Stepping into B’s is a little disorienting. First, you’re in a strip mall, which isn’t all that crazy. But then you step onto a maroon carpet and into an place that is aesthetically sterile except for a few photos on the wall. Then you smell pork rinds and pulled pork and mac ‘n’ cheese, and soon you are the front counter.
Bryan Furman’s South Carolina roots inform his cooking, in which heritage-breed hogs are cooked on metal offset pits. Originally opening in 2014, the original place burned down less than a year later. But Furman, his wife, and neighbors brought it back to life. The location has changed, but loyal customers believe that the flavors have only gotten better. And there is now a second outpost in Atlanta.
Fried pickles are tangy and crunchy, arriving, like everything else, in a red basket with checkered paper. When the pork rinds are set down, they get ooh-ed and ahh-ed by everyone at the table — because they’re huge, piled high, and audibly crackling. Ah, ha: B’s Cracklin. They sport a sticky, airy crunch and infinite seasoned nooks and crannies.
Pulled pork is served on a soft, squishy bun. It is tender and smoky, and pairs beautifully with sauce that is mustard-based, sweet and tangy, with a touch of peach. Coleslaw is fairly wet, so I avoided adding it on top.
The ribs I try are off: tough and not nearly as impressive as the pulled pork. We also try some thick-cut brisket, which has a slightly sweet shell.
B’s Cracklin has a stark feel about it, but that is offset by a ton of heart and resilience. Customers keep walking through the door, appreciative of good barbecue.