My co-founder at Mantry Tony and I were scouting the food scene down in Savannah and after the third local mentioned Southern Soul, we hit up the local enterprise rent-a-car and headed south. 45 minutes later we found ourselves in the breezy beach town of St. Simons Island, a place where you’d expect to bump shoulders with tourists cracking Blue Crab rather than locals eating BBQ
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 from the warm Georgia sun. It was clear the folks at Southern Soul meant business.
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.
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. We were only 45 minutes away, but I would drive a lot longer next time.
Reggie Milligan, Co-Founder
July 2015 Curator’s Letter | “Grillfest” Mantry
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