OK, I know I might be opening a can of worms by reviewing a barbeque joint. Folks can be pretty passionate about their Q and can get a little uptight if you rag on their favorite barbeque place. So I’m taking a bit of a chance here…but let’s go on…

What do you get when you cross a gas station, a country store and a barbeque joint? Bigun’s Barbeque in Talking Rock, Georgia, that’s what. And in this case, some pretty tasty barbeque.

ConnieLou and I were on our way up to Young Harris the other day and having our usual debate about where to stop for lunch. Our departure time put is in the Jasper/Ellijay area around lunchtime. We ruled out the fast food fairly quickly along with Mexican, Chinese and Italian. Barbeque was sounding pretty good but there were still options. Between the south side of Jasper to the east side of Ellijay, close to Hwy 515 are Bub-Ba-Q, Davis Barbeque, Bigun’s, Poole’s, Pink Pig Barbeque and Shane’s (OK, calling Shane’s barbeque is a bit of a stretch). Bigun’s is right off the highway so it got the nod.

We’ve seen Bigun’s on our way to and from Young Harris for a few years now but had not stopped until year before last when we decided to give it a whirl. Since then it’s become a fairly regular stop.

OK, enough back story and on to the food.

ConnieLou ordered the chopped pork plate which comes with a generous portion of chopped smoked pork, two sides, and choice of cornbread, a biscuit or Texas toast. For sides she picked cornbread, mac & cheese and Brunswick stew. I went for a chopped pork sammich and a side of stew. You place your order at the counter and they bring it to your table.

The chopped pork was tasty…smoky but not overpowered and no sauce from the kitchen. Bigun’s has five sauces to choose from including their Original (sweet), Hot (black pepper and cayenne for heat), Sure Nuff Hot (cayenne and habanero for heat), Carolina Mustard, and Talking Rock Tangy (slightly sweet with a vinegar bite). Here’s where things can get a little sticky. I’m a sauce snob. I love barbeque sauces and I like to try different kinds of sauces…but I do have my likes and dislikes. I don’t care much for KC-style sauces, overly sweet sauces or sauces with a pronounced smoky flavor…hey, it’s the meat that’s supposed to be smoky, not the sauce, right?! I also really don’t care for sauces to be too hot but will make exceptions for sauces with very interesting flavors, like Bigun’s Sure Nuff Hot in which the fruity flavor of the habanero peppers stands out nicely. This time aboutnd I was in the mood for Carolina Mustard and ConnieLou opted for the Original.

The sides fared pretty well. ConnieLou enjoyed the mac and cheese and we both enjoyed the Brunswick stew. It was made with a coarser chop than I typically like but since there were not overly big hunks of ‘maters swimming around I was fine with it. I will say it benefitted from a splash of hot sauce.

So how did Bigun’s rate on the thumbs scale? We gave it four thumbs-up out of a possible four.

We’ve been there before, we like it, and we’ll be back again…but we’re also going to try out some of the other barbeque joints between Newnan and Young Harris. Would be a shame to miss out on some good barbeque, wouldn’t it?