After a Saturday morning during which I surprised my wife by digging into some yard work, without prior contemplation (or prodding), about six hours into it, I suggested that we drive up to Euharlee to eat barbecue and received an affirmatory nod. Johnny Mitchell’s Smokehouse is, basically, a destination dinner. Not because the food is so good that you want to drive to it, but I don’t think that anyone drives to it, or by it, or likely even near it, accidentally. Located near Georgia Power’s Plant Bowen (according to the wiki entry we found while driving by, has the largest generating capacity of any coal-fired plant in North America), the Smokehouse is next to the covered bridge in Euharlee.
We arrived early, and the only other tables occupied were one with four folks by the kitchen and a table, across the restaurant with a party of ten. This party of ten was interesting – there were three teenagers in prom dress (three is an odd number, isn’t it?), parents, grandparents and a five year old kid playing a video game on a phone so loud that it could be heard clearly across the restaurant. I ultimately asked for the manager to address the noise, after my beloved declined my suggestion that I find annoying YouTube videos and play them, at top volume, on my phone. We had originally Johnny Mitchell’s on the Travel Channel’s “BBQ Crawl” when the BBQ Diva made her swing through Georgia. Then my daughter mentioned that they had been for a Sunday lunch, driving down from Rome, and she said that the ribs were very good.
They have five sauces to choose from, regular, NC vinegar, SC mustard, spicy and sweet.
I particularly enjoyed the vinegar sauce and a combination of the the sweet and spicy sauce. I ordered a three meat combo plate (brisket, pork and ribs) with mac and cheese and sweet tater tots – they had at least fifteen sides to choose from.
The sweet potato tots tasted fine, but were really odd – you were eating what should feel like a tater tot in your mouth, but it had none of the texture. The sweet potatoes were not shredded like in hash browns and shaped into tots, but rather cut into the shape of a tot and fried. The macaroni and cheese was good.
I enjoyed the brisket and the ribs, much more than the pork, which I found somewhat bland. The ribs were excellent – Jo had a full rack and really enjoyed them, as well. The brisket was the best of the meats, with just the right amount of smoke and fork tender. According to their website, Johnny was a winning contest barbecue contender.
The barbecue was good and if you’re nearby, would make a good “pit” stop. They also have a fairly extensive vegetarian menu for a barbecue joint.