First Look: The Greater Good Barbecue, Tucker

The look: The bones of chain restaurants past remain in the dining rooms and outdoor areas of the sprawling blue and white building. But Harper and company have added a few touches that conjure a Southern roadhouse atmosphere, including a vintage sign from the old Pilgreen's steakhouse in Atlanta.

The scene: One recent Saturday afternoon, there was a steady line at the order counter, and a crew of congenial servers kept busy carrying plates from the kitchen to customers at booths and tables. Still, any evidence of a crowd was scattered and hidden in the vast expanse. "There were 400 people in here yesterday," one server said, "and it looked just as empty."

The menu: Simple al la carte offerings are divided into "the meats" and "the sides." The menu recently featured chopped beef brisket ($6.95), a pulled pork sandwich ($4.95), and a half ($11.25) or full ($21.95) rack of ribs. Chicken, covered in a dry rub and smoked, comes in quarter ($3.95) or half ($6.95) sizes. Sides ($1.95) include mac and cheese with bacon, collard greens, baked beans and cole slaw. Brunswick stew is served by the cup ($2.95) or bowl ($4.95).

The drinks: Look for self-serve soda ($1.50) and iced tea ($1.50), a small selection of bottled beer, and draft beer by the pint ($3.50-3.95) or pitcher ($11.50-$14.50).

The extras: The current selection of barbecue sauces includes tomato-based regular, sweet and spicy, and a mustard-based sauce. In keeping with the main menu, the kids meal ($3.95) includes a basic combo of chicken fingers and tater tots. Call ahead for carry-out orders.

Dining Out

The Greater Good Barbecue, Tucker

11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m.- Fridays-Saturdays; noon-9 p.m. Sundays.

Meats, $4.95-21.95; sides, $1.95-$7.50; kids meal, $3.95.

4431 Hugh Howell Road, 770-908-8164