Poppa’s Finest BBQ

Review by: Michael Stern

Come to Poppa! Poppa’s Finest, that is. If genuine BBQ, smoke-cooked to a point of excruciating tenderness, makes you grin, this no-frills roadside eatery in Thomson, Georgia (“Camellia City of the South”) will induce epic happiness. Here you will savor chicken that drops off its bones at the slightest provocation, ribs laden with so much succulent meat that there hardly are any bones, and chopped barbecue infused with pepper-tinged sweetness.

Corn, beans, potato salad, and cole slaw do their job as supporting dishes but without much enthusiasm. Poppa’s hash, on the other hand, is something to be reckoned with. It is so protein-rich and rib-sticking that I honestly thought it was made of beef when I spooned into the soupy stuff: beef in a tomato base with a nice jolt of peppery spice. But chef Alphonzo McNair (Poppa’s son) assured me it is all ground pork. It acquires its significant avoirdupois and stout character thanks to the unique spice mix he uses. Like all BBQ dinners, an order of hash comes with slices of white bread that is the softest I’ve ever encountered — too tender to mop the last of one’s hash from the bottom of the tray, but just right for tearing into shreds and spooning up with the hash.

As is true of so many excellent BBQ parlors, Poppa’s has a humble mien, looking like a plain manufactured home by the side of the road. But it isn’t in the least bit sloppy. In fact, it is immaculate. Meals are impeccably prepared and graciously presented, albeit in Styrofoam containers and wax-paper wrapping. Tables are covered with easy-wipe oilcloth and rolls of paper towels serve as napkins. Place your order at the counter, pay, then find a seat, to which the meal is swiftly brought by a member of the staff.

Note that Poppa’s is open Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 7pm, Friday from 9 to 9, and Saturday from 9am until all the meat is gone. It is closed Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

A second Poppa’s is located at 60 Legion Road  in Warrenton, GA.

What To Eat



BBQ Sandwich



Poppa’s Finest BBQ Recipes


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Nearby Restaurants

Sweet T’s

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