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First Impression: Community Q BBQ (Decatur)

posted on December 21, 2009 at 8:35 am

Community Q: Decatur

I really wanted to love Community Q BBQ (1361 Clairmont Rd.
Decatur, GA 30033. 404-633-2080). It has everything–a great location, a nice amount of seating, an extensive menu (for a BBQ joint) and a pedigree (the owners are alumni of Seeger’s, The Ritz Carlton Dining Room and Sam and Dave’s). It was an incredibly cold day–a perfect day for some gut-busting barbecue, but Community Q left us wanting. Community Q: Decatur
My pork and chicken combo plate.
The mountains of food served on restaurant grade cookie sheets were certainly enticing. But our meal fell flat. The meats had a nice amount of smoke and salt, but every single protein was ice cold. You could blame it on the weather, but other restaurants seem to get it together despite the frigid temperatures. The lauded mac and cheese was so salty it sat untouched after we’d sampled it.

Community Q: Decatur
The coleslaw was gorgeous–chopped with the right amount of mayo and tang–and I loved the texture added by the poppy seeds.
Community Q: Decatur
Moon’s plate of brisket and ribs: The ribs and brisket were very flavorful, but they were as cold as my order. The brunswick stew was decent, but relatively mundane. The brisket chili was just too sweet and, again, nothing to write home about.
Community Q: Decatur
My favorite part of the meal: the awesome hand-cut French fries sprinkled with barbecue seasoning.

Verdict: The folks at Community Q have a nice menu of barbecue classics, a couple of different styles of sauces and good intentions. But our meal left us cold. I can see this becoming a favorite of people that live closeby, but it’s not destination-worthy if you have another favorite. This place needs some more age under its belt.

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7 comments

  • Re: First Impression: Community Q BBQ (Decatur)
    posted by: Jonathon · December 21, 2009  10:10 AM

    Strange that the meats were cold, my wife and I were there Saturday night and it was fantastic. Granted they were out of pulled pork, which I was bummed about but the brisket, mac & cheese and fries were great.

  • Re: First Impression: Community Q BBQ (Decatur)
    posted by: Anonymous · December 21, 2009  12:23 PM

    I actually wonder if the aluminum pans they serve the food on serves as a heatsink and pulls heat away from the food. It does seem that the food there is nearly always room temperature…which I can understand after demolishing a heaping portion after a few minutes, but not when it is straight from the kitchen. And salt is way too eagerly used in a lot of dishes. Work out the kinks, C-Que, so I can put you in rotation with Maddy's Rib Joint and Fox Bros.

  • Re: First Impression: Community Q BBQ (Decatur)
    posted by: Boss Hogg · December 21, 2009  1:41 PM

    We were there on Saturday and the ribs were not that good, and the Mac and Cheese was indeed salty. The previous two times I had been the pulled pork was excellent, this time they were out. Huge letdown.

  • Re: First Impression: Community Q BBQ (Decatur)
    posted by: Anonymous · December 22, 2009  5:51 AM

    I prefer Community's pulled pork to that at Fox Bros. — Community's manages to be more tender despite still retaining enough "bark". The sauces lack conviction, however — particularly the vinegar-based.

  • Re: First Impression: Community Q BBQ (Decatur)
    posted by: Anonymous · December 22, 2009  10:32 AM

    Looks like they got the cold shoulder… He He.

  • Re: First Impression: Community Q BBQ (Decatur)
    posted by: flourpwr · December 23, 2009  9:29 AM

    I will try this place soon though I've read other complaints about cold BBQ here. BBQ 1 & 2 are favorites but a longer drive. I'm anxious to try the kolaches that are supposed to be added to the menu at some point.

    I think the comment about cold aluminum trays may be on target. Last year I bought some of my favorite Brunswick stew from Old MacDonald's off Friendship Rd. for a Christmas party buffet. Put the hot stew in my crock pot and set it on low a couple of hours before lunch was served. Then set it on warm for about 30 min.

    It was tepid at best, a big disappointment, and mostly ignored by the crowd. Like an idiot I had put the crockpot in my vehicle the night before (I had a handful of other stuff to take). I wanted to make a fast, early getaway to pick up the hot stew and arrive on time. The cold stoneware acted as a major heat sink. Should have known better.

  • Re: First Impression: Community Q BBQ (Decatur)
    posted by: Kenny · December 30, 2009  12:28 PM

    This is the third or fourth review I've read that said the meat is cold, which really frustrates me. Being from NC, I pride myself on quality BBQ, and Sam & Dave's was hands down the best in the area. I'm still going to try this out, but just bummed by the most-negative reviews. I'm hoping this warrants a revisit in the a few months.

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