How does it stack up?

From the “a lot of times we have no way of knowing unless someone tells us’”department comes Savannah’s newest BBQ restaurant. It’s called 3 Tops. 

It’s Veteran-owned and operated and located out in what—not all that long ago—was something of a food desert on Ogeechee Road near Quacco Road.

I got an email from a viewer letting me know this spot had just opened last week. It just so happened I was going to be out that way the next day. So I stopped in for a very quick lunch.

Inside, I met Eric Chini. Eric is one of three co-owners of 3 Tops along with Robert “Bob” Derk and Craig Nieto. All three are retired military and had been plotting this venture for over two years.

“We started talking about what we were going to do after we retired.” Eric told me. “We talked about a food truck, but the laws in Georgia require you to have a brick and mortar. So we did this first.”

“This” is a brand new space in a tiny strip mall next to a brand new apartment complex off of Ogeechee Road. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but there is a full dining room for about 35-40 seats with an outdoor deck to come later this year that will hold roughly 50.

Also on the way is beer and wine as well as a full liquor bar. No license yet. They just opened on March 11. Two large televisions sit above the bar.

The BBQ is solid. As are the sauces. I saw and tried two of them.  I liked the pulled pork more than the brisket but both were good. Their ‘spicy beans’ side was outstanding. That is enough to get me to drive out there by themselves. Loved them. I enjoyed the mac and cheese as well.

There are also burgers, sandwiches and wings. None of which I tried.

Bob is the pitmaster, he stopped by for a quick chat. He tells me he started smoking as a hobby about 15 years ago with a Big Green Egg. He was looking for efficient ways to fit his soldiers. Then the bug bit him and here he is.

Construction had been ongoing for a while. Their original plan was to open around Thanksgiving, but you know how that goes. Especially with supply chain issues out there. Everything takes what it is going to take to get done. But they’ve arrived and haven been very well received.

A quick hit and run, yes, but I’m looking forward to returning once they really get rolling in a few months. If you are out that way, stop by and support local. You’ll eat it and like it.

Quick Bites:

Speaking of BBQ, it is not in Savannah so I won’t be writing about it here any time soon, but if you like road trips, then South of Heaven BBQ in Brunswick is your spot. You can see our feature from our television now on the website, The BBQ is fabulous.

I got a text from a chef over the weekend asking me if I’d tried the burger at Over Yonder yet. He loved it. I said “Yes, I have. The burger is very good, but the fries are better. He agreed. Either way, you should try them both if you haven’t.

One of my favorite food trucks on our scene LOKI has returned after a hiatus. If you don’t know, you should. I have yet to stop by, but I cannot wait. You can find their schedule on their Instagram page.

About The Author

Jesse Blanco

One of the most recognizable personalities in the Savannah/Hilton Head Island television market, Jesse Blanco is sometimes called "Savannah's Anthony Bourdain." His 'Eat It and Like It' show has become a major regional brand in the foodie world.
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