Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q – Cumming

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.

I have a strong aversion to franchise barbecue. It is a prejudice I’ve created in my mind based on years of bad experiences. Right out of the gate a franchise Q joint has a high hurdle to overcome to please me. It took a few visits for me to come to this conclusion, but I think Jim ‘N Nicks is probably the best franchise barbecue in the northern burbs. Note that I said the best franchise joint. They keep some sorry company in this category.

Jim ‘N Nicks is has an outparcel location at The Avenue Forsyth. I’ve made fun of cheesy barbecue restaurant decor in my past reviews. Jim ‘N Nicks won’t be spared from my ridicule here. They’ve got their fair share of folksy pictures and other fake knick knacks all over the place. I started to doubt the cords of wood outside the restaurant. Are they for show as well?

Thankfully the answer is no. The barbecue here has a solid core of hickory smoke flavor. I tend to like heavy smoke in my pork. If you’re put off by that, Jim ‘N Nicks might not be for you. Their menu has pulled pork, brisket, ribs, chicken and probably some other Q I’m forgetting. The pulled pork is not really my favorite. It is often over-tender to the point of being mushy. They would do a lot better to cook it less. Otherwise it is beautiful with a nice smoke ring. They sauce it in the kitchen, which I don’t care for.

The baby back ribs are probably my favorite here. Again they have a solid smokey flavor with a decent rub and sauce that’s caramelized on the meat. It is flavorful, tender with texture. My only complaint here one of presentation. On my last two visits the ribs were up-side-down on the plate when they come out. I mean the membrane/convex side is up. It looks rather sorry given how tasty they are. Flip them over guys!

The non-barbecue side of the menu is very good at Jim ‘N Nicks. Many folks rave about the little biscuits they bring before the meal. I’m not a huge fan but they are decent. The chicken fingers are amazingly good, hand battered and worthy of trying as an entree. The fried cat fish is also delicious. Most of the side items are made from scratch. Brunswick stew is available as a side… at an upcharge. Boo!

All in all, Jim ‘N Nicks is decent stuff. The prices are expensive, on par with the boutique barbecue joints down in Alpharetta. I don’t think the quality of their food justifies the price though. Others must disagree with me because this place is always packed. It is worthy of a splurge from time to time though!
Jim 'n Nick's Bar-B-Q (Cumming) on Urbanspoon

6 Responses to “Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q – Cumming”

  1. Corky August 14, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    Tried Jim ‘N” Nick’s today. I agree with you about their bbq being too mushy. Yes, there was a nice ring, but no crust. Hmmm, that raises a question or two. I really didn’t think the “q” tasted well smoked. Could it have been the “q” was pressure cooked? That could cause the mushiness and lack of crust and smokiness.
    For my side I had cole slaw. Not my favorite. A mayo/vinegar concoction. Plus there were large leaves of cabbage (not well cut) in the slaw.
    Not the best bbq in the world, but a heck of a lot better than OneStar, Shanes, Slopes, ‘Cue, Dreamland and possibly Smokejack (I haven’t been to Smokejack in a while, the others I refuse to go back to).
    What the northern burbs need is a good bbq shack off the main roads that doesn’t charge an arm and a leg for an economically cheap prepared meat.
    If I would make bbq like the restos in this area in North Carolina and charge the prices they do here, I would be run out of town, tarred and feathered and accused of being a carpetbagging yankee.

  2. Lee August 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Thanks for the comment, Corky. Pressure cookers are not something I thought about. You’ve got to try hard to make a pork shoulder mushy, so you might be onto something.

    I’m not into slaw, but their website says the recipe was featured in Southern Living Magazine.

    I also agree on the NC reference. I was visiting family in Albemarle NC a few weeks ago and ate at one of their more famous joints. A Q plate set me back five bucks and was worlds better than anything here. Part of the extra cost here is probably cost of living (labor and material costs) and expensive real estate. That and the fact that people are willing to pay for it!

  3. Ed Selby August 17, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    I was at JnN this past weekend. I give it a B. Like Corky, I wasn’t impressed with the slaw. I didn’t see the cords of stacked wood nor any smoke anywhere (always a bad sign for BBQ).

    I disagree with Corky about the other places. I would rank Slopes, Cue, and Dreamland above Jim n Nick’s.

    And to make Corky feel better – there is a great BBQ joint on Hwy. 369 in Cherokee county called Amos’s. It is second only to Poole’s BBQ for my taste.

  4. Lee August 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    Thanks for the comment Ed. Do you live in Ball Ground? What are your thoughts on Two Brothers? I went there years and years ago but not recently. It is relatively famous as I remember.

  5. Ashley Kennedy August 17, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    I realized after I left that I was overcharged (by quite a bit). I returned the same day with my receipt in hand, but the management would not credit back my card. BOOOO!!!

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    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by North Atlanta News, Roots In Alpharetta. Roots In Alpharetta said: I'm reviewing bbq joints this summer. Check out my take of @jimnnicksbbq posted today on my blog http://bit.ly/cYvL5w [...]

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