Road Trip Eats: Wiley's Championship BBQ
On July 4th weekend while headed down to Amelia Island we thought we might make a pit stop in Savannah. Not exactly on the way, but it's our belief that when you're on vacation there's no reason to rush. We had previously read that Wiley's Championship BBQ off of Highway 80 was worth a stop, so we indulged our pork cravings and made a slight detour.
When you pull up to Wiley's it's very unassuming, located in a strip center with a pink-hued sign. I honestly would have thought the authenticity of the BBQ restaurant was on the level of Sonny's had we not done our research. Forget the stereotypical "shack in the middle of nowhere" kitsch...this is just good food in a small space.
The inside is decorated as any good BBQ joint should be. Newspaper articles of praise, awards, and memorabilia adorn the walls. Blues music plays over the speakers and the kitchen is visible for anyone to see. We rolled up around 1 pm and the place was packed on a Wednesday. Service was a little slow but that could be attributed to the holiday weekend. Point is, don't go if you're in a hurry (unless you call your order ahead of time like the gentlemen at the table next to us did).
Let me preface this by confessing something about our family. We are barbeque snobs. While we're happy to try anything and everything (mostly) that claims it's good barbeque, that doesn't mean we'll agree with those claims unless they're warranted. Wiley's is warranted. Just take a look at that plate of food.
We wanted to try a little bit of everything so we ordered the BBQ plate. On the left you have pulled pork, smoked sausage, cole slaw, and red beans and rice. On the right you've got brisket, ribs, mac and cheese, and baked beans. Everything was very, very good. We're glad that we added some extra sides as they were extremely necessary. In addition to being barbeque snobs we're particular about mac and cheese. Make sure to order it here.
The pulled pork wasn't life-changing but still very good. The smoked sausage with the peppers was very delicious and the addition of the crunch from the vegetables was superb.
The brisket was tasty but didn't knock our socks off. But the ribs? Some of the best we've ever had. The patrons at the table next to us were raving about the ribs but proclaimed they were too stuffed to finish their brisket. The waitress responded to this by offering it to the other diners at the restaurant. "They didn't touch half of this brisket. Anyone want it? They're traveling and can't take it with them." It took "family-style dining" to another level...except there's hardly any shared leftovers in our family.
When you pull behind the strip center you'll find 2 Southern Pride smoking pits. These explain how they can feed a restaurant and still cater large events. These bad boys can hold around 700 pounds of meat.
Needless to say our meal was delicious and we polished it off. Wiley's Championship BBQ is some of the best we've had in Georgia and contends with some of the best we've had in the rest of the country. If you're anywhere near Savannah we highly recommend a detour. Just make sure you order plenty of ribs.