Sam’s Bar-B-Q

Sam's Bar-B-Q - Valdosta, GA - Photo by Mike Bonfanti

I barreled down U.S. 84 trying to put as much distance between me and the terrible BBQ I had the misfortune to consume in Waycross.  When I arrived in Valdosta I decided to try another purveyor of the BBQ arts, and pulled into the parking lot of the Sam’s Bar-B-Q.

Sam’s Bar-B-Q is located at 414 E. Hill Street in a sketchy area.  Across the street disheveled people congregated in a weed choked park.  The South Georgia air was oppressive and the late afternoon sun drove temperatures into the upper 90s.

The inside of Sam’s Bar-B-Q was dimly lit.  A large fan droned on in a corner reshuffling the humid air.  A large man stood behind the counter.  An unkempt man wearing a ski parka, hat and gloves said something unintelligible, laid a few crumpled dollar bills onto the counter, and shuffled out the door.  He was replaced by a squat woman who spilled out of neon green hot pants wearing house slippers.

I ordered a pork sandwich with the sauce on the side.  The man shrugged, shook his head, and told me all of their pork was pre-sauced.  A large foam container was opened and a bun placed inside.  On top of it he spooned a heap of thick, deep mahogany colored pork.  I slid a $10 bill towards him and waited for my change. The woman sluggishly moved towards me.

Sam's Bar-B-Q - Valdosta, GA - Photo by Mike Bonfanti

“Hey baby, you want some company with that pork sandwich?” she asked, beads of sweat glistening on her forehead.

I had just been propositioned by a hooker in a BBQ joint. I politely declined her offer of companionship, collected my change, and walked briskly towards the car.  I placed the key in the ignition, set the foam box on the passenger seat and was startled by a knock at the window.

“C’mon baby. Just…”

I threw the car into reverse and left Sam’s Bar-B-Q as quickly as possible.  When I was safely out of downtown I pulled over and popped open the box.  Pulled pork oozed out from between the bun and filled the tray.  The BBQ sauce was tomato based, thick, sweet, and tasted like it was from a bottle.  Underneath the sauce was moist pork with a nice smoked flavor, and showed someone with skill prepared the meat.  Sadly, the flavor of the sauce was overbearing and ruined the sandwich.

Sam’s Bar-B-Q can be found on Facebook, and can be contacted at (229) 247-0769 for more information, including hours of operation.

Sweet Tea & Bourbon’s Rating:
Atmosphere: F
Taste: D
Presentation: C
Service: C
Cleanliness: C
Price: $

Sam's Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

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19 thoughts on “Sam’s Bar-B-Q

  1. Good bbq in Georgia was not to be had. But, this review, just made me chuckle. I could almost see the scene as you were describing and definitely when you were trying to make your getaway. Thanks for the laugh.

  2. You did this deliberately, I expect. Agents provocateur from Texas and North Carolina have plotted and schemed to undermine Trip Advisor’s claim that Georgia’s barbecue is better than theirs by deliberately steering you to the three worst ‘cue joints in the state. No other explanation makes sense. :-)

    • Grant, I am at a loss as to how I managed to visit three mediocre to terrible BBQ joints in one day. Thankfully Fallin’s over in Thomasville restored my faith in Georgia BBQ. :)

  3. “I had just been propositioned by a hooker in a BBQ joint.” That quite literally made me laugh out loud.

  4. I thought she was the cashier and was politely asking if you wanted a side to go with the sandwich, looks like you needed a roll of towels. This might be the beginning of a book of crazy reviews.

  5. Er…this is categorically false. It reads more like an elaborate work of fiction than a real review. This sounds like a Rick Bragg wanna-be writer. In fact, I just finished enjoying a BBQ sandwich from Sam’s. Damn, was it good. They participate in the annual 100 Black Men cookout every year and have tons of trophies and accolades from there and beyond. I have never been served food there from anyone who even came close to resembling what you have came up with here. Sounds more like a caricature of what people want to picture when they think “bad” part of town. More food for us non-uppity crackas, I guess!

    • Thanks for the comment, but I think you have a bit of a reading comprehension problem. All of my reviews are factual. The man who served me at Sam’s was professional and polite. The two other people wandering around inside and outside were a completely different matter.

      As for the food, like I said the meat had a nice flavor but was slathered in thick tomato based sauces. That’s not my thing.

      As for being “an uppity cracka,” you obviously have not followed my blog. I will go anywhere in search of a good meal regardless of where it is located or who owns the joint.

  6. Mike, I thouroughly enjoyed your review and will be following you to read more of your reviews. I believe that you described that sandwich quite well. Sam knows how to cook excellent pork, but he really does need to work on the sauces that he serves. If you had ordered ribs with your sauce on the side, your review would have gone into a different direction. If you were ever given the opportunity to meet Sam, you would see that he is a wonderful local cook that knows how to cook good BBQ. Unfortunately, he knows nothing about good sauces. I look forward to reading more of your reviews.

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