There is the type of grill, charcoal or gas, the technique for flipping and turning steaks and burgers, the marinades to slosh around pork or chicken in to give it optimal flavor once cooked to perfection, the temperature and duration of time.
All of these notions are rather innate for chef Tony Morrow, the creative genius behind The Pecan, an upscale Southern eatery in College Park, and the soon to be pit master behind his new concept, Tony Morrow’s Barbecue.
The restaurant is scheduled to open its doors by the end of June.
Barbecuing is a longtime hobby of Morrow, one that he learned the art of from his great grandfather, who was known to cook limitless quantities and types of meat in Decatur, Ala.
“There are a lot of barbecue restaurants. I didn’t want to just stay in the background,” he said.
All the meat — chicken, pork, beef, turkey wings, sausage — will be cooked on 14-foot cinder block pit, after the fashion of what Morrow’s great grandfather used to grill on.
Morrow built the pit himself. In using the pit, fire never directly touches the meat and the result is juicy meat, bursting with flavor.
“Our cooking method is slow and low,” said Morrow. “The temperature remains low, about 250 degrees, 300 at most. It takes about three hours, [for example], to cook chicken.”
The restaurant’s menu will draw on inspiration from his spin on Southern cuisine, including macaroni and cheese, collard greens, coleslaw and homemade potato chips to accompany main dishes.
Of course, none of the meat would be complete without the sauce, the secret family recipe in two varieties.
“We have a white sauce,” said Morrow.
“We regulate the white sauce to the chicken. We also have a red sauce, a sweet, tomato-based sauce.”
Homemade banana pudding is also planned, which will be served in small mason jars and topped with meringue fresh from the oven and torched before it hits each table.
The restaurant also features cowhide on the inside of each booth, a 3,000 square foot patio that doubles as a makeshift cigar lounge, flat screen televisions, and photos of his grandfather on the walls.
Tony Morrow’s Barbecue is at 3807 Main Street, within walking distance of The Pecan.