I ran into Mc Alisters the same day I visited the Waysider in Tuscaloosa. I was hungry, tired and the signs near Jackson MS were appealing. So we pulled off the road, took a look inside, and were generally impressed.

Deal is, you go inside and order. They have a large selection of sandwiches, some soups of the day, plenty of large filling salads. You pick up a number and sit.  As you wait, staff will refill drinks, make sure everything is okay. The spacing of tables is roomy. It’s a good place for, say, a mom weighed down with a few kids and needing some help getting them all calm and fed.

At the time I got the impression Mc Alisters was a small regional Mississippi chain. The food was good, not mind blowing, but good. There was a smart, interesting menu; things like gumbo and muffulettas were available, pointing out how close Mississippi was to New Orleans. Another sandwich, the Memphian, pointed out that Tennessee and Memphis was a neighbor as well. They served other southern favorites, such as iced tea. For those who didn’t like the stock sandwiches, they had a “build your own” option. I was thinking it’d be cool if they expanded into Atlanta.

Turns  out that Mc Alisters is much larger than my original guess. They’re in 22 states, and there is a location in Lawrenceville. One of the things I was planning to do before being snowed in  this January was find the Lawrenceville location, and try it out.

The menu, as currently posted in Georgia, is much reduced compared to the menu in Mississippi. I ordered a sandwich for myself and then a couple sandwiches for my family. I spoke with a member of the Lawrenceville staff (Tyler I believe) for a few minutes, asking the questions that were on my mind.

To note, the menu in Georgia is about to change. Things available in Mississippi can be had in Georgia. For now you have to ask for them. The one meat item they didn’t have is pastrami, and  that meant the New Yorker was off the menu here in Atlanta. But having the muffuletta available is huge for me. I’m a big fan of muffuletta sandwiches.

The Lawrenceville location is off Old Peachtree Road, and it’s just a minute or two north of Discover Mills. For those of us near Snellville, considering Mc Alisters when we make a jaunt up Sugarloaf towards 85 and Discover Mills simply makes sense.

Mc Alister’s Deli
1030 Old Peachtree Road
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
(678) 407-0818

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From the corner of Brown Road and Sugarloaf Parkway, next to Discover Mills, take Brown Road north. Mc Alister’s will then appear on your left, as you approach the intersection of Brown Road and Old Peachtree. It’s in the strip mall that has a Publix.

Mc Alister’s Deli
200 Riverwind Drive
Pearl, MS 39208
(601) 933-0476

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There are two other locations in the Atlanta area:

Mc Alister’s Deli
1425 Market Blvd
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 594-3220

Mc Alister's Deli on Urbanspoon

Mc Alister’s Deli
2950 George Busbee Parkway
Kennesaw, GA 30144
(770) 499-1581

Mc Alister's Deli on Urbanspoon

This last location has an interesting review by John Bickford.

Big Shanty Smokehouse has been described as a small roadside BBQ restaurant, but until you actually get there and look, it’s a little hard to imagine just how small it is. It’s smaller than Spiced Right in Roswell, just a converted house really, and a typical postwar American house at that. Staff was perhaps 3 or 4 people. But out of that small smokery comes some big flavors.

I ordered Steve’s Sampler, a platter which came with four separate meats and two sides.There was brisket, pulled pork, ribs and a decent sized chunk of sausage. The pulled pork was spot on, both smoky and tender and excellent. The ribs were very good, smoky with a thin smoke ring that circled the meat. The sausage was flavorful and nicely spiced. The brisket, while it had a visible ring and was tender and tasty, wasn’t quite to the caliber of the other three meats this day. Still, it was real barbecue through and through. I ate what I could, took the rest home to family. I could smell the smoke while bringing the meats to the door.

My wife raved about the rib she had.

Verdict: Big Shanty Smokehouse is “The Real Deal”. Highly recommended.

Big Shanty Smokehouse
3393 Cherokee Street
Kennesaw, GA 30144
(770) 499-7444

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