Rib Country: Georgia: Cleveland

On our way from North Carolina to Atlanta, my sister, Cami, and her fiance, Nonalee, wanted to stop at Nacoochee Grill in Helen, GA for what Nonalee said were the best ribs ever, but when we got there, they were randomly closed that day.  We stopped by the nearby grist mill and country store, Nora Mill Granary for some fun treats, and they confirmed Nonalee's suspicion that the best ribs available nearby and on the way home could be found at Rib Country in Cleveland, GA.

Look at this cuteness!


The interior is huge, with a small store in the front and most of the space dedicated to wooden tables and booths filled with delighted, bbq sauce covered patrons, many of whom clearly have made visiting Rib Country a happy, frequent tradition.  Between cheerfully serving their parties, the waitresses (yes, they are all women, or at least they were when we were there) catch up with their regulars as to how their mama'n'them are doin' lately.  Ours couldn't have possibly been any friendlier (god how I've missed that), and her thick, Georgian accent pleased me to my bones.

The tables are set with the best placemats ever:
If you somehow don't devour everything you're served, you could turn it into a doggy bag, though it might be too soiled with bbq sauce to take home.  Alternately, you could throw the two dozen or so napkins you'll be going through right in your baggy.
Cami doesn't eat land animals, so she got The Famous Rib Country Fish Sandwich:

"Lightly battered and golden fried" - $7.99 - comes with french fries, or you can sub in a baked regular or sweet potato for fifty cents
I had a bite of her sandwich, and it was nice. You can see you get four big fish chunk tenders, so you get to dip the one that spills out in whichever sauce you please (ranch mixed with bbq sauce, duh).

Nonalee and I both got the Baby Back Rib Plate lunch specials for $9.99:

All lunch specials are served with French fries, garlic bread and your choice of cole slaw or baked beans.
"1/2 rack, so tender, it just falls off the bone."

Yeah, pretty much.  They weren't as good as the best ribs I've yet had, and I'm still curious to see if Nacoochee will top my best ribs yet, but these were pretty damn tender and tasty, satisfying any rib craving.  And the bbq sauce is of the nice 'n' sweet variety.  Our waitress asked if we'd like more bbq sauce on the side, with the choice or sweet-mild or spicy.  Obviously, we asked for both.  The sweet-mild bbq sauce had a hint of heat, and the spicy's got a nice lingering heat, though not much up front.  To me, a native Texan, the spicy wasn't really very spicy at all, but it did have a nice flavor.

More importantly, the ranch was yummy, if a little thicker than my range of ranch thickness preferences.  The fries were a great thickness and consistency (soft inside, crispy out, but with lots of good, somewhat limp ones), and I rate them as 8/10 on my fry rating system.


The Texas garlic toast was butter and delicious.  The baked beans were good.  Nonalee informed me that the sweet tea was perfect and the cole slaw was "okay."

cole slaw

The restrooms were clean and almost absurdly spacious, inside and outside of the stalls.  As Nonalee said, "They're made for people who eat ribs every day."

In conclusion, there's no need to go out of your way to eat here, as they're not the best or most interesting of anything, but you can count on Rib Country for a very comfortable experience and big helpings of inexpensive yumminess.

Farmer John says, "Y'all come back 'n' see us again real soon, yuh hear?"

Rib Country Cleveland on Urbanspoon

Hours of Operation:
Sun-Thur: 11-8
Fri-Sat: 11-9

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