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The Woes of a Southern ex-Pat

Sometimes I feel like I did not truly experience the South.

Tonight, as I chow down on delectable barbecue courtesy of some other displaced Southerners, is one of those times.

Sure, I grew up in Virginia, but Northern Virginia is not really the South. It’s the Diet Coke version of Southern life. Don’t get me wrong. Manassas was one of the best places to have lived as a kid. But I did not live in the South until I moved to Georgia after college.

Then I gained a full understanding of the wonderful conglomerate that is urban Atlanta and it’s suburbs (bless their dear sweet hearts).

It’s the cooking that I developed a taste for while working as one of the paper’s food reporters. It’s the fact that Sweet Tea is really the only way to drink iced tea. And it’s knowing that grits and GRITS are two remarkably dissimilar and identical concepts at the same time. One being a hot dish served with butter or cheese that resembles cream of wheat and the other being the acronym, Girls Raised In The South. Both are an acquired taste.

When we moved here to Colorado, I thought I had passed a time in my life where I would no longer need the comfort foods of my former humid home.

No more fried food for me. I’m gonna eat healthy now. Yep. [emphatic nod]

Oh no. Once you’ve had barbecue done right it is impossible to accept substitutes.

And that my friends, is where Georgia Boys BBQ Company comes into the picture. They’re the Front Range’s solution for meaty Southern soulfood.

So far I haven’t been able to get beyond their brisket, which even though my sister would probably protest is “too pink,” is seriously hog heaven. At least it’s where I hope the good piggy’s get to go.

In addition to barbecue staples such as pulled pork and pulled chicken, they also have a mean selection of sides including coleslaw, barbecue beans and Taters n’gravy. Tonight, I sampled the sweet potato casserole. As near as I can tell it’s sweet potatoes, pecans, brown sugar and melt in your mouth kind of awesome. No matter what makes up the casserole I like to think that it was like a healthy dessert.

See. I can eat well and get my soulfood too. I still think I’ll pass on the grits though.