Swallow at the Hollow is a popular barbecue restaurant in Roswell, one that has its share of “best in GA” accolades, and scores respectably in any “best of Atlanta” contests. It’s on Green Street, just off Alpharetta Street, a street that ‘Y’s off just past Norcross Street. It’s a good looking barn like building whose overflow lot was the first I spotted of it. The barn there, with wood and other supplies, I mistook for the restaurant briefly until I watched the people walking from this lot to the restaurant itself.

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The inside is decently sized, with about 4 tables that can seat 4, and a dozen or so tables that can seat 6 to 8. The tables come with three barbecue sauces, Tabasco and Texas Pete’s and the waitstaff are patient and good. I ended up ordering a half rack of ribs and was looking forward to it. By reputation these were supposed to be the best ribs in Roswell.

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tomato based sauce, mustard based sauce, vinegar sauce in smaller container

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Half rib plate. The yellow 'sauce' in the plastic cup is honey.

After trying the ribs, and the sauces, there is good and bad in Swallow’s ribs. The good is the cut of meat, the size of the serving, the generally good BBQ sauces (especially the mustard based South Carolina sauce). The ribs are fork tender. But the ribs have no perceptible smoke flavor, unless you pull the charred skin off and eat that alone. For those of us who judge ribs by the quality of smoking, these ribs do not qualify even as barbecue. That said, it’s good tasting meat. For those who judge barbecued ribs by how tender they are, these will please to no end.

With regard to the sides, the fried tomatoes weren’t bad, and some of the beans in the baked beans were a little undercooked. The biscuit was great.

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I tried as well their banana chocolate chip pudding, and it’s the kind of dessert that delineates the difference between simple and simple minded.  The puddling is covered in whipped cream, the cream is topped with chocolate powder. Between the layer of cream and pudding, there is a perceptible crunch. If there is a point to be made here, it’s that Swallow at the Hollow has some smart people designing this cuisine.

Verdict: Good food, good barbecue sauces. Ribs are tender but not smoked. Recommended.

Swallow at the Hollow
1072 Green Street
Roswell, GA 30075

Swallow at the Hollow on Urbanspoon

Notes: The Cynical Cook has a review of this restaurant, and did not notice any smoke in these ribs either.