My Barbeque Love Letter to Southern Soul BBQ on St. Simons Island

DeanLand

Best. Ribs. EVER!

We could stop there, but even those superlatives don’t fully describe how much we enjoyed Southern Soul Barbeque, a local joint on St. Simons Island operating out of a former gas station.

Honestly, I had serious doubts when Southern Living ranked it as the best BBQ in the Southeast. I mean, of all the BBQ joints in all the states, would the best really be located in a resort beach town on Georgia's east coast? C'mon man.

Then I ate their ribs! If angels cook ribs with clouds of blessed smoke in heaven, this is what they will taste like! A sugary, smoky, crisp pork flavor topped with any of several available sauces. I found the hot Georgia Soul the perfect saucy match for my devilishly-hot culinary preference.

If angels cook ribs with clouds of blessed smoke in heaven, this is what they will taste like!

I have a firm rule that I NEVER eat twice in the same restaurant when on a vacation get-away. There simply are too many options to do that. But Southern Soul Barbeque made me break that long-standing rule. During our week-long visit to St. Simons, we ate lunch at Southern Soul twice (arriving early to beat the crowds!), ordered extra ribs to-go for a relaxing Fourth of July vacation home meal, PLUS purchased their take-home seasonings. Look, if you're going to break a rule, go BIG!

While I could go on and on and on about the ribs, there's lots of great food to be had at Southern Soul. My go-to side dish is Southern fried okra, and mine were crisply fried and delightfully flavored once I added a little extra special seasoning. Then, I sampled some of my family's pulled pork and baked beans. DITTO on flavor and yumminess.

Sipping on a variety of draft beers sitting at outdoor picnic tables under the pump awning at the former gas station, I even tried the cole slaw, which is admittedly not my favorite item. But here, I'd order it again.

Here are our four best tips for a meal at Southern Soul:

  1. YES! Just go. Don't hesitate. Order anything. It will be good or GREAT!
  2. Avoid peak periods. We went at 11 am for lunch after an early day of hiking and biking. It can be very crowded, with long waits.
  3. Settle in. If you visit during non-peak, find an outdoor seat, order up a few brews, and enjoy your 'que while watching the locals, tourists and world go by.
  4. Order take-home early. You'll have to pick a time for your take-home, and they often sell out of some offerings. So call early.

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I'm a trained journalist, global traveler and retired business executive who worked for more than 20 years with some of the world's best and largest restaurant enterprises. I left the business world behind, living in Northwest Georgia and writing about avocations including outdoor excursions, family-friendly travel, road trips, exploration ideas for active seniors and some of my community passions. I've traveled to 47 states and nearly as many countries, and I'm still counting up. I'm a traveler, hiker, cyclist, blogger, marketing consultant, community volunteer and local high school band nerd who previously has lived in Florida, Ohio, Indiana and Mississippi. I'm a South Louisiana-born French Cajun whose great-grandparents were sugar farmers, bar owners and reputed bootleggers. My upbringing in food-rich Louisiana and my restaurant industry career affirmed my status as an over-qualified eater. That also inspired the name of my blog, OurTravelCafe.com. There, I offer up a complete menu of our my own experiences, explorations and adventures, organized by geography and always sprinkled with some spicy, tasty tidbits and food notes.

Acworth, GA
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