This is the institution of BBQ in Atlanta, GA. For over sixty years this family has provided residents of Atlanta with the best BBQ pork, ribs, stew and cracklin cornbread.
A hole in the wall place in the mist of a decaying part of Atlanta, this BBQ heaven has made it's money serving the people working in the truck lines in the area. It's not pretty, but it is the best.
As you enter, the hickory smoked from the fire in the pit fills your nostrills. Just inside the door you are greeted by the cash register sitting on a long bar. Look for a picture of the founder and his sons serving BBQ from their booth near the Greyhound rollercoaster at the Southeastern Fair. (This coaster was blown down by the crew of Smokey and the Bandits II)
There are tables, both in the front and rear rooms. Behind the counter is where the majic happens. If you sit close to the register you can watch the entire balet take place. First a ham is hand selected from the pit and brought to a stainless steel counter. With a filet knife, the ham is sliced, diced or chopped to the patrons delight.
Meanwhile white bread is toasted ofer an open grate. A small pile of hickory coals provide the heat and the flavor. The meat is added to the bread and a squirt of their own tomato based sauce is added along with the top piece of bread.
Meat left over from the chopping process is gathered up and later added to the pot of stew that is always simmering on a stove in the kitchen. Plates are served with bread and craklin cornbread.
Sometimes, on a cold Winter night, my father would stop at Harlod's on his way home from work, We always knew what we were going to have when he came in with that white box containing a pound of meat. To this moment, I can remember the smell of that meat being reheated in our oven as my mom toasted the bread. Today, all I need is a bowl of their rich stew and two pieces of cornbread crumbled up into my bowl to make me remember old times. A precious time when my family gathered around our table to celebrate the artistry of Harold's BBQ.