Country’s Barbecue
Mercury Drive, Columbus, Georgia—29 May 2012

Buttermilk fried chicken fingers, old-style fries, and Brunswick stew with a side of white bread and pickles. Mmmmmm!

Country’s has been known for awesome BBQ around the Columbus area since 1975. Their fried chicken, though, deserves to be just as well-known as their hickory-smoked pork shoulders and Backfire hot sauce. It’s very close to my late grandmother’s fried chicken. High praise, indeed.

An overnight buttermilk soak tenderizes the meat and helps the flour/egg/spice coating stick a little better. It’s worth the extra effort. Forget the sauce that comes with it—be a purist. Enjoy the flavor. That’s what the cook intended. The sauce just gets in the way.

Country’s serves their wonderful banana pudding in a Mason jar. It’s not scooped in there from a larger dish. No, each banana pudding is baked in its own jar for a wonderful down-home touch. It’s neat to watch two or more kitchen staffers carefully remove a huge tray of Mason jar banana puddings from the oven. How they do it and avoid certain disaster is beyond me.

My lunch companions and I had a giggle at the menu.

ADULT CHILI? As opposed to the Family-Friendly Chili? How old do I have to be to order the Adult Chili? Is this something that the kids at the next table don’t need to see?

Oh, well, you know what they meant. Really? Because it’s not listed next to “Kids’ Chili” or “Chili (Small),” but instead lodged right between “BARBECUE ONIONS” and “COLLARDS.” So I don’t know what they meant. I can assume, sure. But it’s probably better to avoid a double entendre in the first place.

And don’t get me started about the “TOSSED SALAD” above it. Disgusting slang expressions aside, when is a salad not tossed? Except for Cobb salad, the point is for all the ingredients to be mixed together. “Salad” would suffice.