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Review: Georgia’s Eastside BBQ

Posted by gambit50 on June 17, 2008

Georgia’s Eastside BBQ, Lower East Side, New York, New York

This operation was seemingly slapped together with a learn-on-the-fly attitude, I believe, in the beginning of the summer of 2007. I also believe that the owner was involved in the labor of decoration and setup. Very hands-on. That is cool but I think a touch more forethought could have saved many poor strategies. Then again, it is Orchard Street and there is no other BBQ in the vicinity and since people pack so many subpar restaurants on the LES, perhaps his goal was just to open as soon as possible because it wouldn’t matter and he would get it all right soon enough.

The space is small, both the dining area and the kitchen/back area. I assume there was a good deal on the rent. There is no bathroom. You can use one across the street in some bar. Yes, really. Hasn’t bothered me, yet, but it is a bit absurd.

Old wood floors, a shallow counter along the left wall with stools and about seating for maybe 15 at tables if you squish everyone in properly. The kitchen is quite small and thus you realize that this operation does not have the enormous smokers and various other pieces of equipment that some places preparing the same type of food employ. The music is a mixed bag, Guns ‘N Roses, Wu-Tang, Prince, etc. Pretty good tunes, overall.

I really have only interacted with two people and mostly just one waitress. The other person was the owner and that was for 10 seconds. She is very friendly and seems to work pretty hard. This is not to say there aren’t a ton of mistakes but I do not believe them to be her fault.

The ordering process seems to get mixed up from the customer to the cooks who are either the owner and/or some hired helped who are not exactly trained chefs. I do not mind so much, sides come out randomly, sometimes there is a long wait for some ribs or what not, etc.

When you do receive the food, you should not be disappointed, overall. The BBQ pork and chicken is finished on the grill. When it is done right, it is great. It puts to shame so many of those other joints with their 20 hours of smoking and huge machines that ruin their meat. Unfortunately, Georgia’s does overcook a fair amount just like everywhere else so you get somewhat dried out ribs. I had the AYCE ribs one Sunday(that is the day, $28, 3 sides) and a few of the 6 rib portions I put down were cooked just so perfectly, juicy, tender, all that. I think one was mediocre and 2 excellent and 3 were very good.

The chicken is also potentially great. Wings or half chickens can be had. The very good sauce is what does it. Perhaps you could make better, well, of course you could, it is not that great, but it is very good and it does a nicely cooked piece of meat justice. So for the BBQ end, this place is really good.

A fried chicken cutlet was terrible, however. Literally killed to death in whatever heating medium they used for it. Might as well have been McDonald’s save for the fact that Georgia’s used a real piece of chicken. Stay away. Besides, when the alternatives are so much better why risk it? I doubt it would be that good anyway since the flavoring of the breading was nothing to speak of.

For sides, there is no mac’n’cheese, kind of strange. I would definitely have ordered it. I have had the cornbread and the green beans. Go with the latter, they are great. The cornbread is just okay. I think they have only one dessert which I did not go for and they might serve beer but it is BYOB (or was) in any case.

So, for very good(better than almost any other) BBQ, go to Georgia’s. It ain’t perfect but perhaps it is continuing to improve since business seems brisk. Also, it is surprisingly cheap given the location where so much crap is way overpriced. Enjoy eating there or taking out. I would say delivery would have as many issues with you waiting as eating in house but hey, worth a shot if you are lazy.

NTG

Georgia’s Eastside BBQ

192 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002

212-253-6280

Summary: A great place (FINALLY!) for the price and quality. Inconsistent watching of the cooking times is the biggest problem. Service is unorganized and problematic because of lack of a proper system from orders to kitchen to customer. Very good value though. If they cook it properly, great. If not, your wallet will remind your brain not to be too upset.

Very friendly people even if the place is not an oiled machine. No, I didn’t mean well oiled since any oil would be a step up. Way better than most of the rubbish popping up on the LES. Last visit, 2/08. Cost $21/pp

Ratings:

Food – 81

Vibe – 76

Service – 72

Value – 88

Overall – 82

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