“You know a place has good barbeque if there are paper towels on their tables,” said College freshman and South Carolina native Andrew Worthy. Community Q Barbeque, located near Clairmont campus, sports paper towels on its tables in addition to an array of mouthwatering Southern delights. Within the Emory bubble, it may be easy to forget that we are, in fact, in the South, and that it’s important for everyone to get a taste of Southern culture at least once before graduation. So take Emory’s North/South DeKalb Mall or CCTMA shuttle to the intersection of Clairmont Road and North Decatur Road. A two-minute walk north is all it takes to get to Community Q. Since they smoke all their meat daily, they may run out if you get there too late.
After stepping through the threshold, queue up to order at the counter. Community Q’s large, orange menu that adorns the wall beside the counter will leave you spellbound. Although overwhelming, there are no bad choices on this menu. Most meats can either be bought as a platter or an à la carte sandwich. Be that as it may, adding a side or two is a prudent idea for the full experience. After ordering comes the onerous task of finding a table — something easier said than done at dinner time.
Each table has a tomato-based barbecue sauce sitting on top of it. Not only does this sauce maintain a balance of sweet and smoky flavors, but also leaves a pleasant aftertaste. Community Q also has a North Carolina-style vinegar sauce, which I don’t personally care for, though the diversity of sauce is always appreciated.
Suddenly, I heard one of the food runners call, “Mitchell!” As she arrived at my table, I was awestruck by the ambrosial sandwich. My usual order is a pulled pork and brisket sandwich with a side of macaroni and cheese, though I have been known to get the ribs on occasion. The sandwiches are served on Texas Toast and are coated with just the right amount of butter before they are toasted to a perfect crisp. Ever so carefully, I lift up the top piece of bread to glaze the sandwich’s valuable cargo with some of the aforementioned barbecue sauce. The generous servings of pulled pork and brisket are well seasoned and melt in your mouth. I find that complementing the pulled pork with the brisket creates an unequivocally luscious flavor combination. The perfect way to enhance one of Community Q’s sandwiches is with their macaroni and cheese. Community Q’s famous macaroni and cheese recipe contradicts itself: the top is exceptionally crispy whereas the interior maintains a fantastically creamy, gooey consistency. It is made with large rigatoni noodles and is heavily infused with sharp and mild cheeses.
We are very fortunate to have such a quality barbecue restaurant so close to campus. What is served at Community Q is something special, something I hope to indulge in again very soon.