If you blink, you’ll miss it.
Tucked behind a gas station on a remote area of Snapfinger Road in Lithonia is a small restaurant with a big following and even bigger flavor. Mable’s BBQ & Smoked Meats already has a strong reputation with the locals on the East side of Atlanta, and has won several awards including Best Ribs, Best Soul Food Restaurant and Best Takeout.
After hearing about Mable’s from a coworker, and finding their perfect 5 Star rating on Yelp, I knew it needed to be the next stop for Off the Eatin’ Path. I’m a sucker for good, southern soul food. It’s a taste of my childhood. It’s fresh, perfectly cooked vegetables from my Paw Paw’s garden. It brings back memories of family gatherings and the holidays and my family reunions in Alabama. Nothing fancy and over-the-top, just simple food done right.
Mable’s isn’t very big. A short counter to place your order and 4 tables make up the entire restaurant. Banners, newspaper clippings, awards and local celebrity autographs cover one wall while the opposite has a mural with images of summertime, poker games with friends and family. A small TV hangs in the corner of the room playing whatever game is on ESPN. It’s cozy.
After reading through the extensive menu of pork, ribs, chicken, wingettes, a list of sides and several kinds of cakes and cobblers, I settle on a pork sandwich platter with turnip greens and mac & cheese. The thing about soul food done right is that it has to remind you of home or it just isn’t going to meet your expectations, and Mable’s didn’t disappoint. One bit of the mouthwatering pork BBQ, and it all came flooding back.
The great debate amongst barbecue connoisseurs will never end. And one of the biggest points of contention is the sauce. Regardless of your BBQ sauce preference, you must try the homemade sauce at Mable’s. It’s tangy with a slight heat that blends perfectly with whatever choice of meat you decide to order. Due to their popularity, Mable’s recently started bottling their BBQ sauce and is in the process of finding local stores to sell it in. In the meantime, you can buy bottles of their delicious sauce at their counter.
When Atlanta BBQ comes up in conversation, several big name joints pop into your head. Fox Bro. BBQ, Community Q and others immediately come to mind. And Mable’s BBQ & Smoked Meats should be on that same list. The attention to detail and the love that goes into each plate is unbeatable.