The red roofs and lit-up neon sign facing the road with the word “Bar-B-Que” all in flames are unmistakable. Connected to the Macon Mall on Eisenhower Parkway is Smok’n Pig BBQ. Members of our group had heard the name before. It was always mentioned in a reverent tone. We entered the parking lot with high hopes.
Walking through the entrance, we examined our surroundings. The theme of the restaurant is geared toward casual gatherings; rocking chairs line the entrance, plaid picnic-like mats are at every table, and nearly every inch of the Smok’n Pig is wood-paneled.
We were seated without wait. The menu, as you could imagine, was pork-heavy. Pulled pork platters, pork sandwiches and ribs dominate. However, those who don’t eat pork aren’t left out of the equation. Chicken, beef, or veggie plates are also available.
Our server came to the table, and we placed our orders. She came back throughout the meal enough to provide good service but not enough to annoy. All of the servers, who passed with trays by the armful, always smiled.
The meals arrived, and we began.
The gamut of sauces (Original, Sweet, Sweet and Spicy, Carolina, Hot and Southern Mustard) located either on the rotating holsters or in an empty six-pack cardboard container of Yuengling, were all very impressive and complemented the pork well. The Southern Mustard in particular provided a strong, smooth taste with spicy undertones. The pork was not marinated or cooked with any of the sauces. This provides the customer with control over sauce, which is a problem at some BBQ institutions. The brunswick stew–a tomato-based dish thin strips of pork and veggies–deliciously surprised everyone at the table. The peach cobbler wasn’t nearly as impressive but good nonetheless.
The price, for the amount of food placed in front of you, will make your brain numb. Kaydren Orcutt, a member of our party, could not eat her pulled pork sandwich with one hand and had difficulties even when using two.
However, there were some issues with the meal. The coleslaw did not excite. The baked apples were sliced too large, and pesky skin remained on the pieces of apples. As mentioned before, the pork was not cooked or marinated in any of the sauces. Because of this, the pork was dry. It was not dry enough for you to start slamming sandwiches down in disgust but enough to force you to take multiple trips to the sauces. The salad and dessert bar policy was ridiculous. It is a dollar cheaper to purchase the salad and dessert bar instead of just the dessert bar. In no scenario did that make any sense to anyone at the table.
The meal was pleasing overall. If you want a lot of good BBQ at a reasonable price, you’ve found it.
Simply put: It’s more than a meal. It’s two.
The Smok’n Pig is open everyday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and if you don’t leave with leftovers, you’re doing it wrong.