BBQ BEAT: It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Harry’s Barbecue, formerly known as Harry’s Pig Shop (2425 Jefferson Rd., in the Homewood Hills shopping center, 706-353-7895), but recent changes provoked a return visit. The menu is a bit more streamlined than before, and rather than table service, you order at the counter, which seems to have sped up the amount of time it takes to receive your food. Provided the fryer is warmed up, you should be able to cram some nourishment in your face within about 10 minutes, a godsend when you are starving or dragging some munchkins along. You may also get a small bag of BBQ-flavored popcorn to nosh on while you wait.
When Harry’s opened, I thought most things were either under-salted, too sweet or both, but that seems to have been remedied. The sweet onion BBQ sauce remains an option and is far too sugary for my palate, but it’s popular, and most of the other condiment options are more savory. The kitchen is particularly proud of its tofu, which doesn’t reach the heights of White Tiger’s version of same but is tasty enough to pass muster with most meat eaters, topped as it is with onions and copious amounts of cheese.
Among chicken, pulled pork, brisket and ribs, the latter are the winner, doused in too much sauce but with a good smoky flavor underneath it. Be warned that the smoked wings, while good, are pretty hot. One area in which the sweet onion sauce works really well is on the tacos, made with corn tortillas that tend to fall apart (flour might be less authentic, but they have their place) but cradle pork or chicken with finely chopped slaw, jalapenos and the sauce, which balances well with the heat of the peppers.
The baked beans are too sweet, but the squash casserole is good and the potato salad a good mix of salty and creamy. Among the sandwiches, the grilled pimento cheese on Texas toast can be topped with a fried green tomato for a bit more zip and is immensely satisfying. Dessert options include banana pudding, bread pudding and “something chocolate,” which changes out.
Harry’s is also one of the very few places in town where you can get a beer with your BBQ but remains kid-friendly, with coloring contests on the kids’ menu. Current hours are 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday, with take-out, dine-in, catering and delivery through Bulldawg Food all available.
NOSTALGIA: When Flashback Games closed downtown, Wonderbar (240 E. Washington St.) was open right on its heels, offering booze along with vintage video games. It also, as I was recently informed, serves food. Technically. The only place in town that’s really allowed to get away with microwaving a majority of its menu options is Taco Stand, although the eats at Wonderbar are totally appropriate to its atmosphere. Unlike its predecessor, it doesn’t have a flat fee but, rather, a change machine, which is kind of more nostalgia-inducing anyway.
As far as food goes, you may choose among microwaved White Castle mini-burgers served over cheese balls (some of these adhere to the surface of the bun and you should make them part of your bite instead of picking them off), microwaved corn dog with the same, Cajun-spiced, too-soggy boiled peanuts, Doritos zig-zagged with microwaved nacho cheese sauce, snack mix, hummus and ice cream sandwiches.
All of this is perfectly acceptable to chow down on while you play Mario Kart on the big screen or attempt to beat your Galaga score from your childhood, but it’s not worth a trip for the eats alone. You may, however, enjoy watching the waitress/bartender black out obscenities (and debate which ones to remove!) among the comments written on the components of a Giant Jenga set. Wonderbar opens at 6 p.m., has plenty of shots and mixed drinks and takes credit cards.
FRO-YO: It seems like the frozen yogurt bubble is at least deflated if not burst, but that didn’t stop Di’lishi Frozen Yogurt Bar from opening across from the movie theater off Epps Bridge Parkway, in the spanking new shopping center there. The franchise aims to distinguish itself with a focus on sustainability (everything is recyclable) and charitable giving (vote with your tasting spoon for one of three organizations to receive a donation each month), but the yogurt itself ain’t bad. Pick a flavor like pumpkin pie or milk chocolate, and you will probably be disappointed you didn’t get ice cream, but if you choose something on the tart side (green apple) you’ll be happier. It’s a serve-yourself set-up, with a huge variety of toppings that include fresh fruit, candy and even cereal.
The store itself is hyper-clean and streamlined, a cool place to stop off for a snack you can convince yourself is healthy before or after a movie. Di’lishi is open 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday–Thursday, 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon–9 p.m. Sunday. It takes credit cards and has a punch-card rewards system.
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