Grand Champion BBQ
4401 Shallowford Rd
Suite 168
Roswell, GA, US, 30075

Restaurant Hours

Sunday 11:00AM - 06:00PM

Monday thru Thursday 11:00AM - 07:30PM

Friday thru Saturday 11:00AM - 08:00PM

PRESS

Grand Champion BBQ may be the new kid on the block, but this new barbecue spot is already impressive. It was both the readers pick and our pick for best ribs in and around Atlanta. Photo: Becky Stein / Special

Grand Champion BBQ may be the new kid on the block, but this new barbecue spot is already impressive. It was both the readers pick and our pick for best ribs in and around Atlanta.

BEST BEEF BRISKET

YOUR PICKS
1. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
You say, “For brisket, you have to trust the Texas boys at Fox Bros. They smoke WHOLE briskets with the flat AND the POINT, giving it the higher fat content that is the benchmark of true Texas brisket. If you don’t like brisket with the point, then hang out at the assortment of OTP places mentioned that only smoke the flat. Admittedly, places like Dave Poe’s do better with pulled pork, but Fox Bros dominates in the ‘cue of their home state.”

2. Grand Champion BBQ
3. Heirloom Market BBQ
4. Community Q
5. Sam’s BBQ1

 

OUR PICKS
1. Grand Champion BBQ
The AJC dining team’s Popular Eats specialist Jon Watson says, “When ordering the brisket at Grand Champion BBQ in Roswell, take the opportunity to order either the lean or fattier moist cut, depending on your preference. Whichever you prefer, the brisket at this relative newcomer to the Atlanta barbecue scene arrives packed with flavor from their dry rub and a heavy dose of smoke.”

2. Big Shanty Smokehouse
3. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
4. Heirloom Market BBQ
5. Community Q

BEST RIBS

YOUR PICKS
1. Grand Champion BBQ
You say, “Tastiest ribs on this or any other planet are the baby back ribs at GC BBQ. Hickory smoked heaven.” and “Grand Champion has earned its name! Their ribs are moist and smoky and to sauce them would be a culinary sin! Perfection!”

2. Fat Matt’s Rib Shack
3. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
4. Community Q
5. JJ’s Rib Shack
6. Thompson Brothers BBQ

OUR PICKS
1. Grand Champion BBQ
The AJC dining team’s Popular Eats specialist Jon Watson says, “Owner Robert Owens will convert devotees of BBQ spare ribs with the exceptionally thick and juicy baby back ribs he serves at Grand Champion BBQ in Roswell. Unlike most baby back ribs, Grand Champion’s will surprise you with the amount of meat on each bone, and Owens does a remarkable job of infusing the meat with a strong smoke flavor.”

2. Fox Brothers Bar-B-Q
3. Dave Poe’s
4. Community Q
5. Sam’s BBQ 1

 

Best macaroni and cheese

YOUR PICKS

1. Grand Champion BBQ

Grand Champion BBQ has the best mac and cheese (bottom right), you say. (Becky Stein)

Grand Champion BBQ has the best macaroni and cheese (shown bottom right), you say. (Becky Stein)

You have tipped your hat to Grand Champion BBQ, with many saying they’ve brought mac and cheese to a “whole new level.” Grand Champion’s macaroni and cheese is considered less oily than others and gets shout-outs for “the power of gouda.”

2. Community Q

3. OK Café

4. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q

5. Sam’s BBQ1

OUR PICKS

1. Community Q

Though versions of this near-legendary Mac and Cheese recipe can be found at other spin offs from the Sam & Dave’s family, credit must be given to Dave Roberts of Community Q for creating this gooey masterpiece. This blend of cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Parmesan cheeses with over sized rigatoni noodles made this Atlanta’s unrivaled favorite mac and cheese, and rightly so.

2. Grand Champion BBQ

3. Dave Poe’s BBQ

4. Sam’s BBQ1

 

 Grand Champion BBQ restaurant review, Roswell


 

One of the newest entries into the barbecue fracas, Grand Champion BBQarrives with a pedigree that perks the ears of most followers of the Atlanta scene — it is the latest that traces its roots back to Sam and Dave’s BBQ-1.

Review by Jon Watson

Review by Jon Watson

Partners Robert Owens and Gregory Vivier met 10 years ago working at the newly opened One Midtown Kitchen. Despite the fact that Vivier, a recent transplant from his native France, barely spoke a word of English, they became fast friends at Concentrics’ flagship restaurant. Over the next few years, they worked at various Concentrics restaurants such as Trois and Lobby. It was during this time that Owens reconnected with his old friend Dave Roberts, who had begun working with Sam Huff and Dave Poe, and unknowingly set in motion his future in barbecue.

After spending time at BBQ-1 with Roberts, Owens fell in love with barbecue and has not looked back. Following the infamous Sam and Dave split, Owens jumped at Huff’s offer to manage Sam’s BBQ-1 in Marietta, where he spent the next five years learning the craft. Finally, last fall he enlisted Vivier to partner with him in bringing top-quality barbecue to his hometown of Roswell.

Located in a Publix shopping center deep in the suburbs of Roswell, you order from the counter and seat yourself. Like the ambience, the menu is frill-free, limited to barbecue standards such as pulled pork, brisket and ribs, and a handful of classic sides.

 

Fans of BBQ-1 and its offspring will find one familiar flavor at Grand Champion — Dave Roberts’ near-famous mac and cheese ($3). Grand Champion tweaks the recipe, adding smoked Gouda to the gooey chorus of cheddar, Monterey Jack and Parmesan, lending subtle smoky notes to the dish. Beyond this hallmark of the BBQ-1 lineage, every recipe here is a fresh start.

Hints of coffee and serrano permeate the bark of my pulled pork plate ($11.50), a surprising and welcome change from the more common paprika-based rub. The meat remains moist, and the hickory flavor noticeable, but doesn’t wallop me with smoke as much as I would like. A second helping on a later visit packs the hickory punch I hoped for, but both servings certainly satisfy.

The surprisingly thick slab of baby back ribs ($14) comes caked in the same rub, but the deep smoke penetration is the real star. As I savor my first bite, I discover that the telltale pink of the smoke ring pierces all the way to the bone, giving the ribs a powerful — but not overwhelming — hickory flavor. As with all of Grand Champion’s meats, they arrive unsauced, a fact for which I’m grateful. To deny diners the unsullied experience of ribs this good would be criminal. If you take nothing else from this review, remember this: Try the ribs.

Unless you like your beef dry, request the fattier “moist” cut of brisket ($11.50), lest you wind up with only the flat end of the cut. After having it both ways, I don’t flinch at a half-inch-thick fat cap if it means enjoying the extra moisture it provides. Cravings for burnt ends are met with a side of the molasses baked beans ($2), where the smoky chunks of beef stew until fork-tender.

If you must reach for one of the sauces — Kansas City sweet or Carolina vinegar — I find that the sweeter tomato-based sauce outshines the vinegary alternative. Bear in mind, this recommendation comes from a vinegar-based devotee. While the spicier Carolina sauce is adequate, the smoky-sweet sauce proves to be far more rich and complex than you’d expect.

First-time visitors should opt for the Sampler Platter ($20), a pile of pulled pork, ribs, brisket, chicken and sausage. Available only in the platter or as a sandwich ($5.50), the sausage is another pleasant surprise. Moist and flavorful, this lacks the chewy casing frequently found at most barbecue joints, usually a sign of too much time in the smoker. With the Sampler Platter, as with all the plates, comes your choice of two sides. If you must opt for something other than the mac and cheese, look into the smoky and vinegary collard greens ($2).

The years working with Huff certainly rubbed off on Owens, as Grand Champion BBQ is well on its way to becoming a powerhouse in Atlanta ‘cue. Some consistency issues, particularly in the level of smoke in the brisket and pork, still need working out, but they only teeter between good and great. For being in business only a few months, it is clear that Grand Champion is well ahead of the curve.

 

 Roswell Neighbor

 Dining Destinations: Grand Champion BBQ

By Joan Durbin 
jdurbin@neighbornewspapers.com
 
 
Staff / Erin Gray Slow smoked baby back ribs will melt in your mouth and G.C offers whole racks for $20 or a half a rack for $13.
 

OK, I’m going to stick my neck way, way out here. Grand Champion BBQ has some of the best ‘cue you can find locally. And maybe even regionally.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Barbecue is highly personal. What floats my boat may leave you cold.

Even so, I don’t think anyone who truly appreciates the art of smoking pig or other proteins is going to have a problem with the food served by GC’s two young proprietors, Robert Owens and Gregory Vivier.

Before GC’s opened, I had heard through the foodie grapevine that Owens had worked at the renowned Sam’s BBQ1 in East Cobb when Sam Huff’s partners Dave Roberts and Dave Poe were still on board.

I found out later that Owens had learned his craft from Poe, who still produces absolutely top-notch barbecue at his own restaurant in west Cobb. Roberts also has his own place, Community Q in Decatur.

Owens met Vivier earlier in their culinary careers when they both cooked in kitchens owned by Concentrics, including Piebar, Trois and One Midtown Kitchen. Vivier’s most recent gig was chef de cuisine at Lowe’s Hotel.

So on our first visit to GC’s, we had high expectations. Opened only two weeks ago, GC’s (that’s how they refer to themselves) is in a Publix shopping center on the western fringes of Roswell.

As with all good barbecue joints, there’s nothing fancy about it. You order at the counter from a menu and food is brought to your table. It’s an open kitchen set-up, so you can chat with the owners and staff as you watch your order being put together.

On our first visit, my dining partner had baby back ribs, while I opted for pulled pork. We both ordered mac and cheese and cole slaw as our sides.

The ribs came unsauced, which we prefer, because it’s difficult to disguise subpar ‘cue when it’s slathered in sauce. The pink ring indicating real, honest-to-gosh wood smoke was very visible. The meat came away from the bone cleanly when bitten, but didn’t fall off on its own, which would have signaled the ribs were overdone.

The flavor was intense, a pleasing meld of meat, smoke and the rub, which is one of three the owners have created. This one includes smoked paprika, ancho and chipotle chiles, garlic, cinnamon and honey. It’s a complex flavor profile that takes the ribs to a new level.

Those ribs, by the way, come to GC’s fresh, never frozen, just two days from the slaughter. Raw, a slab weighs 3.25 pounds and is almost picture perfect. At $20 for a full slab, they’re a huge bargain.

Pulled pork here has ideal texture and no dryness. Again, I would have liked a tad more smoke in it, but a drizzle of the excellent North Carolina vinegar-based sauce made it very enjoyable. The other sauce offered here is a Kansas City-style concoction, which means tomato-based and sweet, with a bit of smokiness.

Owens said he is still fine-tuning the level of smoke absorbed by some of the meats. “Too much and it turns people off,” he said, “but there are a lot of ‘cue lovers who really want that taste.”

For the chicken, mustard seed, coriander and caraway are in the rub mix. It also comes to the table unsauced, and the second time we visited it had more smoke, which we really liked.

We also asked for brisket on our second visit and found it to be as good as any I’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot considering I’ve eaten brisket done by some very accomplished cookers. The rub used on this and the beef short rib includes dried Serrano pepper, mesquite, granulated garlic and molasses.

I’ve said it before, and at the risk of repeating myself, for me the only part of a smoked brisket worth eating is the end with more fat on it. It’s juicier and 10 times more flavorful. If fat seriously offends you, just trim it off. You’ll still get the benefit of exceptionally moist and tasty meat. But I did actually enjoy GC’s lean slices after I’d added some sauce.

In my experience, darn few barbecue places have sides that are the equal of the proteins. Here’s where the culinary backgrounds of Owens and Vivier really come into play. Their attention to flavor profiles and obsession with details pay off big time.

The mac and cheese is their friend Dave Roberts’ recipe, celebrated for its multiple cheeses and silky creaminess that clings to the pasta. GC’s goes it one better by adding smoked gouda. It is devastatingly good.

Owens said some customers are mixing it into an order of Brunswick stew (very good in its own right) to create what they have dubbed redneck lasagna.

The cole slaw, which is minced fine and creamier than I normally like, is assertively seasoned, and the bit of apple they add to the mix negates the need for a lot of extraneous sugar. The collards are easily my favorite version of this Southern staple. Smoked ham hocks are a key ingredient, and a slight tinge of vinegar makes the greens pop.