into specific meaty offerings, newly opened Dixie Q in Brookhaven merits a mention for its St. Louis Pork Ribs.
It starts with the style of cut, in which tougher cartilage and excess flap-meat are trimmed away, resulting in a rack of ribs that’s uniform in shape and that offers a “good consistency of meat to bone ratio,” said Dixie Q chef-owner Scott Serpas, also the owner of Serpas True Food who has turned pitmaster at his new place.
Next, there’s the cooking process. The ribs spend between three and a half to four hours in the smoker, plenty of time for hickory and oak to impart woody notes and for that rub – a mix of salt and pepper, garlic onion powder, celery salt and a bit of chiles – to lock in the flavor.
The end result: bark that’s beautiful to behold and meat that’s satisfying to sink your teeth into as you encounter a satisfying slight tug, a reminder that fall-off-the-bone tender is not where it’s at in the world of barbecue.
These ribs are best appreciated unadorned, without either of the house sauces. And, while some might scoff at the modestly outfitted dining room at Dixie Q, with just a few TVs and hardly anything on the walls, the less distractions the better as you concentrate on these ribs.
Dixie Q. 2524 Caldwell Road NE, Brookhaven. 404-228-1502, dixie-q.com/.