One Star Ranch – Alpharetta

Every Friday, Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series I like to call Foodie Friday. This week I continue a summer series reviewing barbecue restaurants in Alpharetta.

Let’s get the positives out of the way first. One Star Ranch is the most authentic-looking barbecue restaurant in Alpharetta. I like to ding Q joints on fake decor that comes across as cheesy. One Star has its share of bling on the walls. Old license plates, rattle snake skins, etc. If you pulled it all off the walls and hung it up in a strip mall space it would look contrived. But given One Star’s dive joint location, I find it completely believable. Maybe that’s a double standard I have. I just really enjoy the look and feel of this restaurant. I also like that they have live blues music from time to time.

But, (and this is a big BUT), the quality of the barbecue here is seriously lacking. I used to kinda like this place years ago, before the barbecue scene in town got competitive. Or put another way, I liked them before Smokejack and ‘Cue considerably raised the bar. I last visited One Star about three years ago. The ribs at that time were fatty and tough. I vowed never to return. I felt they needed another shot before writing a serious review.

On my last visit I stuck with chopped pork with a few sides. The pork comes out a course, thick chop with an average amount of outside meat. They will sauce it in the kitchen so I asked for it on the side. Their sauce, served warm, is a heavy ketchup base that I don’t really care for. The Q itself was a little on the chewy side and lacked flavor. The outside meat has promise, but several bites tasted of soot from the smoker. I struggled to eat half of it. Very disappointing.

For sides I picked stew and jalapeno corn bread. I’ve enjoyed the bread in the past, which has a little kick. On this night it was dry and tasted like it had been reheated. The stew wasn’t bad, the only part of my meal I enjoyed. I’ve heard folks rave about the tub of onion rings. I’ve never had them, might be worth a try.

Maybe judging these guys on pork alone isn’t fair. But to this barbecue fan (with North Carolina roots and Memphis taste buds), One Star doesn’t do it for me. If you’re from Texas and want a feel for a Q joint in that genre, One Star might work. The rest of the menu, with brisket, sausage and beef ribs, round out the Texas feel. I’d come back for a beer and some blues music, but skip the barbecue.

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One Star Ranch on Urbanspoon

3 Responses to “One Star Ranch – Alpharetta”

  1. Corky July 30, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    I’m glad I’m not the only person to have the same feelings you do about One Star. I ate there not too long after they opened and was very disappointed. Tried it again a couple of years later and I thought it was worse than the first time. Tried it again last year and came to the same conclusion. I don’t understand how this place stays open. Pretty close to the worse food in Alpharetta, including chains. Their beef and sausage offerings don’t even come close to what Texans call barbeque. Yes, I have NC bbq roots, and have spent a lot of time in Texas.

  2. Lee July 30, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Thanks for the comment, Corky. One Star is probably my least favorite of the Q joints I’ve reviewed this summer. What did you think of the others so far?

    You’re not kin to the Memphis restaurant of the same name, are you?


  1. Roots in Alpharetta » Blog Archive » New/Closed Restaurants – November 2010 part deux - November 26, 2010

    [...] all existed on one road and just a few miles from each other. Something had to give. As I said in my review of One Star over the summer, this was the most authentic-looking Q joint in town, but one of the worst tasting. [...]

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