Barbecue outtake: Staq’s “Mess”


Our big ol’ Barbecue Issue will be out in a couple weeks, but here’s a preview of the quirkiest dish I found on my hunt (mentioned in the issue but not pictured). It’s served at Staqs BBQ in Smyrna, a woman-run joint in humble digs on a rather lonely stretch of South Cobb Drive, not too far from Windy Hill Road. The staffers are sweet and doting, and as I scanned their menu, I saw a dish simply called “A Mess: Waffle, Pulled Pork, Slaw.”

Staq's mess
You can see from the pic what arrived. I smelled the waffle cooking fresh (next time, I’d ask them for it extra-crisp), and then they piled it hot with the pulled pork and slaw (notice the two kinds of raisins in there) and drizzled it with syrup. And though, especially with that syrup, this could have been a cacophonous disaster, I actually really enjoyed the crazy quilt of flavors. On the heels of chicken and waffles’ wave of popularity, this combo has soul food brunch upstart written all over it.