Vandy’s Bar-B-Q | Southeast Georgia BBQ Legend

Review by: Michael Stern

Superb Sauce

Why is Vandy’s a Georgia BBQ legend? First, consider its mustard sauce. It is honey-colored, thick as heavy cream, mustard-twangy, and just a wee bit sweet. If the only thing this restaurant served was white bread topped with sauce, I’d be a regular. Drizzle it on chopped pork and it becomes a divine halo.

The Glory of Smoke-Cooked Pork

The pork itself delivers an infinite variety of textures — chewy, crunchy, brittle, soft, moist. Its multi-hour smoke bath infuses it with flavor that is subtle and alluring. It is lean without a speck of fat, and yet overwhelmingly luxurious, as emphatically unctuous as meat with prime marbling.

A Process Honed to Perfection

Vandy’s serves nothing more than pork, a hamburger, and a few egg dishes for breakfast. Step up to the counter and place your order. Find a seat. From here, listen to the appetizing sound of cleavers slamming down onto a cutting board, hacking pork to smithereens. (House watchwords: “Cooked today and chopped to order!!!) Whether you order a plate (which includes Brunswick stew) or a sandwich (regular or jumbo), the pork comes with a drizzle of the alchemical sauce. You’ll find a plastic squeeze bottle of more sauce if you want it. The bottle is warm — the kind of detail that makes Vandy’s a four-star eating experience despite its very humble appearance. This sauce is called Gata Gold. (GATA means Get After Their Asses, a University of Georgia football battle cry.) There is red sauce, too, dubbed Georgia Red, but it is not in the same league as the gold.

Colorful Location

Located just off Main Street downtown, Vandy’s is a Georgia BBQ legend that has been a Statesboro institution since 1929. It is located in a stark little building that might appear foreboding from the street. But inside, friendly hospitality and good cheer reign. Locals gather for breakfast and conversation starting at 6am; the day’s barbecue usually is ready by 10.

Note: There is a second Vandy’s at the Statesboro Mall, 718 Northside Drive. (912-764-3033) It is open on Sunday and also serves dinner until 9pm Monday through Saturday. Other Roadfood choices in Statesboro include Boiling Shrimp, Sugar Magnolia Bakery & Cafe, and Beaver House.

What To Eat

Barbecue Pork

DISH
BBQ Sandwich

DISH
Sauce

DISH
Brunswick Stew

DISH
Sweet Tea

DISH
Potato Salad

DISH

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