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Barbecue, Subway and other Georgia ‘controversies: What it all means - By Seth Emerson
ATHENS – Let me first state for the record, as a responsible beat writer, I care way more about why Georgia’s starting left tackle was not at practice Monday than I do about what barbecue joint will cater at Sanford Stadium, and what a Subway restaurant is posting on its sign.
But, hey, you work with what you have, so …
In case you missed it, and it’s hard to know how you could, UGA has announced that Dreamland BBQ will be among those added to the concessions at Sanford Stadium. This of course elicited an angry reason from two quarters:
Barbecue snobs, such as legitimate BBQ expert Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated, who has spent a good amount of his life arguing that Dreamland, as famous as it is, is at best the second-best source of barbecue in Tuscaloosa, after Archibald’s.
A segment of Georgia fans who are offended by what they see as another sign of the Alabama-ization of Georgia football. There are also those who wonder why a more local joint couldn’t have been involved.
UGA evidently felt the need to respond to all this. The UGA Alumni Association account on Tuesday tweeted out a profile from 2012 of Dreamland co-owner Betsy Underwood – a UGA alumni. The headline on the story: “Alumna brings a tasty Crimson Tide tradition Georgia.”
The official Twitter handle of Georgia athletics tweeted it out. So maybe that will satisfy those concerned about local ties, but the barbecue experts still have to be handled.
Others are up in arms that Dunkin Donuts will be another partner in concessions. These people prefer Krispy Kremes, or Starbacks, who knows. This is a matter of taste, literally, and this reporter – who is indeed partial to Dunkin Donuts – will agree to disagree with others. But this point needs to be made:
Who drinks coffee at football games? (OK, I do, as do other writers up in the press box, but we’re working 12-hour shifts.) But when you conjure up the image of fans reveling in an SEC football game, you don’t think of coffee:
Fan: “CHANEY, THROW THE DANG BALL, YOU GOT ‘EM ON THEIR HEELS, NOW … (pauses to take long sip on mocha caramel latte) …”
Another concession partner at Sanford Stadium, you may have heard, will be Subway, one of whose Athens locations has been a proud supporter of UGA athletics since Monday, a day after it took down a message that was critical of embattled athletic director Greg McGarity.
What to make of all this? Use it to make fun of Georgia’s fan base if you will. This beat writer will not. After all, let’s put football in its place: You eat three meals a day. There are only 12 football games a year. (Sometimes there are more than 12 games. And sometimes there are more than three meals. Often on days there are games.)
But what this illustrates overall is a fan base that is angst-ridden, one which is antsy for success, or something to be happy about. Scott Woerner, former player and uncle to a current Bulldog, wrote about this Tuesday. And Woerner wasn’t just talking about football. Georgia people badly want something good to happen, and soon, and they are rightfully searching for answers on why things aren’t better. So do people sometimes reach? Eh.
Read the full story here on DawgNation.com - https://www.dawgnation.com/football/dawgnation/barbecue-subway-georgia-controversies-means
Dreamland has a franchise in .Roswell, not far from me. It used to be better food. It now seems like a bunch of corporate MBA's have taken over the place and not people like the huge fat black guy you see in the pictures on their walls that I think is supposed to be the founder. Dreamland has now done things like add quesadillas to their menu. You do not serve quesadillas at a barbecue place. And it's not just **** stuff like that. In their salads, they're now selling that lettuce you buy pre-cleaned in bags at the grocery store rather than just the loose stuff they sell. The companies who make that bagged lettuce use heat to dry the lettuc. Having the lettuce so dry does make the lettuce last longer without spoiling. But it doesn't taste as good and it's not as fresh. There are several things like that on the Dreamland menu now. The barbecue sauce tastes the same. But the ribs aren't as big as they used to be and I bet the quality of ribs they buy now isn't as high as it used to be.
It's still a decent little barbecue place. I'll eat there if it's convenient. But those corporate MBA's have really messed up Dreamland. It's not as good as it used to be.
I've eaten Dreamland (in Tuscaloosa) on and off for over 30 years. The franchise has changed everything. Use to be you could get BBQ and white bread....the sign used to day no chips...don't ask. I recall eating there when there was a security guard and my friend and I were the only 2 customers in the joint! It's not the same, that's for sure. So much for corporate mentality.
God how I love the South!
As someone who lives in midtown, this is how you spot a Tech fan ladies and gentlemen.
I'll stick with a quick Chick-fil-A. Much easier to throw down than BBQ or a Sub. And that's coming from a BBQ disciple.
Fun fact. Dreamland's BBQ sauce is made and bottled in Columbus, GA. I know because I used to be the one making it.
Same, I rarely hit the Sanford concessions but if I do it's a grab & go Chick-Fil-A. I refuse to miss any of the action waiting in line.
Matt, how good of a copycat recipe do you reckon this is?
I don't make my own sauce. But I do make my own barbecue. Been thinking about branching out into sauces.
Sauce is worth doing also. Highly recommend making your own. You might struggle with getting the right flavor, kick, etc the first few times. But you'll get to the point where you can tweak it to taste.
Honestly I couldn't tell you about the recipe. It was my summer job back in HS. It's been a minute since then.
I also do my own smoking these days and recommend this one. Sure, it's a Carolina vinegar sauce, but my guests really love it.
Currently working on my own mustard based sauce.
Even though I'm half Carolinian, (My Mothers people were old North Carolina Coastal), I only have one BBQ rule concerning sauce. If it ain't Red it ain't Real. That said, much luck to you on that Mustard recipe. I do understand the appeal and the difficulties in getting it right. And lets not even go there with the Pork vs Beef debates.
Okay, back to football.
@DawgBones @levander @mattmd2
Last bit of wisdom I'll leave on this:
Spike, from Terrapin Brewing, was at a beer tasting I attended several years ago. Of course, the home brew guys were all picking his brain. I was listening to the conversation cause I'm a nerd and that kind of stuff interests me. Eventually, Spike drops this nugget of wisdom that applies to BBQ, Sauce, Chili, and really anything you chose to take on as a specialty in home food prep:
"If you're home brewing and you're not making your own favorite beer, then you're doing it wrong."
The point wasn't to be insulting, obviously. It was to point out that nobody else is going to put in that much effort to make it just the way you like it. Doing it yourself is the perfect, and really only, way to get there.
@moos -yeah I'll get to sauces. Just getting one thing right at a time. Williams Bros Steak Sauce is a pretty good stand in till I get there.
@mattmd2 Thanks, I bookmarked that one. Wouldn't be my main sauce. But interesting as a secondary.
The Grab and Go tents in the West end section were AMAZINGLY quick yesterday. There isn't good signage and some may not realize they are really close if you are siting in the field level or anywhere in the first section..