It was our last night in Atlanta, Georgia after a great blogging conference last year in May when my roomies and I decided we hadn’t seen anything much of the city. That’s the problem with conferences in great cities. Sometimes you rarely have time to set foot out the door. So we determined to go shopping and hit a local restaurant, something that screamed Atlanta, Georgia.
Conference food, while occasionally incredible, is also often either truly unhealthy, or dainty or overly sweet. While I loved the conference and got a ton of takeaways from it, my sweet tooth was aching from all the lemonade and adorable little sugary confections we had eaten that weekend. So the four of us asked the concierge at the hotel: “What do you recommend?”
This is what happened.
What restaurant do you recommend in Atlanta, Georgia?
“Fat Matt’s Rib Shack,” the concierge said.
The only criteria we had given him was this: we want something that represented Atlanta cooking. And someone piped up: “And we want meat.” Protein. We needed protein and Fat Matt’s Rib Shack was the place. We piled into a cab, all four of us squished into a small space and we drove through the city for about 15 minutes before stopping outside a small restaurant in an area where strip malls seemed plentiful and massive billboards dotted the roadside.
Is This The Place?
Not sure what we all had pictured when we piled into the cab to go explore, but it was clear as soon as we stopped that this was a colourful place.
From the outside, in the daylight, to be honest Fat Matt’s Rib Shack didn’t look like much. We looked at each other and burst out laughing. Four Canadian business women looking at each other in a parking lot in Atlanta wondering where on earth are we? It was exhausted, tired, breathing in conference air all weekend kind of laughter.
Often Locals Know Best
Was this the place? Were there seats inside? Sure enough, it was and there were. We contemplated getting back in a cab to keep searching. But the concierge had recommended it. We decided we’d trust him. In fact five minutes after we got there a lineup of people dressed up, dressed down, looking for takeout or dine in, piled into the parking lot and spilled out the door. The line up got longer by the minute. The turnover was pretty fast which was a good thing because we were pretty hungry. The throngs of people suddenly lining up convinced us we were in fact in the right spot to experience some great barbecue.
Ribs, pulled pork and dozens of side orders were on the menu. The inside was decorated with Blues memorabilia and autographs and pictures of B.B. King. The tables were already extremely busy and the take out area was hopping. We ordered pulled pork and ribs and cole slaw and chips and sat down to chat and relax. Fat Matt’s Rib Shack is family friendly.
Although it didn’t look super exciting from the outside during the day I understand that it comes to life later at night with nightly music and Atlanta’s finest musicians.
Good Food Can’t Be Beat
It was most definitely not what we had anticipated, but the food was good and the company even better and frankly sometimes that’s all it takes to make a place memorable. Also with us last year was one of my favourite bloggers Olfa Turki of Our Family World. Then again it’s hard to go wrong with pulled pork and ribs.
Featured on Rachel Ray’s Tasty Travels
Fat Matt’s Rib Shack is renowned for its barbecue dishes and has been featured in Rachel Ray’s Tasty Travels. In the end, it was a happy little surprise for us and an enjoyable meal. It is without doubt one of the more interesting Atlanta restaurants. Try to go at night after dark so you get to experience the music.
Fat Matt’s Won’t Disappoint
If you are ever in Atlanta, Georgia looking for ribs or pulled pork, Fat Matt’s rib shack is your place. In the end we had a decent meal, and we shared a lot of laughs and ended the conference on a quirky note – with meat. Sometimes the concierge knows best.
A Local Fixture
Fat Matt’s Rib Shack on Peidmont has been open since 1990 and is a local institution. Nightly entertainment is on the schedule and the menu is chicken, ribs and pulled pork. The menu is very affordable. Alcohol is served here too. Good food, quirky atmosphere and music at night. Definitely not overly fancy at all and it was affordable.
Their web site says it best: If you must wear a tie at least loosen it before you come in.
Happy Travels! Where are you heading next?