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Updated: 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012 | Posted: 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012

First Look: The Greater Good Barbecue, Tucker


First Look: The Greater Good Barbecue, Tucker photo
Simple al la carte offerings are divided into "the meats" and "the sides."

By Bob Townsend

For the AJC

At first glance, the most striking thing about The Greater Good Barbecue in Tucker is that it's huge. Clay Harper, the brains behind Fellini's Pizza and La Fonda Latina, and his partners took over the former space of the Golden Dolphin Seafood Restaurant on Hugh Howell Road, creating a new fast-casual restaurant capable of feeding 'cue lovers en masse.

The look: The bones of chain restaurants past remain in the dining rooms and outdoor areas of the sprawling blue and white building. But Harper and company have added a few touches that conjure a Southern roadhouse atmosphere, including a vintage sign from the old Pilgreen's steakhouse in Atlanta.

The scene: One recent Saturday afternoon, there was a steady line at the order counter, and a crew of congenial servers kept busy carrying plates from the kitchen to customers at booths and tables. Still, any evidence of a crowd was scattered and hidden in the vast expanse. "There were 400 people in here yesterday," one server said, "and it looked just as empty."

The menu: Simple al la carte offerings are divided into "the meats" and "the sides." The menu recently featured chopped beef brisket ($6.95), a pulled pork sandwich ($4.95), and a half ($11.25) or full ($21.95) rack of ribs. Chicken, covered in a dry rub and smoked, comes in quarter ($3.95) or half ($6.95) sizes. Sides ($1.95) include mac and cheese with bacon, collard greens, baked beans and cole slaw. Brunswick stew is served by the cup ($2.95) or bowl ($4.95).

The drinks: Look for self-serve soda ($1.50) and iced tea ($1.50), a small selection of bottled beer, and draft beer by the pint ($3.50-3.95) or pitcher ($11.50-$14.50).

The extras: The current selection of barbecue sauces includes tomato-based regular, sweet and spicy, and a mustard-based sauce. In keeping with the main menu, the kids meal ($3.95) includes a basic combo of chicken fingers and tater tots. Call ahead for carry-out orders.

Dining Out

The Greater Good Barbecue, Tucker

11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m.- Fridays-Saturdays; noon-9 p.m. Sundays.

Meats, $4.95-21.95; sides, $1.95-$7.50; kids meal, $3.95.

4431 Hugh Howell Road, 770-908-8164

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