I’m not one to hold back when it comes to food.
Like a true champ judging a pitmaster’s throwdown, when it came time to order at Fuse BBQ, I, along with my three partners in crime, went for the full monty*. (*OK, so we technically left off one of five sandwiches, the chili, one side dish, two salads and two of the four desserts—but who’s keeping score?)
I can say this with absolute certainty: For anyone who claims a remote love of brisket, ribs and the fixing that go with them (vinegary collards, brown sugar-simmered beans and more), do yourself a favor and get there PRONTO.
The restaurant is shockingly under-the-radar despite the fact it’s relatively new (it opened earlier this year for lunch and added dinner service a few months ago) and that it’s the passion project of renowned chef Greg Scarlatos, who owns the fine dining Fuse Global Cuisine next door. It’s not fancy (food comes in paper-lined baskets and styrofoam cups and at most there are 10 tables), and it’s not trying too hard (the extent of creativity for creativity’s sake is a pepperoni mac and cheese, which is as good as it sounds). The beauty of Fuse BBQ is that everything is rubbed, smoked and cooked to perfection—and it doesn’t hurt there’s a killer selection of craft beers and cocktails.
My dining companions and I weren’t surprised our meal was good, but we didn’t expect to be so blown away that we have been catching ourselves daydreaming about Scarlatos’ brisket nearly two weeks later. To put things in context, just days before our epic dinner, I actually had what is considered to be among the best ’cue in the entire state of Georgia (known as much for peaches as it is for pulled pork), and the piping hot, insanely tender marbled prime masterpiece that is Scarlatos’ calling card here put that other sliced beef to shame.
The four of us were in unanimous agreement that the BCT was a sandwich so great we could envision returning on a weekly basis just to sink our teeth into, again, that heavenly brisket. Here, it gets the royal treatment on a brioche dripping with cheddar (the “C”) and stuffed with frizzled onions, a schmear of mayo and tomato. While we initially thought we were too full for dessert, just a little bit of peer pressure (no one, it seemed, wanted to surrender) caused us to order a couple. And we’re glad we did, because the “Ghirardelli Pig,” a chocolate brownie sundae with candied bacon, took its place among the night’s many high notes.