Barbecue is not city food. That's why there are only a handful of really good barbecue restaurants in Atlanta. And most of them are in old neighborhoods or the pre-sprawl edges of the metro area.
Community Q, (near downtown Decatur and Emory University) has first-rate barbecue. The meat is smoky The do pork, beef, and chicken. I've only every had the pork. Moist, flavorful, and tender. Sandwiches are on grilled toast.
The sides are awesome. Collards, mac and cheese, slaw, and potato salad. They have vegetable specials and I've had pickled beets that were fantastic.
It's order at the counter service--the counter frequently manned by the owners who are friendly and barbecue enthusiasts.
I would say it's on the higher of the cost range for barbecue ($6.50/sandwich; $11 for a plate) but the portions are generous and the food is delicious. Even the iced tea is excellent.
One warning--they've been known to run out of barbecue and they just close the doors for the evening. If you are traveling distances and arriving late, you may want to call ahead and check the 'cue status.
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