Recently visited two barbecue places in my native state, one very disappinting and one that I'll have to give a mixed review, although generally favorable.
1. Jack's Old South, Cordele. No barbecue cook in this state, and few anywhere, have received as many accolades as Myron Mixon, and his restaurant just off I-75 at Exit 101 is filled with trophies he has won at various competitions. Among them are at least two grand champion trophies from Memphis In May.
The 'cue he was serving the day I was there wasn't what won the prizes. It wasn't bad, but it certainly wasn't anything special, just average, run-of-the-mill pork and OK-but-nothing-special sauce. Disappointing considering their reputation. I'd go back, but wouldn't make it a point to.
2. Golden Rule. This Alabama chain recently opened two restaurants -- and they are restaurants, not the kind of barbecue joints that I usually frequent -- near my home, one in East Ellijay, one in Jasper, both just off Highway 515, the main north-south highway.
I wasn't expecting a lot because chains big enough to be franchised almost invariably leave me cold, but I was quite impressed. Very good pork, black and crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and a choice of several very good sauces. People next to us had ribs and they looked good enough that I'll go back to try them ASAP.
Should note that the service was outstanding: prompt, friendly and attentive.
Only negative, the prices are about 50 percent higher than the competition and though the 'cue is good, I didn't see anything to justify that.