Heirloom Market BBQ

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Following up on my last post is one case in point for the best BBQ coming from inauspicious spaces.  Heirloom Market Bar B Que (sic) is located just inside the northern perimeter in Atlanta on Akers Mill Road.

First, notice the venue.  It’s half convenience store, half restaurant.  The signage is very plain, and, no doubt, many people drive right by without ever realizing that there’s a BBQ restaurant there... or one that they might want to sample.

Why?  Well, the convenience store is no spic’n’span QuikTrip.  This is an old style, advertising laden store that, when it’s dark, most people would probably consider shady.  There’s not even a gas pump.  It’s just a spot where people go for cheap 12 packs of tasteless beer, cigarettes, and prophylactics at the point of need.

In other words, it’s a unique setting for a BBQ restaurant. Perfect!


If you were to go during a meal rush, your first impression is actually the parking.  The above was taken after the rush, but upon arriving, the lot was full and people were parking “imaginatively.” 

It’s a popular place.  People were lined up outside, with an employee taking orders while in line.  Inside, the process was simple, except that you specify the type of sauce desired when ordering.  I went with their standard BBQ, while those with me chose a Korean flavor.  They had 2-3 others, at least one of which was spicy. As it turned out, I made the better choice of the two, anyway.  They do have some bottles for sampling their sauces which are worth sampling if you’re not rushed.

The drink selection is also a bit different, with a few canned and bottled varieties of soft drinks in a cooler, and otherwise tea and lemonade as iced options.  The kitchen, meanwhile is a bustle of activity.


Not surprisingly, the space is tight.  That said, there is no seating or dining area within.  Most everyone in line understood that, and took their items to go.  No doubt, that helps the parking situations if newcomers are patient.


You wait for a short time, they call your number, and... it’s why you came in the first place!  Excellent BBQ, surprisingly well fried and seasoned fries (the exact opposite of the grease laden mess you get at some places), and cole slaw so good you take it with you if you can’t finish it.  Why wouldn’t you be able to finish it?  Because there’s a generous portion of densely packed barbeque in that bun.  Moist, well flavored from the pit, and unsauced until you add it to your preference.  Good stuff!


There is a “dining area” outside.  The table under the tent was occupied when we arrived, and a number of people were using the handrails of the porch as a working surface, as we did.   My suggestion, if you want to eat there, is to bring  camping chairs.  There’s room on the deck or a small grassy area to the side... or tailgate by your car.  Hey, it’s what you make of it.


Heirloom Market BBQ was mentioned in AJC’s “The Atlanta 50: Where to Eat” issued last spring.  I’m glad I took note.


4 of 5 STARS



(One star removed due to the lack of places to sit and the lack of fountain soft drinks).

1 comment :

  1. Darn you! Your post makes me wish I has spent more time at Amos BBQ near the range. Unlike many other 'cues I had, this one really tasted like it had been cooked over a smokey pit. Best I've had in a while. But I need to put Heirloom on my list...