Unless you can read small print, you’d be hard pressed to know that The Nest is a barbecue place. Unless, as you were driving down Cherokee Street, heading into downtown Kennesaw, you saw the two smokers below on the street. That may be why they are there, as opposed to in the parking lot out back.
Formed of two historic homes, from the 1880s, the Nest opened in February of 2016. The two homes are joined by a 2,000 square foot patio with a stone fireplace, that is quite the gathering spot on a nice evening. Or on a Saturday football afternoon, when it’s not too cold. The two houses serve different purposes, the one on the left (from the street) is the bar. The one on the right is the restaurant. We didn’t know that, but saw the “Smoking Section” sign on the one and walked into the other.
Reviewing the menu, we ordered the Whole Farm: 1/4 pound each of chicken, pulled pork and brisket, plus a half rack of ribs and five smoked wings. We added a side each – mac-n-cheese and black eyed peas (with onions and bacon).
The wings were the most enjoyable meat on the plate. Not that the other meats were bad – these were just really good. They had three sauces on the table (sweet, spicy and mustard-based) and they also had a white sauce (mayo-based) they would bring, when requested. In addition to these, they had four “premium” sauces – for an additional upcharge, which we didn’t try.
- The spicy was the choice of both of us, although I tried all four.
- The sweet was true to its name.
- The white and mustard sauces were both redolent of the condiments on which they were based, without much spice or variety of flavor.
The mac-n-cheese was fine, but resembled Kraft, made with better cheese. The peas were seasoned nicely. The pork and brisket were both smoked nicely, but the brisket was sliced a little thin. While tender, it was hard to pick up with a fork tine. The one thing we saw being served that caught our collective eye was a tray of pork skins going to a table across the restaurant, golden brown and light-looking. We’ll have to try those one day, maybe with a sandwich.