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The Dish: Auburn City BBQ

Auburn City BBQ

1365C 4th Ave., Auburn

770-995-4249

Open since: March 2007

Location: In a roughly 70-year-old building that once housed Auburn's post office

Owners: David and Kaye Mauldin

Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday nthrough Saturday

Atmosphere: Auburn City BBQ offers a comfortable, homey ambience that invites locals to wander on in. A broad front porch on one of Auburn's historic buildings holds four tables with seven more inside.

"It's like having a backyard barbecue every day," said owner David Mauldin, a former truck driver who mans three smokers out back.

It's hard not to drive through Auburn without getting hungry. The mouth-watering aroma of Mauldin's pork, beef brisket, ribs and chicken slowly smoking is better advertising than any roadside billboard. Any afternoon finds a mix of police officers, neighbors, Mauldin family members and City Hall staff visiting over a glass of sweet tea.

Auburn City BBQ is one of the first businesses to open during the city's efforts to revive its historic downtown. The restaurant is situated between the Police Department and City Hall by the railroad tracks that run along U.S. Highway 29. Business has increased about 70 percent in its first year open. Mauldin hopes to eventually expand to a large facility with a vegetable buffet and live music.

Menu: Everything is homemade, even the chunky barbecue sauces with bits of peppers. Delicately tender pork, chicken, beef brisket, ribs, hand-formed hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and hot dogs with an assortment of sides that include cole slaw, potato salad, collard greens, beans, Brunswick stew and more.

"We can't slice the meat because it just falls apart," David Mauldin said. "We have to pull all of it."

David Mauldin personally prepares most specialty desserts that taste like they were made by a Barrow County grandmother - pecan pie, a variety of cobblers served hot, banana pudding, cakes and cookies.

"I love to cook," he said.

As well as barbecue, the restaurant features a full line of appetizers, that include mozzarella sticks, jalapeno cheddar bites and fried mushrooms.

Local delivery is available.

Beverages: Sweetened and unsweetened tea and soft drinks.

Things you might not know: David Mauldin's parents owned a barbecue restaurant in Dacula before he was born.

"A lot of older people have come in and said they remember eating there," he said. "I took my momma's recipes and added to them."

SideBar: On The Menu

Falling off the bone tender pork or chicken plate: With a two homemade sides and bread ($8.99).

Beef brisket plate: With two sides and bread ($9.99).

Full rack of ribs: Smoked out back with two sides and bread ($18.99).

JD Burger: On Texas toast with cheddar cheese, bacon and brown sugar bourbon sauce with fries ($5.59).

Daily specials :Priced from $3.75 to $8.99.

Seven homemade barbecue sauces: Created by owner David Mauldin give each dish a unique flavor - sweet, hot sweet, a little hotter, mild, brown sugar bourbon, vinegar, mustard and hot mustard.