Wiley's Championship BBQ

This whole “fall back” thing had me in a funk. The body resists this legislated tweak to the internal clock. It takes me more than a week to adjust anymore — and my usual sleep habits are throw into disarray.

I try to slow down, take more time for myself, and do things that I find relaxing. Eating barbecue is one thing that brings me joy.

I headed the foodiemobile east, following Hwy. 80 through Thunderbolt, over the bridge and onto Whitemarsh Island — bee–lining it for Wiley’s Championship BBQ.

In the interest of full disclosure, and for the cynics out there: Yes, Wiley and I are friends. We’ve cooked together, drank cheap wine together and shared a cigar or two. This bond was built on a foundation of honesty. If either of us is slacking, the other has the right to call him out. In my case — I get to do it in print.

That won’t be necessary.

Of all the pitmasters in Savannah, Wiley has the wall of hardware to support his claim of “championship.” He’s competed and won several major and many minor barbecue competitions. He’s proven his mastery of the smoke arts — turning raw chicken, pork and beef into succulent, satisfying and technically correct examples of a pitmaster’s work of art.

I kept it simple, trying to find the hidden key to realign my body clock. My pulled pork sandwich was piled high between thick slices of Texas toast. It was pink and moist. The smoke rendered not only this beautiful color, but also lent just a hint of flavor. Wiley’s ’cue is served classically — sauce on the side. I took advantage of that, shaking on dabs of his housemade (and now commercially available) Better Than Sex sauce. I would call it tangy and mildly sweet, Wiley calls it “tingly.”

My side of BBQ beans was just that — beans prepared in the smoker to carry on the wonderful smoke flavor. Good texture — thick and plenty beany — with bits of pork and lots of flavor.

But don’t just take my word for it. When I Foursquared my location, I spent the afternoon listening to the Blackberry chirp off as plenty of other Wiley’s devotees messaged their jealousy.

Chicken, ribs and brisket are also on the menu, and the Elvis pie was a sellout. Oh well, another road trip...next time for pie!

4700 US Highway 80 East /201–3259

Que c’est délicieux!

“It’s delicious,” according to my high school French...or at least it’s about to be.

I got a sneak peek at the Menu for Brasserie 529 last week and have good news and bad news.

The menu is everything I hoped it would be, offering an impressive selection of dishes sure to please any Francophile.

The bad news: We have to wait until to January to get a taste.

In yet another example of our decidedly anti–business city government (my words, not the owners’), the owners have opted to delay the opening rather than pay nearly a full year’s fee for a few weeks of 2010 alcohol license.

Heck, I’m bad at math — and even I know how to pro rate.

I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, press your face against the glass at 529 E. Liberty St. and dream.


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About The Author

Tim Rutherford

Tim Rutherford

Tim Rutherford grew up in rural Kentucky – then left home to pursue more than three decades as a photojournalist and newsman. A ground-breaking meal in New Orleans in 1979 set him on a path exploring food and wine. Six years ago he changed career paths – now spending his time writing about the people and places... more

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