The Never Ending Soul Food Tour: Old Clinton BAR-B-Q House

By James Calemine

We revisit this decade old Never Ending Soul Food Dispatch…

James Calemine’s “Never Ending Soul Food Tour” includes documented visits to barbecue joints, catfish dens, chicken shacks and any establishment serving memorable vittles.  

Old Clinton BAR-B-Q House
4214 Gray Highway
Gray, Georgia 31032
478-986-3225

Right outside of Macon, in Gray, Georgia, the Old Clinton BAR-B-Q House has been serving customers since 1958. Returning from Night One of Widespread Panic‘s Wood Tour in Atlanta, Southern Soul Barbeque proprietor Griffin Bufkin and I stopped by Old Clinton’s in Gray on Saturday afternoon. We traveled the scenic country route on the way in. There is another Old Clinton’s located in Milledgville, Georgia.

Griffin mentioned the place on the way up to Atlanta. “They have some of my favorite sauce,” he mentioned Saturday when we pulled up in the gravel parking lot. I consider him an expert on such matters so I looked forward to some memorable vittles. Located right off the Gray Highway, the low ceiling building stands in front of a green pasture. The place buzzed with customers.

We ate at a picnic table outside. Griffin ordered a barbecue plate with Brunswick stew as well as a rib sandwich. The prices are affordable. A barbecue sandwich costs $2.55. A plate is only $6.50. I chose a traditional BBQ sandwich, Brunswick stew and potato salad. The sandwich ranked in my Top 5. Griffin was right–the vinegar-based sauce tastes great on chopped pork. The one rib I tried contained a fine wood flavor. It’s easy to see why these folks are still in business after 53 years. The 12-layer caramel cake hit the sweet spot.

The Old Clinton BAR-B-Q House serves excellent food. Highly recommended. A certain antiquity surrounds the place. After a plate of this barbecue, one is ready to heed the highway call. A pale blue dust kicked up behind us as we left Old Clinton’s driving southbound…

www.jamescalemine.com

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