Southern Soul BBQ tray

A Southern Soul sampler: brisket, ribs, black-eyed peas, macaroni and Brunswick stew – oh my.

Southern Soul is a destination in itself. Located in the breezy beach town of St. Simons Island, just over an hour south of Savannah, it’s a place where you’d expect to bump shoulders with tourists cracking Blue Crab rather than locals eating BBQ.

Southern Soul BBQ

Fueling up: Southern Soul operates out of an old 1940s garage.

But when my car door opened, the scent of smoking meat and burning hardwood flooded the air. The canopy of a restored 1940s gas station sheltered a hive of marines, weekend beach-goers and locals enjoying the warm Georgia sun. It was clear the folks at Southern Soul meant business.

Pick up station at Southern Soul BBQ.

Once you get through the line-up, you have to be strategic about ordering. Everything is amazing. Bring your appetite.

After working our way through a line of 25 people, eyeing the massive traditional wood fire barbecues the size of oil drums, we dove into a tray of smoked ribs, brisket, fried okra, black-eyed peas and Brunswick stew – a tomato-based jumble of butter beans, sweet corn and shredded pork originating from the next town over.

A tray of Southern Soul sauces.

Southern Soul makes its own sauces, like vinegar-and-pepper spiked Red Swine Wine.

The food at Southern Soul is so good and the atmosphere so honest, you’ll want to quit your job and drive around the country trying to replicate the experience.

Reggie Milligan co-founded Mantry, an American artisan food-of-the-month club based in New York.

Stay tuned for more postcards from the road.

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