Cheap eats: Community Q

posted on February 22, 2011 at 2:56 pm

It was a little after 7 on a rainy Sunday night when my husband and I, fresh off a traumatically turbulent flight, dragged ourselves through the doors of Community Q BBQ (1361 Clairmont Road, Decatur, 404-633-2080, We were exhausted, hungry and frustrated because the two other places we tried were closed. Since we were so tired, we failed to notice that Community Q also had a “closed” sign on its door. Embarrassed for being one of those types of diners, you know, the kind who swoop into an establishment moments before it shutters for the night — the type of diner I cursed when I used to be a cook — I apologized profusely only to be met with the sweetest words anyone could have uttered that night: “No problem. We’re here for ya, sweetheart.”

That sentiment is at the core of Community Q’s service and intent. Table runners pinch your kids’ cheeks, seem genuinely concerned whether you’re enjoying your meal, and just “get” what it means to make someone feel at home in an establishment. Truth be told, I didn’t always like Community Q. When it first opened and despite its pedigree — one of the owners is David Roberts, a co-founder of Marietta’s Sam & Dave’s — I found the entire experience to be lackluster. The meats were cold and the flavors of most dishes were far from pronounced. About a year after it opened, however, I found myself there for lunch. My experience was entirely different. The meats, sides and service were all exceptional; a perfect example of why you should never write a place off after just one visit.

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